Cubs Place Cody Bellinger on Injured List & Call Up Top Prospect

Cody Bellinger

Cody Bellinger will miss time after suffering a rib injury.

The Chicago Cubs have started the season with a 14-9 record and were a half-game behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central through April 23. The Cubs have been faced with several key injuries. Justin Steele and Seiya Suzuki are already out with injuries. Cody Bellinger will head to the injured list with a fractured rib, according to Craig Counsell on 670 The Score.

Bellinger suffered the injury in the fourth inning of the Cubs’ April 23 matchup against the Houston Astros. Bellinger collided with the brick wall at Wrigley Field attempting to make a catch. A CT scan revealed the fracture on April 24.

The Cubs have called up their No. 1 prospect, Pete Crow-Armstrong from Triple-A Iowa to replace Bellinger. Crow-Armstrong was optioned to Iowa before the start of the regular season when the Cubs reduced their spring roster from 62 to 50 players.

Bellinger Timeline to Return

Bellinger signed back with the Cubs on a three-year, $80 million deal during spring training. He will earn $30 million in 2024 with opt-outs the following two seasons.

Last season, the former National League MVP slashed .307/.356/.525 with 26 home runs, across 130 games. This season he is slashing .226/.320/.440 with five home runs. Manager Craig Counsell acknowledged that the club does not know how long they will be without Bellinger.

“It’s kind of unknown yet in terms of like when he’ll return, but obviously, tough news,” Counsell said on the “Parkins & Spiegel Show.”

Initially, Bellinger did not feel the injury was serious, but eventually exited the game.

“These things happen,” Counsell said. “You just process it and move on and move to the next thing you got to do. This is just a freak injury. There’s no reason to feel snakebit. You just move on.”

Bellinger was a key contributor for the Cubs in 2023. While still early in the season, losing him in a competitive race for the division could prove costly for the Cubs’ postseason aspirations.

Pete Crow-Armstrong Trying to Solidify Himself as a Big League Player

Crow-Armstrong is the Cubs’ No. 1 prospect and the MLB’s No.15 overall prospect. He made his major league debut on September 11, 2023, after being drafted by the New York Mets in 2020.

Crow-Armstrong started the 2023 season with the Cubs Double-A affiliate, the Tennessee Smokies. He was eventually assigned to Triple-A Iowa before making his debut in the majors. As a minor league player, Crow-Armstrong excelled offensively. He carried a .283 batting average and a .876 OPS.

However, after making his debut in the majors Crow-Armstrong struggled to perform at the plate. In 13 games with the Cubs, he went hitless in his 19 plate appearances and struck out 7 times. Crow-Armstrong has acknowledged his need to improve at the plate in a March 7 interview with MLB’s Jonathan Mayo.

Crow-Armstrong continued to struggle at the plate in 2024 spring training before he was optioned on March 8. The outfielder hit just .160 and struck out 7 times in 27 plate appearances. Craig Counsell acknowledged that the team is committed to putting their best lineup on the fioed every day, and Crow-Armstrong will be a piece in that puzzle.

“What’s important is we’re going to put the best lineup out there every day,” Counsell said. “If Pete’s involved in that, then he’ll be in there. If it’s in a different role, maybe off the bench or to play defense, then it will be that. We’ll look at the matchups and figure out the best way to put together a starting nine.”

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