Cubs' Javy Baez Suffers Arm Injury After Being Hit by Pitch vs. Cardinals

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2018

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 07:   Javier Baez #9 of the Chicago Cubs is escorted from the field by trainer Nick Frangella after suffering an apparent injury in the 7th inning against the Miami Marlins at Wrigley Field on May 7, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Cubs announced infielder Javier Baez left Sunday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals after he was drilled on the elbow with a pitch from Jack Flaherty.

Baez started the contest at shortstop. Addison Russell replaced him.

"Got him right in the elbow," said Cubs manager Joe Maddon during the in-game interview with ESPN, per Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. "Your hand, it does feel numb at that particular time. He just could not get the feel back. I don't think it's anything serious, but for right now it's gonna hurt all night and maybe into tomorrow."

Baez has developed into one of the league's most reliable second basemen since taking on a full-time role in Chicago at the start of the 2016 campaign. He ranks 12th at the position in wins above replacement over the past two-plus seasons, per FanGraphs.

The 25-year-old Puerto Rico native has also remained mostly durable over that stretch. He appeared in at least 140 games in each of the past two years. Most recently, he left a game against the Miami Marlins in early May because of groin tightness.

If the latest ailment forces him out of the lineup, Ben Zobrist and Tommy La Stella figure to split the playing time at second. Zobrist also receives a fair share of spot starts in the outfield, so La Stella and Ian Happ should be the biggest beneficiary of extra at-bats.

Ultimately, the Cubs should have enough offensive depth to survive a short-term setback from Baez. Any type of extended absence would limit the lineup's upside moving forward, though.

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