Chicago Cubs’ Injury Epidemic Follows Tony Campana to Arizona Diamondbacks
On Mar. 7, Campana was attempting his second stolen base of spring training. He suffered a laceration on his left hand that required eight stitches. Up to that point, Campana had been 4-for-18 with one stolen base and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 5-to-1.
Campana will let his hand heal for the next several days. If this were Matt Garza, several days would equal a minimum of two months. I’m unaware of how quickly Diamondbacks players recover from their injuries.
Before Cactus League games started, the Cubs traded Campana to the Diamondbacks for 17-year-old pitching prospects Erick Leal and Jesus Castillo. Campana was trying to win a job as a reserve outfielder behind Adam Eaton, Jason Kubel and Cody Ross.
The Cubs were looking to increase pitcher depth in their farm system. They didn’t believe Campana’s speed was enough of a reason to keep him on the 25-man roster. Opening Day outfielders include Alfonso Soriano, David DeJesus, Nate Schierholtz and Scott Hairston. Brent Lillibridge is a super-utility player who could hold down the No. 5 outfielder role.
Campana was an exciting player who, along with Starlin Castro, basically gave this team their only threat for stolen bases. He’s the perfect type of bench player to have on a postseason roster. The Cubs decided that their future was more important than trying to develop a one-tool player who struggled with on-base percentage and arm strength in the outfield.
No doubt that many Cubs fans will keep an eye on his career. Could he blossom in the right environment? Or is he doomed to a career of back-and-forth trips from the minor leagues to No. 5 outfielder on a MLB team?