Speaking in the overly candid manner to which Cubs fans have become accustomed, pitching coach Jim Hickey told 670 The Score’s Mully and Hanley that things have not progressed well with Brandon Morrow’s “triceps or whatever it is.” While he later admitted that he misspoke regarding the source of the pain — it’s the biceps, of course — the fact that it’s there at all is not good.
“He has not gotten on to the mound yet,” Hickey said. “He’s got a lot of pain in there. I’m not exactly sure what’s going on in terms of his triceps or whatever it is. I talked to him just the other day, and it was not considerably better.
“With Brandon, I’ve got my fingers crossed and I’m hoping. But I don’t think we’re going to see him back as soon as he’s eligible to be back.”
Yeah, I think it’s pretty safe to say that a guy who’s still feeling significant discomfort and who hasn’t resumed throwing is not just going to be activated to reclaim his closer role. And while we can chalk some of this up to Hickey’s blunt manner of speaking, it’s obvious that there’s a great deal more concern for Morrow’s health than when the Cubs first put him on the DL.
That, or Hickey just poured gasoline on and then set a match to the notion the team had been promoting that Morrow was being shelved as mainly a precautionary measure. Even with that presumably the case, Theo Epstein admitted last week that Morrow’s status impacted their trade-deadline strategy. I certainly don’t want to say they’ll now be desperate to upgrade the back end of the pen, but the situation could be more dire than we’d first been led to believe.
Not the most enviable position when two of the top relievers have already been moved and the best remaining option, Raisel Iglesias, plays for a division rival and has several years of control. But hey, maybe Morrow just pops some more naproxen sodium and everything in that arm is hunky-dory next week.
Whatever the timeline ends up being, I can’t help but wonder aloud yet again how the Cubs feel about Hickey being on the air every week and being overly forthright about what’s going on with his staff. Like, it’s one thing to be honest and another to be so transparent that birds are flying into you. It’s great for fans and bloggers, maybe not so much for team execs.
The Cubs have got a lot of work to do with the deadline rapidly approaching and they’ll continue to burn up the phones in an effort to land someone who can help them down the stretch. But no matter who that ends up being, they’ll need Morrow at full strength if they hope to make a run. So maybe we should all cross our fingers and hope.
Don’t cross them too hard, though, since that could lead to pain in your triceps or whatever.