The future is now in Chicago. Just days after the Cubs promoted top prospect Kris Bryant, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the club will call up prospect infielder Addison Russell.
The 21-year-old Russell has mostly been a shortstop in the minors and it’s still considered his best position for the long-term, but FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal hears that he’s being called up to play second base. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com wrote on Monday that he has been playing second base of late with Triple-A Iowa in case there was a need with the big club. Tommy La Stella is currently on the disabled list with an oblique strain and Jonathan Herrera and Arismendy Alcantara have struggled, so it’s worth a shot. Of course, the Cubs currently have Starlin Castro at shortstop.
Russell, who was acquired from the Athletics last July in the Jeff Samardzija deal, was batting .318 (14-for-44) with one home run and an .803 OPS across his first 11 games in Triple-A this season and owns a .300/.376/.519 batting line in the minors. Baseball America ranked him as the No. 3 prospect in the game earlier this year.
Tigers outfielder Yoenis Cespedes had White Sox starter Jose Quintana’s number on Sunday afternoon. Cespedes stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two out in the first inning and worked the count full before hammering a 92 MPH Quintana fastball over the fence in left field for a grand slam.
Cespedes made it two when he faced Quintana again in the third inning, this time with a runner on first base and two outs. Cespedes demolished a 90 MPH fastball so much that left fielder Melky Cabrera barely moved as he watched it sail over the bullpen.
Once Quintana was out of the game, the White Sox were able to handle Cespedes. Reliever Matt Albers got him to line out to center in the fifth and Kyle Drabek struck him out in the seventh. The Tigers still cruised to a 9-1 win.
Cespedes, acquired from the Red Sox during the winter, is batting .300/.314/.600 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 51 plate appearances.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the White Sox will promote pitching prospect Carlos Rodon on Monday. They will have him work out of the bullpen.
Rodon, 22, was taken by the White Sox in the first round (3rd overall) in the 2014 draft. He joined the White Sox for spring training and performed well, posting a 3.06 ERA with a 21/5 K/BB ratio in 17 2/3 Cactus League innings. Despite the injury to starter Chris Sale which delayed his start to the season, the White Sox had Rodon start the season with Triple-A Charlotte.
With Charlotte, Rodon has allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits and four walks with 13 strikeouts in 10 innings.
Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco took a Melky Cabrera line drive off his left cheek last Tuesday and hasn’t pitched since. His normal turn would have been Sunday’s series finale against the Twins, but the Indians pushed that back to Monday. And now it’s being moved back again to Tuesday, according to MLB.com beat reporter Jordan Bastian …
Carrasco was lucky to avoid a serious injury. These reschedulings seem to be completely precautionary.
The 28-year-old Venezuela broke out with a stellar 1.69 ERA and 117 strikeouts in his final 112 innings last season and he was rewarded with a three-year, $22 million contract extension just before Opening Day.
Not only are the Cubs calling up No. 1 prospect Kris Bryant for today’s game, he’s hitting cleanup in his MLB debut at Wrigley Field against the Padres.
We’ve written plenty (and some might even say too much) about Bryant’s arrival, but I stumbled across this little tidbit via Baseball-Reference’s amazing “Play Index” and wanted to share it.
Here are the only other hitters to bat cleanup in their MLB debuts in the past 20 seasons:
Jose Abreu, 2014
Barbaro Canizares, 2009
Brad Eldred, 2005
Justin Morneau, 2003
Jeff Liefer, 1999
I mean, that’s a helluva list.
Oh, and the last player to make his debut batting cleanup and hit a home run? Jay Gainer, for the Rockies in 1993. He played 23 total games in the majors, batting .171.