This is news no one wanted to see.
Bad news for the Cubs and Javier Báez: Today’s MRI revealed a hairline fracture of his left thumb. The Cubs will have more of a timeline after their All-Star shortstop sees a hand specialist on Monday.— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) September 7, 2019
Obviously we won’t know anything until Javier Baez gets a report from a specialist, but usually injuries of this type have a 6-to-8 week recovery time. Under the best of circumstances, Baez will miss the rest of the regular season and the beginning of any playoff series the Cubs might play in. Under the worst circumstances, he’s out for the season.
Perhaps Baez could push it and come back earlier, but then he might risk re-injuring it and making it all worse.
This means that Addison Russell will continue as the Cubs starting shortstop for the foreseeable future. Beyond that, there isn’t anyone on the current 40-man roster with recent experience playing shortstop, although Daniel Descalso, Ben Zobrist and Robel Garcia have all played the position in the past. Zack Short, Vimael Machin and Dixon Machado are shortstops in Triple-A, but all three would have to be added to the 40-man roster, so someone else would need to be designated for assignment.
Clearly this is bad news, but it’s the type of adversity that all teams have to go through from time to time. The Cubs have played well since Baez went down (going 4-1) and we can hope that they continue to do so until he returns.