When the Chicago Cubs signed outfielder Shane Victorino to a minor league deal this Spring, there was a lot working against him actually ever reaching and contributing to the big league team.
Most prominently, Victorino, 35, had dealt with a variety of serious injury issues in recent years. Then, a calf strain kept him out of action for the bulk of Spring Training and on well into the minor league season.
Further, the Cubs, at that time, had an overloaded outfield, and, even after serious attrition, still don’t have an obvious spot on the roster for Victorino.
So, then, it can’t be entirely shocking to learn today that the Cubs have released Victorino:
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) May 23, 2016
Shane Victorino was released. Will have more details later. He was on Iowa #Cubs roster
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) May 23, 2016
You may recall that back when Victorino was dealing with his calf injury, it was always something of an open question what would happen if and when he was ready to play. Would he stay in the Cubs’ organization in the minors? Would he leave for a better opportunity? Would he retire?
We don’t know the answer to that last question at this point, but we know that he’s gone from the Cubs’ organization. It’s kind of a bummer that things didn’t work out – in another world, a healthy Victorino could have been a great bench player for this team – but, regardless of Victorino’s health and ability to play, the fit was going to be imperfect.
Then again, if the Cubs suffer any additional attrition in the outfield, that depth will be tested further. And it’s a bit thin as it is right now.