Addison Russell has had an excellent rookie season for the Cubs, even better considering he's just 21 years old and has great upside.
Which is why this is a real shame:
Addison Russell not available for NLCS. Moderate hamstring strain. #Cubs— Bruce Miles (@BruceMiles2112) October 15, 2015
Here's the play where he got hurt, in stretching a likely double into a triple in Game 3 of the Division Series against the Cardinals:
Couple things about that play:
- The ball didn't miss being a home run by that much, maybe six or eight feet.
- It looks like Russell took a slight misstep rounding second, which is probably where the injury occurred.
Javier Baez took over from Russell at shortstop in Game 4 and the team's offense didn't miss a beat; Baez hit a key three-run homer that helped the Cubs to victory. Baez might be the Cubs' best defensive infielder, so they won't suffer much of a dropoff, if any, either in the field or at the plate for the NLCS.
Since Russell will be out for the entire series, the Cubs will be able to replace him on the series 25-man roster, which has not yet been announced (I'd expect it out sometime Friday morning). I'd think the Cubs will go with the same 11 pitchers for the NLCS that they used for the NLDS, so most likely Russell's bench replacement will be a position player. Jonathan Herrera, an infielder, could be a candidate, but so could outfielders Matt Szczur or Quintin Berry or even catcher Taylor Teagarden.