Cubs’ successful May tempered by injuries, with pitcher Trevor Williams being the latest
Williams, who was supposed to start Monday against the Padres, is the latest Cub to be unavailable after he had an appendectomy Sunday.
The way things are going, David Ross and Marty Pevey soon might have to become co-managers of the Chicago/Iowa Cubs.
As the Cubs’ list of injured players grows, Ross’ daily report on their progress gets longer and the number of players he needs from Triple-A rises. Ross joked Sunday that he called Iowa manager Pevey and apologized for taking most of his team away from him.
Before the game Sunday against the Reds, the Cubs put infielder David Bote on the 10-day injured list with a dislocated left shoulder and selected infielder Sergio Alcantara from Iowa.
And right-hander Trevor Williams, slated to start Monday against the Padres, had an appendectomy Sunday and is out indefinitely.
While the Cubs have had a successful May, the specter hanging over their rise in the National League Central standings is the ongoing task of figuring out who is healthy enough to play.
‘‘The main thing is just, you know, you feel for the guys,’’ Ross said. ‘‘Then trying to find guys with little bumps and bruises rest where it doesn’t turn into an IL stint and playing guys and balancing that with trying to win each and every day and night.’’
First baseman Anthony Rizzo (back) continues to work on getting back into the lineup, and his return would simplify things for Ross. But Rizzo hasn’t played since Tuesday, so the question becomes how long to wait before adding him to the IL.
‘‘We’re really getting thin on players that we have to bring up, so I think our first preference would be to just let him continue to get better,’’ Ross said. ‘‘But if it’s something that needs to be done, we’ll definitely do it.’’
Looking ahead to June
The Cubs host the Padres for a three-game series starting Monday. That will begin a run of games that will be a measuring stick for Ross and his team.
‘‘It’s a tough schedule,’’ Ross said. ‘‘If you’re looking at run differential, the top three teams are in the [NL] West. It will be a nice test.’’
Given how banged up his roster is, Ross said he’s not going to read too much into the wins and losses against the teams the Cubs will face next month. The Padres, Dodgers, Giants and Mets will be a good measure of their strengths and weaknesses.
‘‘It’ll be a good test to show us where we need to continue to grow, how we measure up,’’ Ross said.
Bryant’s flexibility a necessity
Kris Bryant, the NL most valuable player in 2016, is putting together another MVP-caliber season, all while showcasing defensive flexibility beyond what he has done in the past.
Bryant always has been able to bounce around the field. But with all of the Cubs’ injuries, he has spent more time than usual away from his usual position at third base. And with Ross trying to keep his healthy guys in the lineup, there has been no time for Bryant to brush up on other positions.
‘‘We don’t have the luxury right now of extra work,’’ Ross said. ‘‘I think he’s really relying on his baseball savvy and experience, as he’s used in the past. . . . That’s obviously a luxury that we have.’’