Never As Bad As Reported: Chicago Cubs without Aramis Ramirez

David WyattAnalyst IJuly 6, 2009

PHOENIX - APRIL 29:  Aramis Ramirez #16 of the Chicago Cubs looks on from the dugout during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on April 29, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Cubs 10-0.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

So as we get set to welcome Aramis Ramirez back into the Cubs' lineup today, we are sitting just 2.5 games back of the St Louis Cardinals in the NL Central.

If you were reading the opinions of Cubs fans just over a week ago, you would think that we were 10 games back and there was no twilight, let alone sunlight, at the end of the tunnel.

So as we are ready to welcome back the most clutch hitter on the team, we can safely say that all was not as bad as it seemed.

Sure there were times when even the most optimistic of fans felt down, and asked the question, will we be on the stage when the curtain comes down on the 2009 MLB season.

It hasn't been easy; Soriano has struggled, Bradley has struggled, Fontenot has struggled, Heilman has struggled, and the list could go on.

Is anyone else thankful to be sitting here right now as we welcome back A-Ram, Johnson, and Guzman only 2.5 games back? I know I am.

Nobody is saying that now they are back, everything will be fine. A-Ram will have to get back into the swing of things, literally. His swing will likely be off the pace until post all star break.

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These injuries have also enabled us to give some young guys a chance, we now have a hot hitting Jake Fox on the team, we saw that Sam Fuld can handle the duty of leading off, even if the sample size is minute. We also have a consistent pitcher in the rotation in Randy Wells thanks to the injury of Carlos Zambrano.

Injuries this year have really benefited the Cubs. Of course, nobody wants to see any of our players go down, but when it is all said and done, we have found so much through this period of time and we have lost nothing.

Two-and-one-half games out, and three players discovered, even four if you want to count Andres Blanco, who has done a stand up job at second, and personally speaking if we continue to hit like we have over the past couple of days, I would sacrifice a little offense at second for some spectacular defence.

It's not like Mike Fontenot is lighting it up out there.

Questions have been asked about what will be done with the roster when the players return today. Do we go with one less pitcher, do we send the new discoveries back for development.

However, through this crisis...and I use that term rather loosely because can it really be called a crisis? not in my opinion. We have discovered options, even if we do send some players down to AAA, we know that they are there, and now we have seen them produce in the majors, we will not be hesitant in bringing them up next time a player goes down.

Where would we be if Jake Fox was immediately called up after Ramirez got injured, and was instantly penned into third base everyday. I'm not into revisionist history, but I think we might be a little closer than two-and-a-half games.

However, all is well in Cubs land.


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