Cubs Injuries Both Troublesome And Encouraging

Cubs season already dependent on health

In the first three weeks of the Cubs' 2009 campaign, Milton Bradley has hurt his groin. Aramis Ramirez pulled his calf. Carlos Marmol bugged his knee. Derrek Lee has neck spasms. Geovany Soto has some sort of weird shoulder problem that seems to be hampering his swing. It has been a constant procession of minor injuries and negligent scrapes for the Cubs.

If there is anything you can know about a baseball team after three weeks -- small sample size, remember -- we don't even get that luxury with the Cubs. Except we know they get hurt. That's basically it.

Just as with anything else in the world, except genocide, there are a couple different ways to look at this. Either the Cubs will be injured all season. They'll be doomed never to coalesce, to never get their ducks in a row, to never have all of their best hitters hitting well at the same time. That's one way.

The other is to look at the Cubs' record through 17 games -- 9-8 -- and see a team that has managed to stay afloat despite all these injuries. The Cubs can't get everyone healthy right now, and that is never a good thing. But what if the Cubs get healthy? What if they do get it together? If a hurting Cubs team can still compete in the NL Central (and it can), then a healthy one seems even more likely to win the division, right?

It's just a thought, but it's worth watching for now. The Cubs' ceiling is high. But if these injuries continue to pile up -- or, worse, go from minor knicks to major losses -- they're screwed. Rarely are seasons so transparent so early.

Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, Follow him on Twitter.

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