The initial report that Addison Russell was sitting with a foot injury and that a DL stint was possible, was followed quickly by a more definitive update. Unlike we’ve seen with previous injuries, the Cubs are not twiddling their thumbs this time around. After being diagnosed with a right foot strain, Russell will be heading to the 10-day DL.
Addison Russell is being placed on the DL with a right foot strain. Lefty pitcher Rob Zastryzny is being called… https://t.co/EPLobDNDDF
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 4, 2017
The hope is that this is indeed as minor as it sounds and that the Cubs are simply being more judicious with Russell, unlike what we saw with Ben Zobrist, Jason Heyward, and Kyle Hendricks. It helps that they’ve got Javy Baez there to fill in at short, with Zobrist and Ian Happ manning second. Of course, it’s going to be hard to make up for what Russell has been doing at the plate.
After a disappointing first half, he was posting a .903 OPS with a .367 wOBA and 125 wRC+ since the break. Foot injuries aren’t something you want to mess with, so it’s good to be proactive and ensure that the shortstop is healed up in time for the stretch run.
Taking Russell’s place on the roster will be southpaw swingman Rob Zastryzny, who made news last year as the first pitcher drafted by the current regime to debut in the big leagues. Zastryzny spent nearly two months on the DL himself from mid-May to early July and has gotten mixed results working out of the pen and the rotation.
This will be the lefty’s second stint in Chicago this season, though you won’t be blamed for forgetting the first. Zastryzny was active during the Yankees series and gave up three runs in four innings of mop-up duty in an 11-6 loss. We’ll see whether he gets any run this weekend against a Nationals team that boasts an .812 OPS (fifth in MLB) vs. lefties.