Broken rib to sideline Cubs’ hot-hitting Sweeney
By GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org June 30, 2013 2:44PM
Chicago Cubs center fielder Ryan Sweeney takes a home run away from St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Adams in the sixth inning of a baseball game on Thursday, June 20, 2013, in St. Louis.(AP Photo/Tom Gannam)
SEATTLE – That logjam in the outfield that was supposed to cost Alfonso Soriano all that playing time in the second half?
A CT scan late Saturday showed a broken rib where outfielder Ryan Sweeney hoped he only had a bad bruise, and the hot-hitting Sweeney could miss the next two months. X-rays earlier Saturday were negative.
“It’s frustrating,” said Sweeney, who got hurt crashing into the center field wall to make a catch during Saturday’s 5-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners. “I was just happy that the Cubs gave me an opportunity to be able to play again every day. … It seems like every year … it comes at the worst time for me.”
Sweeney spent three stints on the DL last season with the Boston Red Sox, including a seven-day stretch in May for a concussion suffered on a diving catch after a .311 start to his season.
“I play hard,” he said. “It’s not like I was out of control (Saturday) when I hit the wall. It was just a freak thing, I guess.”
The Cubs planed to decide Monday what their greatest immediate roster need is before making a move to fill Sweeney’s spot. Lefty-hitting catcher/infielder Steve Clevenger could get recalled.
“It’s too bad. He obviously was a fixture in our lineup,” said manager Dale Sveum, who had been using Sweeney as the regular center fielder since David DeJesus suffered a shoulder injury on crash into the wall in New York two weeks ago.
“He’s been doing a great job (hitting), and with his defense in the outfield. It’s unfortunate because we started getting things going a little bit with this offense, and now we lose a big piece of that.
“It’s unfortunate for him, too, because he’s trying to get his career going and get a chance to play everyday. It stinks when those things happen for guys like that who are really good players and getting a chance, and all of a sudden it’s taken away for a couple of months.”
The day before the injury, Sveum had referred to Sweeney – who was signed as a minor-league free agent the first week of the season -- as part of the Cubs’ future.
“I hope so. I love it here,” Sweeney said, “so hopefully I can stay here.”