Cubs scratch Russell (shoulder) from lineup

Shortstop was available to pinch-hit, but throwing is an issue

Cubs scratch Russell (shoulder) from lineup

DENVER -- Addison Russell was scratched from the Cubs' lineup for Wednesday's series finale against the Rockies after experiencing right shoulder soreness before the game. Russell had been scheduled to play short and bat sixth. 

"He felt better during the course of the game," manager Joe Maddon said after the 3-0 loss. "He was going to possibly pinch-hit, find a spot to hit, but not play defense."

The scratch necessitated a variety of changes in the lineup, mostly position shifts. Jon Jay switched from center to right, Kris Bryant switched from right to third, Javier Baez switched from second base to shortstop and moved from eighth to sixth in the lineup, Tommy La Stella switched from third to second, and Albert Almora Jr. was added to the lineup in center, batting eighth.

"My shoulder's fine -- it's just soreness right now," Russell said after the game. "It hasn't been feeling the best for the past week. It's better if it's addressed right now. It's pretty good that I got my rest today, an off-day tomorrow, and then Friday we're going to see how it feels. It's just going to be a day-to-day thing, come into the clubhouse and let skipper know how I feel."

Russell, 23, is hitting .227 (29-for-128) with two homers and 15 RBIs. He's in his third season with the Cubs, and Russell has never been on the disabled list, though he did experience shoulder soreness for a stretch last season. He was an All-Star in 2016, when he hit 21 home runs and drove in 95.

"It comes and goes I guess," Russell said. "[All I can do is] just rest right now. With the type of soreness that I have in my shoulder, I think throwing right now is just kind of putting gas on a fire. I got work done today. I didn't throw, and it feels better right now than it did when I woke up, so that's a good thing."

He's had a standout spring defensively, with nine Defensive Runs Saved, according to FanGraphs, which is five more than the next closest shortstop.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.