Saturday, May 21st, 2016
If you missed the game yesterday, and I will forgive you since it was a west coast affair, Jason Heyward went back on a ball in the 1st inning and made a great catch as he dove, but landed head first into the wall.
It was one of those plays that you know immediately that something will be wrong, but you don’t know just how serious it will be. Heyward left the game and was replaced by Tommy La Stella, and now we wait to see what becomes of Heyward’s injury. He is scheduled for an MRI today to get the full extent of the injury and we should know at that point if a DL stint is needed. That led me to evaluate what the state of the outfield looks like for this team should Heyward or someone else be shelved long term.
Looking at the current roster I see loads of flexibility and versatility.
Jorge Soler – LF & RF
Dexter Fowler – CF (He could probably play other spots, but I prefer him there)
Kris Bryant – LF and has played some CF. He said he even prefers CF
Javier Baez – Has played OF, but I prefer him at 3B if depth in the OF is shallow
La Stella and Ben Zobrist – They can play the OF, but again, I prefer them in the IF
Looking at the current roster, we have temporary fill ins that can hold down the fort if Heyward needs a couple days off, but what if it’s more?
40 Man Roster Options
Matt Szczur – He’s rehabbing down in Tennessee and should be able to come back very soon. If absolutely needed, he could probably come back as early as this weekend, but may be a little rusty.
Unfortunately, that’s it for 40 man roster guys, which means the long term answer, if not listed above, would require a roster move. The 40 man roster currently sits at 39 members, so there is flexibility there if a move is required, but who would get the call?
- Matt Murton – He’s 34 years old, hitting .264 / .280 / .304 for Iowa and I once saw him naked in a locker room, but he IS an option. I don’t really want to go that route long term, but he’s a guy that, if called up, could be designated for assignment, clear waivers and sent back down to keep the 40 man spot open.
- Shane Victorino – Ideally you don’t want to go this route either since it costs you more than league minimum to bring him up per his contract and he’s playing terrible for Iowa
- Ryan Kalish – Been there…done that. Got the T-Shirt.
- Albert Almora – This is an intriguing option, but I don’t think I’m quite ready to go there yet. He’s playing great for Iowa and I could see him competing for a starting CF job when Dex leaves this off-season, but he’s not ready for regular at bats in the Majors, so you’d have to hang tight on that one. I do think we will see him sometime this season, though.
The options are not great, so let’s hope Heyward is OK.
Chicago Cubs - Won 8-1 over San Francisco
- Soler decided to show up and play baseball for once. Joe Maddon was giddy about his play last night.
“It’s nice to see Jorge play a complete game because that’s what we’re looking for from all of our guys,” Maddon said. “We just don’t want hitters, we want guys that will play a complete game. I was really, really pleased to see that for him and for us.””I don’t care about the home run at all,” Maddon said. “It has nothing to do with how excited I am right now. Everything else I saw, I saw a major league baseball player out there. That’s what got me excited.
“How about how he ran the bases? When he came in after scoring one run, I wanted him to know that’s how you run the bases.”
“I want to believe he understands what we’re talking about,” Maddon said. “He went out and did it. That’s the kind of mental effort that can make him a superstar.” (Source)
- Jake did Jake things (yawn…another win). Before the game, I saw this tweet from Brett at Bleacher Nation and I thought to myself…”that doesn’t look that hard”. Then I tried it.
Iowa Cubs (AAA) – Lost 9-4 to Tacoma
- SP – Jake Buchanan – 5 IP, 10 H, 9 R, 2 BB, 2 K (Talk about taking one for the team. Yikes that is an awful night!!)
- 1B – Taylor Davis – 3-for-4
Tennessee Smokies (AA) – Postponed
Myrtle Beach Pelicans (A-Adv) – Lost 5-3 to Lynchburg
- SP – Jeremy Null – 5.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 6 K (Has a 0.75 ERA on the season)
- LF – Ian Happ – 2-for-4, 3B, R (
South Bend Cubs (A) – Won 7-5 (10 inn) over Lake County
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