Cubs Roster Moves: Heyward to be Activated Off DL, Happ Stays, La Stella Sent Down, Floro Up for Johnson
Since today’s game against the Brewers was postponed, the official roster moves will be announced tomorrow. But several reporters have tweeted that Jason Heyward will be activated off the 10-day disabled list, with Tommy La Stella going back to Iowa as the corresponding move. Also coming back to Wrigley is Dylan Floro to replace Pierce Johnson.
Likely Cubs roster moves tomorrow. LaStella goes to Iowa for Jason Heyward activation. Pierce Johnson to triple A for Dylan Floro recall.
— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) May 20, 2017
While La Stella, who has batted .304 with a .438 wOBA in 38 PA, played well enough to warrant a 25-man roster spot, the Cubs’ depth simply pushed him back to Iowa.
When Ian Happ was called up, the general perception was that the sint would only be brief. Yet Happ’s hot stretch in which he’s hit .333 with a .486 wOBA in 26 PA forced the Cubs hand in keeping the 22-year-old. Not only is Happ remaining with the club, but, going forward, perhaps his role with the team is much bigger, as he was slotted to bat fifth today and patrol center field for the fifth consecutive game before the game was postponed.
Happ has been a much needed boost for a Cubs team that’s experienced its share of troubles recently, but keeping the touted switch-hitter further muddies the playing time situation for several players. Even more, what’s telling about Maddon’s recent lineups is that Happ is getting more plate appearances as a center fielder than Albert Almora, who is also adjusting well to consistent MLB action by hitting to a .312 wOBA.
The move doesn’t just make Almora’s playing time unclear, but conceivably puts Zobrist and Baez into even a faster marry-go-round, where Zobrist could spell Baez more frequently. Nevertheless, Maddon previously has allowed playing time to work itself out. Despite the crowdedness, we’ll likely see each player get enough plate appearances, including Baez and Almora, to push forward development.
Happ remaining with the big-league team provides another jolt of excitation to a young Cubs team full of electricity. I don’t think any of us expected Happ to make this much of an impact in May, but here we are.