The Cubs will allow Starlin Castro to hope against hope that he can play again this season, but they've effectively shut him down for the year.
The news could have been much worse.
An MRI and X-rays on Castro's left ankle revealed a high-ankle sprain, but that's enough of an injury to keep the all-star shortstop out for four weeks, according to general manager Jed Hoyer.
Castro injured himself sliding awkwardly into home plate in the first inning of Tuesday night's game against the Brewers at Wrigley Field. Hoyer expressed relief there were no fractures.
"His mentality right now is he can beat four weeks and come back," the GM said. "We're not going to defeat that because if nothing else, it will send him into the off-season healthy and ready to go. Our assumption is that it's probably season ending, but if he does surprise us and come back a little bit early, we wouldn't be against having him play again because it would send him into the off-season on a good note."
Manager Rick Renteria said Castro indeed wanted to stay in the game even as he limped off the field.
"He was in that hallway right there and pretty upset when I told him to go in and get seen by PJ (trainer Mainville) and get evaluated," Renteria said. "He didn't want to come out."
Castro has a batting line of .292/.339/.438 with 14 homers and 65 RBI. Last year, he finished at .245/.284/.347 with 10 homers and 44 RBI.
"We give him a lot of credit because he's had to take it all in and try to make it his responsibility to try to change the way people view him," Renteria said. "I think he's done a really nice job. I think he's dealt with a lot of different things very positively. He's worked extremely hard.
"In the beginning of the season, he didn't start off the way anybody would have wanted him to start off. He kept working and grinding. His defense started to get better. His offense continued to take off. He worked himself back into an all-star role again. All in all, I think the movement he's had this year has been really positive."
Cubs bring Kalish back:
The Cubs transferred outfielder Ryan Sweeney from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL with a left-hamstring strain. They selected the contract of outfielder Ryan Kalish from Class AAA Iowa.
Kalish was on the Cubs' opening-day roster before being sent to Iowa in May.
Third baseman Mike Olt, who was on the big club until being sent to Iowa in July, is rehabbing an injury in the playoffs with the Class A Kane County Cougars. He was scheduled to play for the Cougars Wednesday and Thursday, and the Cubs will bring him back to the big club after that if all goes well.
NU product happy to be here:
Left-hander Eric Jokisch, a product of Northwestern University, said he was surprised to get the call to the major leagues Tuesday. He was not on the 40-man roster, but he had a solid season at Iowa.
"It was a little bit of a surprise," he said. "I was excited once I heard it. It was one of those days you dream of, to get called up. I'm excited to get an opportunity to play.
"I've done a lot of hard work to do what they gave me in my player plan. I think I've really improved on the weaknesses in my game, and hopefully it will all translate here."