Looks like Nelson Velázquez will be getting a longer look after all, though his playing time may be spotty. The Cubs reinstated Cody Bellinger from the paternity list on Friday and designated Luis Torrens for assignment in order to make room on the roster. Torrens was a surprise addition at the end of camp because he’s primarily a catcher, but he only made 22 plate appearances and had a 77 wRC+ compiled almost exclusively as a designated or pinch hitter.
While already somewhat redundant positionally, Torrens’ fate may have been sealed by Miguel Amaya‘s hot start at Double-A Tennessee. The 24-year-old is batting .275 with a 1.112 OPS and 193 wRC+ that includes four homers. His defense and game-calling have never really been questioned, so the bat was the key factor when it came to whether he could play at the highest level.
Amaya may not be ready for the bigs this season, but the Cubs don’t need him to be until next year anyway. If either Tucker Barnhart or Yan Gomes has to go on the shelf for a while, Dom Núñez can handle backup duties in their stead.
The only issue now is where Velázquez plays in order to keep getting enough at-bats. It makes sense to DH him against lefties, which David Ross is doing Friday night in Miami, and he can occasionally spell one of the primary outfielders otherwise.
There might be another shoe dropping this weekend if we read the lines between Eric Hosmer‘s recent quote. The veteran knows he’s going to give way to Matt Mervis at some point, and that could come sooner than later with Mervis proving he’s got nothing left to learn at Triple-A. With Torrens gone rather than Edwin Ríos, the Cubs now have an open spot on the 40-man roster too.