PHILADELPHIA – A press box wag from Philadelphia stood up after looking at the Cubs lineup Wednesday and said, “This might be the worst lineup I’ve seen all year.”
It didn’t get any prettier by the end of the night – with injuries delivering another pair of gut punches to an already staggering roster of Cubs hitters.
In the span five batters in the bottom of the seventh inning of Wednesday’s game against he Phillies, the Cubs lost two players to pending disabled list moves.
Left fielder Thomas Neal – acquired only Monday in a waiver claim from the Yankees – dislocated his shoulder on a throw to second after John Mayberry Jr. led off the seventh with a double to left.
A hit, a walk and a run later, Kevin Frandsen singled to right, and Chase Utley barreled into Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro trying to score from second just as the throw arrived.
Utley was out, but Navarro got the worst of it, suffering what the Cubs are treating as a right leg “contusion” – but that looked much worse until x-rays ruled out a broken right ankle.
Navarro, who spent several minutes lying near the plate being treated before being carted from the field, still appears to be a candidate for at least a sprain diagnosis.
Either way, the Cubs will be forced to add two new players to a 2013 roster that has shuttled 49 different players into games this season.
The Cubs used 50 players all of last year.