A deranged Willson Contreras is day to day for the Cubs as shoulder inflammation puts Ethan Roberts aside – The Denver Post

The Chicago Cubs are careful with catcher Willson Contreras.

After a day off on Monday, Contreras was not in the lineup against the White Sox at Wrigley Field on Tuesday. He was beaten up, but it’s “nothing serious,” said manager David Ross. Contreras is considered day to day and was available to knock off the couch.

Ross declined to provide details about what is going on with Contreras. When asked if it’s a lower or upper body injury, Ross replied, “Middle.” Contreras started on Saturday in Milwaukee as designated batter and didn’t play on Sunday.

“He’s got a little thing going on and just trying to keep it under wraps for competitive advantage,” Ross said Tuesday.

Left-handed Drew Smyly was scratched and put on the funeral list from the start of Tuesday. Players must be on the list for a minimum of three and a maximum of seven days.

The Cubs chose a bullpen-game to start the City Series, with reliever Scott Effross getting the start. The bullpen came in on Tuesday and led the majors with 115 strikeouts and 11.33 strikeouts per nine innings.

Ethan Roberts Can’t Endure Shoulder Inflammation

Rookie reliever Ethan Roberts knew on Friday that throwing from shoulder inflammation would no longer work.

He had to tell the Cubs what he had been dealing with for two weeks. Roberts realized that when he couldn’t execute his fastball glove side on Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich — and when the field speed was below average — fighting every pitch through the issue wasn’t a viable approach.

At close to 94 mph at the start of the season, Roberts’ cutter plunged down and up again over the two-week stretch before hitting its low on Friday with an average of 91.5 mph.

Roberts didn’t bounce back well on his first back-to-back outings Thursday in Atlanta and Friday in Milwaukee.

“You always want to be there, you want to try to help your team,” Roberts told the Tribune. “I have to do something about it. As much as I didn’t want to, I had to.”

Roberts won’t blame his inconsistency in his last few appearances on the shoulder issue. While it may have affected his ability to finish a throw where he needed it, he also believes he could have made much better throws anyway.

“I could definitely see that in my last sliders I was backing up badly, I was pulling sliders badly,” said Roberts. “I couldn’t throw a fastball — I tried to go in with the glove on Yelich and they were two feet out, so that was the stench for me. But everything that led to that, like, I chose to do that and I take the results for it.”

This is the first time in his professional career that Roberts, 24, has been on the injured list. He was officially put on the 10-day IL on Sunday.

Roberts described the problem as a combination of tightness and shoulder fatigue. The treatment plan involves no discarding and no daily soft tissue treatment to loosen the area until the inflammation has subsided.

“That last game (Friday) I came in and I usually just grab my jersey and pull it over my head, and I can’t do that with my right arm,” Roberts said. “So after that I knew I had to go (tell them).”

Clint Frazier in good spirits after appendectomy

Ten days after appendectomy, outfielder Clint Frazier joked on Tuesday and looked ahead to when he could return.

Frazier isn’t ready for the core work yet, although he was expected to get his first exercise on a stationary bike. But not before joking with Ross that he was available to squeeze against the White Sox.

Frazier’s cheerful demeanor couldn’t fully hide his frustration at not having time for the unexpected surgery.

“I don’t know how to say the light: it absolutely sucks,” Frazier said. “I mean, the season is as long as it is, so it’s kind of reassuring to know that I’ll have some time, but I definitely didn’t expect to have my appendix removed within two weeks of the season.

“It definitely throws a wrench in a little bit of momentum that I felt like I was starting to get.”

An appendectomy usually sidelines a position player for about four weeks. Frazier is expected to require drug addiction treatment once he is cleared to return. The busy outfield limited Frazier to five starts for his surgery. He never really got going, going 3-for-21 with five strikeouts and two walks.

Frazier said he made some adjustments to his lineup on the plate, but didn’t get a chance to use them in a game. He doesn’t believe in building momentum for a minor league rehab assignment, preferring to do so in the majors.

“I think I can hit more than people think right now,” Frazier said. “Seeing an average of 0.143 is pretty disappointing, but I’m ready to get my hands on a bat.”

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