One of the many reasons the Cubs were much-ballyhooed in the offseason was the depth and flexibility of the roster. It was made to be able to withstand multiple injuries, and that has come in handy in a big way thus far in 2016.
Power-hitting youngster Kyle Schwarber was lost for the season during the third game. There have been a few other injuries, but take note of Schwarber's primary position for the season (left field) and who has seen a lot of time there recently: Jorge Soler.
Now Soler is headed to the disabled list with a hamstring injury that could sideline him for a month or even more.
Granted, Soler's numbers on the whole weren't great for the season to this point, but he was really starting to come around. Beginning with a nice pinch hit in the late innings of a wild win in Milwaukee on May 18, Soler has hit .318/.434/.591 with three doubles and three homers in his last 53 plate appearances. Even many of his outs have been hit hard and his plate discipline -- specifically pitch recognition when it comes to out-of-the-zone off-speed pitches -- has drastically improved.
Alas, Soler is down, so it's next man up. The Cubs still have the depth to absorb this, too. Kris Bryant or Ben Zobrist can play in the outfield while Javier Baez is capable of playing any infield spot. Tommy La Stella can handle second or third while Bryant could also play first. Backup outfielder Matt Szczur is hitting .333/.382/.510 in 56 plate appearances as well.
Tuesday, the Cubs are going with Bryant in left, La Stella at third and Baez coming off the bench. Even with the Soler injury, one of their relatively "main" players is bench depth.
There's also a new addition to the fray, one who would've been met with a lot more fanfare the past few years in Wrigleyville (remember how exciting the Arismendy Alcantara callup was?). As a corresponding move to Soler being placed on the disabled list, outfield prospect Albert Almora joins the club.
Almora was actually the first first-round draft pick of the Theo Epstein regime in Chicago, going sixth overall in 2012 (Bryant was second overall in 2013; Schwarber fourth in 2014). Almora's path wasn't quite as fast as Bryant and Schwarber, as he was taken out of high school. He's still only 22 years old and is hitting .318/.335/.444 with 12 doubles, three triples, three homers and 10 steals through 54 games for Triple-A Iowa this season.
For more on Almora, check out Al Melchior's excellent breakdown. He probably won't be given anything close to an everyday role, but it's a testament to the organizational depth that the Cubs can bring up such a highly-touted prospect (he was once ranked as baseball's 18th-best prospect by MLB.com) to this team when there's an injury.
Point blank: The Cubs face another test of their depth, but they've got it in spades.