Injuries to Tommy La Stella and Mike Olt moved up the Cubs timeline and changed the front office’s plans for Kris Bryant. Could Addison Russell be brought up sooner than expected due to the needs of the big league team as well?
The Cubs are dealing with multiple issues at second base. Javier Baez is unfortunately not with the Iowa Cubs right now. Baez is still with his family dealing with the death of his sister. The Cubs have not given a timeframe on when he could return. And Iowa manager Marty Pevey indicated Monday that Baez might have to report to Mesa for extended Spring Training when he’s ready to return to baseball.
Tommy La Stella’s injury not only impacted third base but second base as well. And Arismendy Alcantara has been struggling at the plate.
The Cubs are focused on competing at the big league level and moved Addison Russell to second base. Marty Pevey told the Des Moines Register Monday that Russell is going to play second base until he is told otherwise.
Jed Hoyer joined Spiegel and Goff (670 The Score) on Monday morning and was asked about Addison Russell playing second base in Iowa. And what impact the Cubs calling up Addison Russell might have on Starlin Castro.
“We did put him at second base to give us some options, especially with the way Starlin [Castro] is playing shortstop,” Hoyer said.
The only times the Cubs have been able to see Starlin Castro at second base is in shifts. Hoyer said Castro looks pretty good lined up at second base and turning double plays in shifts. The Cubs maintain Castro is the team’s shortstop.
“He’s been our shortstop and I think he’ll continue to be our shortstop. That’s not something we’re talking about right now.”
“That is part of the reason we put Addison at second base in the minors. It’s a lot easier to make those kinds of moves in the minor leagues than it is at the Major League level,” Hoyer said.
At the plate, Addison Russell cooled off since Kris Bryant was promoted. Russell was 0-for-6 with three strikeouts in the two games without Bryant hitting behind him.
While the focus was on Kris Bryant’s service time and extra year of control throughout Spring Training, Russell also passed the point where the Cubs would gain the seventh year of control. Scott Boras represents Russell.
Based on Jed Hoyer’s statements, the Cubs do not plan to move Starlin Castro off shortstop this season once Addison Russell is called up. Russell is viewed as the Cubs shortstop of the future and he could eventually move Starlin Castro to third base as Ken Rosenthal reported which could shift Kris Bryant to left field.
The front office is looking for ways to address the needs of the big league team. Quite the departure from the last three seasons when the focus was solely on player development.
It appears to be just a matter of time before Addison Russell is added to an infield that already includes Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro and Kris Bryant.