The Cubs will have a whole new battery available today. Clayton Richard is joining the team to start tonight, and Taylor Teagarden is coming up from Iowa.
David Ross has been placed on the 7-day disabled list with a concussion, apparently suffered on a foul ball on Wednesday. He has not appeared in a game since then, so the move is retroactive to Thursday, and he’d be eligible to return this coming Thursday.
Teagarden, 31, comes up to be the back-up catcher, and is a reputed excellent defensive catcher who is hitting .294/.375/.437 this year for the Iowa Cubs. Then again, he’s always hit well in the minors, and it simply hasn’t translated to the big leagues. Still, if the glove is as good as it has been in the past, there might not be a lot lost here in terms of in-game performance. Ross’s intangibles cannot be replaced, but, of course, he’s not gone.
Many will wonder, I’m sure, why the Cubs didn’t elect to bring up Kyle Schwarber, but he’s not a back-up catcher. He’s not ready to start at the big league level behind plate on a regular basis, so bringing him up now would not necessarily do the Cubs much good besides having a bench bat (and playing without a solid back-up catcher). The Cubs needed a solid back-up catcher for now, and that’s why they’ve hung onto Teagarden.
The Cubs will have to make a couple procedural moves before tonight’s game to accommodate Teagarden and Richard on the 40-man roster. In theory, they could just move Tommy La Stella to the 60-day DL for one of the spots.
(Speaking of roster moves – don’t look for Jorge Soler to return today. He’s not listed as a starter for the Cubs tonight, and is also not on the bench. It’s looking more like it’ll be next week before he’s back.)