Traditionally when I begin writing an article, I have an opinion that I ultimately want to get across or argue for. In the case of the question as to whether or not the Chicago Cubs should shut down their top-tier talent players for the last few weeks, I don't have an answer. I can argue each option convincingly.
For me, the question took center stage in my mind when Anthony Rizzo went down with a scary injury in the Cubs' recent game against the Houston Astros. It appears that the Cubs got off lucky and Rizzo's injury is only of the day-to-day variety. When you watch the video, it looked a lot worse than that. While everyone knows the Cubs are in the middle of rebuilding, and many of these players are in dire need of at-bats, do the Cubs really want to risk an injury to someone like Rizzo in a game where the two teams playing are a combined 74 games under .500? I'm not so sure.
Obviously, someone has to play the remaining games, and most of the players on the Cubs need the at-bats, so I'm not talking about sending up the local high school team to play at Wrigley, but surely there could be a consideration about giving players like Rizzo, Starlin Castro, etc. the last few weeks off. For pitching, the Cubs already started by shutting down Jeff Samardzija for the remainder of the season. I guess pitchers are a little different, but after seeing Rizzo's injury, I don't really want to think about him going down with a serious injury ever, but especially in a meaningless game in September. The Cubs' rebuilding plan is going to take long enough if it goes according to plan, much less if you stick a huge fork in the toaster --i.e losing someone like Rizzo.
I'm probably overreacting. The possibility of getting injured is part of the game. It always will be. But considering most of the players on the current Cubs roster are about as young as they come anyway, it probably wouldn't hurt to give just a few more players a few extra chances meanwhile protecting players like Castro and Rizzo.
Brian is a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, having lived in Illinois his entire life and having followed Major League Baseball throughout.