As spring training begins, Cubs deal with injuries in addition to shortened camp

MESA, Arizona (CBS) – The Cubs and White Sox are in Arizona preparing for a delayed Opening Day on April 7 – but that date may not be suitable for everyone due to injuries.

As CBS 2’s Matt Zahn reported, there was good news and bad news about injuries for the Cubs on Monday. The good news is that outfielder Ian Happ should be ready for Opening Day despite undergoing kickoff elbow surgery last month.

But starting pitcher Adbert Alzolay will start the season on the injured list, and it probably won’t be a short stint according to president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer.

Hoyer is working to bolster the roster with the opening of free agency at the same time as Camp.

“It’s kind of a crazy trading period that we’ve never had before, and to do this while the guys are reporting, while camp is starting, is definitely weird,” Hoyer said. “We obviously have a number of holes to fill. Our biggest focus, frankly, has been – and we’ve said this many times – is on the throw and the depth of the throw. Everyone knows the value of innings at the start of the season is going to be real.”

With the camp shortened, pitchers won’t have as much time to ramp up. Pitcher Kyle Hendricks says they’ve learned some seasons from 2020 when COVID also led to a truncated camp.

“I think going through 2020 could help a lot in that process, you know – hopefully there won’t be so many,” Hendricks said. “I think the guys have learned a lot from this year, and like I said, I think the teams are really emphasizing that yes it’s going to be a sprint, but we all know it’s unique. So take your time, make sure you’re okay, don’t overdo it.”

Hendricks started the opening day of this 2020 season with a full game. He said he wasn’t sure if he could promise it again this year, but he’s feeling good right now.


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