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.
Bad news for the Cubs’ Yu Darvish: The right-hander is headed back to the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, the team announced Saturday. It’s the second such assignment for Darvish this season, but the first time he’s been sidelined with arm issues. Neither the severity of his injury nor a concrete timeframe for his recovery has been revealed yet, but the move is retroactive to May 23 and will allow him to come off the DL by June 2, assuming all goes well.
Prior to the injury, Darvish went 1-3 in eight starts with a 4.95 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 through 40 innings. Needless to say, these aren’t the kind of results the Cubs were hoping to see after inking the righty to a six-year, $126 million contract back in February, though the circumstances affecting his performances appear to have largely been out of his control. He missed a start in early May after coming down with the flu and has struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in five of his eight starts to date.
The Cubs recalled left-hander Randy Rosario from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Rosario has yet to amass more than five career innings in the majors, but has impressed at Triple-A so far this year: he maintained an 0.97 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 through 19 1/3 innings in 2018. As for Darvish’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, Tyler Chatwood is lined up to take the mound when the Cubs face off against the Giants in the series finale on Sunday. A starter for Monday night’s game has yet to be determined.