It’s time for the Chicago Cubs to shutdown Ian Stewart—at least for now.
On Mar. 18, manager Dale Sveum announced that Stewart will undergo another MRI on his left quad. Stewart injured his quad when he was running the bases during an intra-squad game in mid-Feb. Although Stewart tried to play in a minor league game last week, he couldn’t finish.
Stewart has yet to take an at-bat during Cactus League games. He was supposed to compete for the job as the starting third baseman. It was believed that a poor spring could result in the termination of his contract. If Stewart is released before Opening Day, the Cubs only have to play a small termination fee on his one-year, $2 million contract.
Even if the Cubs don’t release Stewart, he should start 2013 on the disabled list. Quad injuries have a lingering effect. This one is no different. There’s no reason to rush him back into the Opening Day lineup. The Cubs aren’t losing much even if he isn’t on the 25-man roster when Apr. 1 rolls around.
For the last few seasons, Stewart has had trouble with injuries. He’s coming off a season when he had a .201 batting average with 17 RBI and five home runs. If the Cubs are sticking it out with Stewart, they need him to properly heal, not let this become an unnecessary nuisance to the team.
It’s frustrating for everyone involved, fans included. However, if Stewart can make the team without taking an at-bat and get all of his $2 million? He may have played this better than anyone could’ve anticipated.