Bryant sits; Baez comes through in pinch

Club seeking versatile arm; Morrow dealing with lingering soreness

July 25th, 2018

CHICAGO -- The Cubs pushed as far as they could on Wednesday, using him as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, but they were without , who remained day to day with a sore left shoulder.
Baez, who bruised his left knee Tuesday night in a collision at second base, hit an infield single to lead off the eighth and reached second on an errant throw by D-backs pitcher T.J. McFarland. The Cubs then inserted pitcher as a pinch-runner, and he scored the eventual game-winner in the Cubs' 2-1 victory.

"I was so worried about him moving," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Baez. "His instincts took over. The moment he hit the ball, he started to run and he knew, 'I can't.' God bless, we took advantage of a really bad throw."
Could Baez play on Thursday?
"I have no idea," Maddon said. "I will wait and see. He looked at me like he was OK to run, but I didn't want to do that at second base."
Bryant was on the disabled list from June 26-July 11 because of inflammation in his left shoulder, and he was batting .250 in 10 games since he was activated. Maddon said they may put Bryant back on the disabled list, but he was waiting to hear from the third baseman as well as the medical staff.

"I can't promise you [he'll play Thursday] either," Maddon said. "We're just going to try to go day by day and figure this thing out.
"It's just a matter of controlling it. I have to listen to him and the docs now, and we'll try to make a determination. I don't have anything long term positively or negatively. I'm just going on a day-by-day thing."
Bryant said a swing on Monday night aggravated his shoulder, and he did not start Tuesday or Wednesday.
Baez was injured when the D-backs' Steven Souza Jr. slid into him at second base on Tuesday night.

Versatility tops list in search for pitchers
The Cubs have had a knack of finding versatile pitchers such as Mike Montgomery, , and most recently . That, most likely, is the type of pitcher they're looking to add prior to Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"All I know is Theo is very active," Maddon said of Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. "I really don't know who the names are. It seems like the bigger names have been swept off the table already. Nobody was talking about Jesse Chavez, and look at the job that he's done already. The marquee names, or the names talked about most, are nice names, but sometimes there are others who are very useful. I do believe the boys are going to get after it somehow."

The Cubs have reportedly been focused on adding a reliever and not a starter.
"There's names that are bandied about all the time ... and those become the popular names," Maddon said. "That doesn't mean they're the best fit for your group. The [front office is] working in there to fill in the gaps as well as we can. I know we're looking for specific kind of roles or the ability to do different kind of roles. I've always been a big believer in that."
Chavez has struck out six over four innings so far and given Maddon another versatile arm, which he likes to call "a Swiss Army knife."
"He's as advertised," Maddon said.
Morrow easing his way back
Closer is eligible to come off the disabled list on Saturday, but he has not picked up a baseball since July 18 and won't be activated this weekend.
"There's a little bit of soreness left, but it's going in the right direction," said Morrow, sidelined with right biceps inflammation. "It's a fraction of what it was. I'm hoping to not feel anything in the next couple days and then start playing catch again."

Said Maddon: "We want to be patient with that to make sure when he does come back we don't have any more setbacks."
This is the second time Morrow has been placed on the disabled list this season.
"It's always frustrating on the DL," he said. "It's boring, and you don't get to play. Yeah, it sucks."
Darvish throwing off mound
, who has not pitched since May because of right triceps tendinitis, is expected to throw off the mound for a second time this weekend in St. Louis. He threw 16 pitches in the bullpen on Tuesday.
"He was optimistic," Maddon said of the right-hander.