Notes: Báez, Bryant injuries; Megill's debut

April 27th, 2021

The Cubs were without and in the starting lineup against the Braves on Tuesday night, and the club is hoping that neither player's injury issue develops into a more long-term problem.

"It's tough to play two short," Cubs manager David Ross said.

Báez was out of the mix for the second game in a row due to left hamstring tightness, which flared late in Sunday's game against the Brewers. The All-Star shortstop was undergoing treatment and testing on Tuesday to get a better gauge of his timetable.

Ross did not rule out the possibility of Báez landing on the injured list, especially given his importance over the next several months.

"We want Javy to be healthy and we are still really early in the season," Ross said. "So, pushing him too hard doesn't make a lot of sense. But, if he feels good and he bounces back and all the tests show [he's fine], we'll push forward."

Bryant is dealing with a right biceps issue that popped up last week on a throw in cold conditions at Wrigley Field, per Ross. The first two games of the series against the Mets last week had temperatures in the 30s, and that also is around the time Bryant began playing the outfield regularly.

It is worth noting, however, that Bryant has still managed to hit .333 with a .956 OPS in his past seven games during that time period. That included launching a grand slam in Monday's loss to Atlanta. Ross added that Bryant was still available to hit off the bench.

"It's just been bothering him," Ross said. "He's been getting treatment, trying to play through it. It's just starting to bark a little bit. I'm going to try to rest him."

Megill's impressive debut
If right-hander was experiencing any nerves in his Major League debut on Monday night, he hardly showed it. The big righty struck out two, including Ozzie Albies with a 98.9 mph fastball. It was the hardest-thrown pitch of the year for the Cubs.

Megill did issue a one-out walk, followed by a hit, but the 6-foot-8 reliever set down Austin Riley (flyout) and Guillermo Heredia (strikeout) to escape. Overall, Megill enticed nine swings, generated five whiffs (three via four-seamer and two via slider).

"Looked good. Pounding the zone," Ross said. "Showed me that he can handle a moment. Most guys [would show jitters]. Big league debut, in that environment, a pretty big crowd that not a lot of us have played in front of in a long time. It was nice to see. Trevor's in a really good place."

Davies' in-game adjustment
Cubs starter does not believe that any mechanical issues are to blame for his rough start to the season. The way the righty sees things, the explanation is a simple one.

"It really just comes down to pitch execution," Davies said. "It's just not there."

Prior to Tuesday's game, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said he noticed Davies had some different movement on his sinker in Monday's loss to the Braves. They talked between innings and Davies shifted more to the first-side of the pitching rubber by the third.

"It's just flat at the moment right now," Contreras said. "He has a really rare angle on his fastball -- something that caught my attention [Monday]. We talked about it and I think he moved from one side to the other on the rubber, and he got much better the last two innings."

"The way he's been playing lately, that's something that we should keep in our mind before we do another move. I think this guy needs to be in the lineup on a daily basis. He's a high-energy guy. He takes a good at-bat. And he's always looking for ways to win the game. That's Nico Hoerner." -- Contreras