Well. The path for Tommy La Stella to return to the big league team after he tunes up in the minors just opened up in a big way.
Today, the Chicago Cubs placed Chris Coghlan on the 15-day DL with a rib contusion (that I’m guessing he suffered on his collision with Addison Russell yesterday). In his place, the Cubs are bringing up another reliever in Spencer Patton, which should help the bullpen’s depth a little after the doubleheader yesterday.
Coghlan will be on the DL at least until rosters expand in September, which means that, if the Cubs decide they want Tommy La Stella back in the next week, they can bring him up without any roster-related issue. Patton, in turn, could go back down to Iowa until September, when rosters expand.
Coghlan, who previously missed time with a rib cage injury, is hitting .222/.377/.333 (97 wRC+) since returning to the Cubs, but he’d lost much of his regular playing time to Jorge Soler and Willson Contreras. Still, he’s a lefty bat you want on the bench for the stretch run.
In short, hopefully Coghlan’s injury is not serious, and this turns into a happy accident, in terms of roster management.
As for Patton, he returns to lackluster numbers in the big league after continuing to tear up AAA (he has a 41.0% strikeout rate with Iowa – FORTY-ONE PERCENT). Patton remains likely to be with the Cubs in September, even if optioned back down to Iowa before then. He is unlikely, however, to make the playoff roster. Still, getting him more big league experience in advance of 2017 isn’t the worst thing in the world – he clearly has the stuff and the command to dominate at AAA.