When Jorge Soler left Sunday's game in the eighth inning yesterday, it was assumed that it was just a matter of getting a starter a rest in a blowout. Now we know differently as the Cubs starting right fielder will miss at least a month with an oblique strain. Additionally, reliever Jason Motte was placed on the DL with a right shoulder strain. Taking their places on the roster will be Tommy La Stella and Zac Rosscup.
More bad news on the injury front is that Addison Russell is dealing with a groin strain and is day-to-day.
After a slow start to the season that included a trip to the disabled list in June for an ankle sprain, Soler had been a key member of the Cubs offense in the second half, hitting .274/.345/.379 with three home runs and 21 RBI in 33 games since the all-star break. Motte has been a key member of the Cubs bullpen most of the season, even spending a stint as the closer and picking up six saves. Even since losing the closer's job after blowing saves to the Phillies and Rockies, Motte has been one of the bullpen arms manager Joe Maddon has relied upon the most this season. He's made 57 appearances so far this year and has a 3.91 ERA.
La Stella was the Cubs opening day second baseman, but went on the DL after only two games, ironically with an oblique strain. La Stella missed a month with the strain and then re-injured it during a rehab appearance at Double-A Tennessee. That setback caused La Stella to miss another six weeks. The Cubs will have to be careful with Soler's rehab to insure that this doesn't happen again.
Rosscup has pitched in 26 games for the Cubs already this season and has a 2-1 record with no saves and a 4.30 ERA.
Changes in today's lineup has Chris Coghlan taking over for Soler in right field, La Stella moving into second base and Starlin Castro playing instead of Russell at shortstop. These developments will certainly test the Cubs depth down the stretch. If Soler misses just the minimum one month with the oblique strain, he'll return for the final two weeks of the season. Any setbacks would have him sidelined the rest of the season.