As the Cubs were preparing to face the Diamondbacks, Yu Darvish threw off the bullpen mound at Wrigley for the first time since receiving a cortisone injection to reduce inflammation in his right elbow at the end of June. Joe Maddon didn’t offer much of a description of the 16-pitch session, but did say that all went according to plan and that the team will decide on next steps Wednesday.
Maddon said Darvish threw 16 pitches in the bullpen. As scheduled. Went well. Will update what’s next tomorrow. Bryant has shoulder soreness again. Could be a day or two. He doesn’t feel great, per Maddon.
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) July 24, 2018
Maddon also confirmed that Kris Bryant is sitting for at least Tuesday’s game with a sore shoulder, saying the third baseman “doesn’t feel great.” That’s not entirely unexpected given the nature of chronic injuries. Only extended time off can allow them to heal, and that’s an impossible luxury during the course of the season. All Bryant can really do at this point is rest sporadically to keep the wing from getting too painful.
As for Brandon Morrow, Maddon said nothing has changed and that the closer is not ready to return yet. He’s eligible to come off the DL Thursday and the Cubs have said all along that Morrow’s biceps inflammation is minor, but this latest non-update suggests that perhaps he’ll need a little more time on the shelf.
In our final bit of news, Eddie Butler was activated from the 60-day DL and added to the 25-man roster Tuesday, which forced Luke Farrell back to AAA Iowa. But the activation also put the Cubs at 41 men on the 40-man roster, from which Rob Zastryzny is conspicuously absent at the moment. Does that mean the Cubs have designated him for assignment?
That’s possible, but you may recall a similar incident earlier in the season in which it appeared that Luke Farrell had been DFA’d. Turns out it was a simple clerical snafu and that Farrell was indeed still rostered. Rather than DFA Zastryzny, it seems as thought the Cubs could move Adbert Alzolay, who’s out for the season with a lat injury, to the 60-day DL to clear a spot.
I’m admittedly not the best person in the world to discuss the nuances of roster moves, though, so maybe I’m off there.