One day after Major League Baseball announced its investigation into domestic-violence allegations made against Addison Russell, the Cubs shortstop made one thing clear: he’s here to focus on baseball.
A day after not suiting up, Russell is available to play in this afternoon’s game against the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field.
“I think the social media, they brought up some personal stuff,” Russell said Friday morning. “I’m not here to talk about the personal stuff. I’m here to talk about baseball.”
Russell’s wife, Melisa, suggested in multiple posts late Wednesday the couple was breaking up after one year of marriage.
In one deleted Instagram post Melisa wrote: “Being free to be able to make your own choices for your own happiness beats being cheated on, lied to, & disrespected any day.”
In a subsequent comment related to one of the posts, a woman Russell’s wife referred to as a close friend, accused him of “mentally and physically abusing her.”
Russell released a statement Thursday, denying domestic-violence allegations made against him by a third party on social media. He called the claims “false and hurtful” and said he had “no further comment” on the matter.
After the allegations surfaced, Russell was not listed in the starting lineup for the Cubs’ game Thursday night against the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field, and was not even in uniform.
Russell said Thursday’s rest was good for him to refocus.
“I’m happy that I got that day mentally just to relax,” Russell said. “I’m handling it well. Obviously we have to do what’s best for the team in the long run. Joe also has given me a mental break as well. He knows that I’m not swinging it as great as I normally do. He’s given me that time to work on my swing.”
Russell has been in offensive slump as of late. Javy Baez has shared starting duties with Russell the last two weeks. Russell is only batting .209 this season with three home runs, compared to last season when he finished with a .238 batting average with 21 home runs.
“Just get back to your inner thoughts — ‘What were you doing whenever you were successful?’ — mainly is kind of like what I was thinking,” Russell said. “But you get back in those thoughts, those positive thoughts, and I think positive things start happening.”
Although he’s not in Friday’s lineup against the Rockies, Russell is available off the bench.