Cubs place Cody Bellinger on IL with rib fracture, call up top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong

The Chicago Cubs placed Cody Bellinger on the 10-day injured list Wednesday with a right rib fracture after a costly collision with Wrigley Field’s ivy-covered brick wall.

Top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong was called up to replace Bellinger on the 26-man roster, though Mike Tauchman took over centerfield duties for Wednesday’s game against the Houston Astros.

The injury occurred in the top of the fourth inning on Tuesday, when Astros catcher Yainer Diaz hit a fly ball to the warning track in left-center field. Bellinger tracked the ball down, but it glanced off his glove and into the wall. Bellinger’s torso followed. He managed to catch the ball before it hit the ground, but it was still a double for the Diaz.

Bellinger appeared fine after the play, but looked in clear discomfort in the dugout later. He left the game in the top of the seventh inning

Bellinger initially expressed confidence he had avoided significant injury after the game, telling reporters his X-rays were negative and describing the issue as “a very dull pain.” Via Marquee Sports Network:

“I’m actually happy with where I’m at right now, post adrenaline wearing off,” Bellinger said. “So in a good spot right now with how it feels. Tomorrow morning, gonna wake up, see how I feel and we’re gonna go from there.”

He apparently didn’t feel as good the next day, or subsequent imaging found an issue.

Bellinger is in the first year of a three-year, $80 million contract he signed with the Cubs last offseason. He has an opt-out after every season of the contract, meaning he has a very good reason to stay healthy this year after a resurgent season last year.

His injury will be an opportunity for Crow-Armstrong, who is MLB Pipeline’s No. 15 prospect in baseball. The 22-year-old, acquired from the New York Mets in 2021 via the Javier Báez trade, went hitless in a cup of coffee last season, but scouts believe his combination of speed, contact and defense makes him a big-time asset for the Cubs’ future.

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