Because a lot can happen with the roster in the final week before the Trade Deadline, and because parts may be moved in an out, this is probably the final week before we start seeing the Cubs seriously consider internal changes to improve the big league roster. As I wrote recently, the Cubs have a quartet of positional players at AAA who could contribute after July 31 (or in a trade before it), and that didn’t include Arismendy Alcantara, who has struggled with the bat this year at AAA.
One of those names is Mike Olt, who has been battling back – for years, really – from a myriad of injuries and offensive struggles. The latest setback was a broken wrist back in April, from which he returned to AAA Iowa on June 23. Since then, he’s hit .268/.339/.464 (a 113 wRC+ for the league) with a 27.5% K rate and a 9.2% BB rate. Each number is quite a bit better than his first two tries at AAA, so maybe there are reasons for hope. He’s been particularly hot since the AAA All-Star break, hitting .378/.455/.622 since July 16.
Olt, 26, always had the glove, always had the power, and has always had the ability to take a walk. What he hasn’t had is the ability to translate his approach to consistent contact at the higher levels, including the big leagues.
We’ll see if he gets a crack with the big league team down the stretch in a reserve role.
He’s showed off the power the last two games, by the way, notching a homer in each, with this bullet being the first: