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Joe Maddon's Reckless Use of Cubs' Injured Players Should Be Final Straw if They Miss Playoffs

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 11: Joe Maddon #70 of the Chicago Cubs argues a call with home plate umpire D.J. Rayburn during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park September 11, 2019 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Chicago Cubs v San Diego Padres | Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Joe Maddon's been a staple in the Chicago Cubs' dugout for the past five years now, with his biggest achievement coming in the form a World Series championship in 2016 that ended the Cubs' historic World Series drought. For that, Cubs fans will be eternally grateful for Maddon.

However, if he wants to cling onto his job after a season where rumors of his dismissal have already been swirling, he needs to stop making reckless decisions regarding the health of his players.

In yesterday's 5-4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, whom the Cubs are locked in a tight divisional battle with, Maddon called on reliever Craig Kimbrel to preserve a 4-4 game in the top of the 10th inning. This was Kimbrel's first outing after missing two weeks with an elbow injury.

Well, this happened.

The game wouldn't even have been tied at that point if not for Anthony Rizzo, who after severely injuring his ankle last Sunday, was surprisingly inserted into the starting lineup and batted leadoff.

Get this: Rizzo actually homered for the Cubs. Their most productive batter last night was a guy who was expected to be out for the rest of the season and was supposed to be wearing a walking boot instead of mashing bombs.

While that clip is admittedly really cool to watch, the fact that Rizzo was even in the game shows just how desperate Maddon is by relying on hobbled players. This roster is good enough for the Cubs not to be in this spot. So many others have stepped up and produced, so utilize those guys and rest your injured for the postseason.

But these moves reeked of desperation, and Maddon's time in the Windy City should come to an end if the Cubs miss the postseason.