Reports: Javier Baez (thumb) may miss rest of regular season
Baez, 26, was examined on Monday by a team hand specialist, who confirmed the diagnosis of a hairline avulsion fracture in his thumb, which should keep him sidelined for the remainder of September.
The good news for the Cubs: Baez did not sustain ligament damage to the ulnar collateral ligament of his thumb, which will allow for a rehab plan that may help him return for the postseason -- if Chicago can qualify without him.
The Cubs, who won the 2016 World Series in his first season as a full-time starter, entered their Monday night game at San Diego with a 1 1/2-game lead over the Brewers in the race for the second National League wild card. Milwaukee won 8-3 at Miami earlier Monday, leapfrogging the Diamondbacks by a half-game after visiting Arizona lost 3-1 to the New York Mets.
The injury, originally thought to be a jammed thumb, occurred on Sept. 1, when Baez stole second base in the third inning of a 4-0 loss to the Brewers at Wrigley Field.
Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia made a hard tag on Baez, whose thumb was stretched as he contorted his body. Baez remained in the game, but then exited before the seventh inning. He hasn't played since.
Baez is batting .281 with 29 homers and 85 RBIs this season for the Cubs -- just one season after leading the team with a career-high 111 RBIs. The shortstop has averaged 28.7 home runs over the past three seasons.