Forgotten in the hoopla of Starlin Castro’s promotion to Chicago was the necessary and corresponding roster move: the Cubs optioned Chad Tracy to AAA Iowa.
Tracy was the 25th man out of Spring Training, beating Kevin Millar for the last spot primarily thanks to versatility. That versatility doesn’t help, however, if you can’t hit – and Tracy’s .652 OPS wasn’t helping anyone. Then again, he still had nearly 200 points on Aramis Ramirez. Short of a rash of injuries, we’re unlikely to see Tracy again with the Cubs.
But the Castro promotion may yield other shake-ups on the roster. Now that he is the starting shortstop, Ryan Theriot becomes the starting second baseman. Previously, the spot was held down by a mediocre Mike Fontenot/Jeff Baker platoon. Neither has been hitting particularly well (.735 and .652 OPS, respectively), and now both will be relegated to full-time bench duties.
Could one be out the door at some point? The Cubs will continue to need a backup at third base, but it is conceivable that one of Baker or Fontenot would be more valuable on another team’s bench (or *gasp* in their starting lineup) than on the Cubs’ bench, where spot starts will be highly infrequent.