The Chicago Cubs are all but eliminated from the postseason, and now it appears the team is turning its attention to getting its key players healthy in time for the 2020 campaign.
On Wednesday, manager Joe Maddon told media members, including NBC Sports Chicago’s Tony Andracki, that the team likely won’t use either Kris Bryant or Javier Báez in their five remaining games of the regular season.
Bryant is dealing with a sprained ankle, which he suffered Sunday against the Cardinals, and Báez is still recovering from a hairline fracture in his thumb, which he suffered earlier this month.
Báez has been used sparingly in recent days, but with the Cubs just about out of playoff contention, it seems as though the team is content to let him rest for the remainder of the season.
Maddon also told media members, including Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, that he will likely shut down first baseman Anthony Rizzo once the Cubs are officially out. Rizzo made a miraculous recovery from a sprained ankle to appear in games last week, but with the Cubs on the verge of elimination, Rizzo will likely be given the chance to begin rehabbing his ankle for the offseason.
The Cubs’ elimination number stands at just one, meaning that one more Brewers win or Cubs loss will eliminate Chicago from postseason contention for the first time in five years.