Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

Today, the Tennessee Smokies placed outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. – his official roster name now – on the disabled list (7 days in the minors), after he was removed from a game last night. The best we have for now on Almora’s injury is this:

Hopefully, given the short nature of DL stints in the minors, this is just a rest and recovery situation. After a 2014 season full of hard work on significant adjustments at the plate, and a 2013 season full of injuries, Almora could use a complete and successful 2015 season. As of yesterday, Almora was hitting .297/.333/.344 at Tennessee (96 wRC+) with a 6.8% walk rate and an 8.1% strikeout rate.

Luke ranked Almora 6th in the Cubs’ system before the season.

Taking Almora’s place at Tennessee is fellow center fielder Jacob Hannemann (not yet Billy McKinney, who is more of a corner guy, but who is raking at Myrtle Beach). A recent hot streak has the speedy, athletic Hannemann up to a .328/.388/.393 line (.435 BABIP). The 8.8% walk rate is nice, together with the athleticism. The 22.1% strikeout rate gives you pause, though, especially given Hannemann’s time off from baseball in college. Hannemann turns 24 this week, but he’s actually got much, much less college and pro baseball experience than a guy his age normally would (he played only one season in college because of a Mormon mission and time spend playing football). So, the promotion to AA already is pretty aggressive, and a sign that the Cubs want to challenge him.

Luke ranked Hannemann 23rd in the Cubs’ system before the season.

Taking Hannemann’s place at High-A Myrtle Beach is Trey Martin, another athletic center fielder who was hitting .250/.270/.375 at South Bend.

UPDATE: It’s a possible concussion on Almora.

Almora should definitely take his time with that recovery. Although most concussions – or concussion-like injuries – abate without further complications relatively quickly, we know that they’ve lingered for some players.

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