Cubs shortstop Addison Russell is out for the NLCS


Chicago will be without starting shortstop Addison Russell in the NLCS due to the hamstring injury he suffered running out a triple in the NLDS.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon indicated that he’d expect Russell to be available if they got to the World Series, but in the meantime Javier Baez figures to be the primary shortstop in his absence.

Baez hit a key three-run homer in Game 4 against the Cardinals and has exceptional raw power, smacking 36 homers in 174 total games at Triple-A. He also strikes out a ton and figures to be a defensive downgrade from the fantastic Russell, although how much of a downgrade is up for debate.

Starlin Castro, who was the Cubs’ starting shortstop from 2010 through the middle of this season when he was replaced by Russell, will not change positions again and will instead remain at second base.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”