<
>

Cubs' Jason Heyward out vs. Pirates with wrist injury

PITTSBURGH -- Chicago Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward is nursing a sore right wrist that prevented him from starting Monday and might keep him out of the lineup for a day or two, according to manager Joe Maddon.

"Wanted to keep him out today, for sure," Maddon said Monday before the Cubs played the Pittsburgh Pirates. "We'll see about tomorrow. I don't think it's a long-term kind of thing by any means, but his wrist is sore."

Through a Cubs spokesman, Heyward said he hurt his wrist in Arizona way back in the opening week of the season. He is coming off an 0-for-17 homestand that saw his batting average drop to .211. Cubs President Theo Epstein was asked if the injury was contributing to some struggles.

"He's the last person that would ever make an excuse," Epstein said. "He got off to a slow start last year, and when it clicked, he was off and running."

Heyward is a career .225 hitter in March and April, and 2016 was no different. He hit .224 last month.

The Cubs aren't too concerned about the wrist or Heyward's struggles. Maddon indicated that Heyward would be available off the bench Monday. He said he might sit Heyward Tuesday but is hopeful he'll be ready for Wednesday's matinee.

Epstein believes Heyward will continue a career trend of getting better as the season progresses.

"It takes him a little while to feel his swing and get locked in," he said.