Cubs' Navarro, Neal Injured In Win Over Phillies

Brian Garfinkel

The Cubs won, but lost two players to injury in the process.

I'll have a more complete recap of the Cubs' 5-2 win over the Phillies here in the morning, but I thought you should have a separate post to discuss the injuries to Thomas Neal and Dioner Navarro.

The injury to Neal, who was playing in just his second game (and first start) as a Cub, came when he tried to throw the ball into the infield on an extra-base hit down the left-field line. It looked like a routine throw, something outfielders do all the time, but something went wrong. You can see video of the play at this link; Neal has a dislocated right shoulder, which most likely will end his 2013 season. It's really a shame, because at 25 Neal has talent and the possibility, at least, that he could have made something out of his opportunity to play. Instead, he'll have to come back and try it again in spring training in 2014. (Didn't we just get done saying that about Ryan Sweeney? Although, Sweeney could be back in September.)

Dioner Navarro took the full brunt of a home-plate collision with Chase Utley trying to score in the same inning as Neal's injury, this time with one out. Kevin Frandsen singled and Utley crashed into Navarro. Navarro held on to the ball, but suffered an apparent ankle injury and had to be driven off the field on a cart.

Fortunately, we have this late report from CSN Chicago's Patrick Mooney:

So Neal will be replaced; it's too early to tell whether it will be by someone within the system or someone from outside. It's likely that Neal will go on the 60-day DL, which would allow room for an addition from outside. If the Cubs don't want to go a player short until they get to St. Louis, Triple-A Iowa had the day off Wednesday and was likely in transit from Tacoma back to Des Moines where they'll open a series Thursday. Someone could probably fly to Philadelphia overnight or early in the morning. Possibly a better idea would be to call up Matt Szczur from Double-A Tennessee; Szczur is already on the 40-man roster and the Smokies are at home outside of Knoxville, much closer to Philadelphia.

That's just speculation on my part, of course. Now, if the Cubs need a catcher to replace Navarro, it'd likely be a placeholder; neither J.C. Boscan (at Iowa) nor Rafael Lopez (at Tennessee) is any sort of prosepect. Neither is on the 40-man roster so someone would have to be moved off the 40-man to make room.

Let's hope neither of these injuries is serious. As noted, I'll have a more complete recap of the game at the usual time Thursday morning.

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