The Cubs announced that David Ross returns today from the bereavement list, which means that Matt Szczur will be heading, once again, back to AAA Iowa. With Ross in tow, the time for Kyle Schwarber behind the plate will likely be further reduced. But with three catchers on the roster, Joe Maddon will have more opportunities for late-game switches involving catchers, and I do like that.
The Cubs also activated Tommy La Stella from the 60-day disabled list (oblique) and optioned him to AAA Iowa.
The Cubs had an open spot on the 40-man roster, and, if La Stella was going to return at any point this year, he was going to need a spot. In other words, in terms of roster implications, there’s not a ton of distinction here between La Stella heading to Iowa to continue his rehab stint and La Stella heading to Iowa because he’s, well, heading to Iowa. The only difference is, off of the 60-day DL, he no longer accumulates service time while in the minors.
It’ll be interesting to see if La Stella simply now stays at Iowa until September, or if it this effectively the next stop on his return to the big leagues. It seems like you’d rather have his lefty high-contact bat on the bench than Jonathan Herrera’s, but the latter is a better defender and potentially more versatile.
Either way, I suspect we’ll see La Stella with the big league team eventually.