A couple of tea leaves for you to read this evening.
First, from Chicago Cubs outfielder Dave Sappelt:
Sounds like there's a shakeup coming. RT @SappySappelt6: See ya later Chicago going to the trenches
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) May 6, 2013
(I’d have included Sappelt’s original tweet, but his account appears to have disappeared. Permanently? Temporarily? Just a Twitter glitch?)
So, if Sappelt’s going out, who’s going to replace him? Well, it’s a left-handed hitting outfielder from AAA. Minor league signee, Ryan Sweeney:
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) May 6, 2013
I’ve written a couple times (here and here) about the Sweeney signing, which I loved (as much as you can love a minor league deal, anyway), and it was only a matter of time before he made his way up to Chicago. Sweeney was crushing AAA – .351/.405/.662 – and he’s always had the look of a high quality fourth outfielder. His replacing Sappelt makes a good deal of sense, assuming he can still play passable defense in center field.
It does remove the possibility of the strict platoon in center with David DeJesus, though. DeJesus, I tend to think, was really benefiting from facing only righties. Originally, I’d thought Sweeney wouldn’t be coming up until one of DeJesus or Alfonso Soriano were traded.
It’s likely that this is just going to be a simple one-for-one swap, with Sweeney added to the 40-man roster, and Sappelt waived (to open up that 40-man spot for Sappelt). It’s possible there are related moves happening as well, so we’ll keep watching.