Cleat Geeks

Wrigley Weekly Wrap-up

On Friday, Jason Heyward was injured while making a diving catch in deep right center field at AT&T Park in the first inning of Friday’s 8-1 win over the San Francisco Giants. Most thought iDenard Span’s blast would have been an inside-the-park home run, if Heyward didn’t try for it. After lying on the ground for a few minutes, Heyward was able to limp off the field with the help of trainers. “God looked out for me on that one,” Heyward said. “Still sore, achy, tight in the area that it happened.” But the next day, the Cubs escaped some bad news when they found out Heyward has a contusion near his right rib and hip, an injury that will only keep him out of action for three to five days. No disabled list, luckily. As a result of Heyward’s injury, the team activated outfielder Matt Szczur from the disabled list and pitcher Neil Ramirez was designated for assignment. The Cubs do have plenty of players to fill the void until Heyward is healed. “I’ll listen to my body,” Heyward said. “Regardless of the doctors, you have to listen to your body. … I have to be smart. It’s May. We’re not in September right now. It’s not the time to push it.” As for the heroic catch, that could have potentially cost the Cubs the game, made highlight reels all over the country and Heyward said he ranked it near the top. “It’s up there,” Heyward said. “One of my favorites in my life, for sure.”

i-2Last week, the Cubs announced that they have signed former All-Star relief pitcher Joe Nathan to a major league contract but have put him on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. “You can never have enough pitching depth,” Joe Maddon said. “I had no idea this was going to happen today. When I saw that, I was obviously very pleased.” The deal is for the major league minimum $507,500 this year and gives the Cubs a $1.5 million option for next season. Nathan has $100,000 in games bonuses for this year, $800,000 in games finished bonuses and $1.5 million in roster bonuses. In 2017, the bonus opportunities are $100,000 for games, $1.5 million for games finished and $2.5 million based on roster time. If he pitches in at least 30 games this year, has at least 75 days on the active major league roster and a medical exam determines Nathan finishes the season uninjured, the option price would increase to $1.75 million and there would be a $125,000 buyout if it is declined. If he also has 30 games finished this year, it would become a $2 million mutual option and include a $250,000 buyout if the Cubs decline. Nathan is a six-time All-Star with 377 career saves, good for eighth in MLB history. He had 35 saves in 2014 for Detroit, but his ERA increased to 4.81. He pitched on Opening Day in 2015 and got a save but did not appear in another game. He underwent Tommy John surgery that April. The Tigers declined their $10 million team option on Nathan this off-season.

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