Cubs Báez has a hairline thumb fracture, status uncertain

Sports

Chicago Cubs’ Javier Baez hits a single during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Saturday, Aug 31, 2019, in Chicago. Milwaukee won 2-0. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Chicago Cubs star shortstop Javier Báez has a hairline fracture in his left thumb, putting the rest of his season in jeopardy.

An MRI in Chicago on Saturday revealed the extent of Báez’s injury, suffered when he slid headfirst into second base last Sunday against Milwaukee at Wrigley Field. He’ll undergo further examination with a hand specialist on Monday.

The Cubs haven’t announced a timeline for his possible return.

“I was concerned something like this may be the result,” manager Joe Maddon said before the Cubs played the Brewers. “Now we will just have to wait to see the specialist and figure out from there.”

Chicago holds the second NL wild-card spot and is chasing the Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals. The playoffs begin Oct. 1.

Báez, a two-time All-Star, had missed the previous four games, including the first two of a four-game series against the Brewers at Miller Park. He is hitting .281 with 29 home runs and 85 RBIs.

Maddon said he’s going to lean on his bench to keep the Cubs charging toward the NL playoffs.

“It is not easy, it is no fun without him, in a sense, but you don’t go home,” Maddon said. “You keep playing. We definitely have a lot of other good names. It is not like we are just a one-man band.”

Addison Russell has moved from second base back to his old spot at shortstop to take over for Báez. Ben Zobrist recently rejoined the Cubs after a lengthy absence to deal with a divorce and has been playing second.

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