The Cubs announced Friday afternoon that Addison Russell has been promoted back to Chicago. He’s been swinging a hot bat in the minors and the defensive miscues by David Bote and Ian Happ on Thursday night in Philly likely pushed the Cubs to make a move.
In order to make room on the roster, Albert Almora Jr. has been optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Though it’s long overdue, this demotion comes as a bit of a surprise because of the timing. With only two weeks left in the minor-league season, Almora has little time to actually work on anything or build his confidence.
Almora has produced -0.2 fWAR on the season due to his .275 OBP and uncharacteristically mediocre defense. All things considered, the center fielder probably should have been demoted weeks or even months ago to see whether he could straighten some things out. He actually started out fairly strong, but his production has fallen off dramatically since the incident in Houston that left a young girl with a fractured skull as the result of his errant foul ball.
As it is, he went from leadoff hitter when Thursday’s lineup came out to batting 9th after Javy Báez was a late scratch off the active roster 24 hours later. Something, something, production over talent.