— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 22, 2017
The Cubs were afforded some extra (though obviously unfortunate) time on this decision when both Carl Edwards Jr. and La Stella, himself, took turns on the bereavement list over the past week, but a decision was always going to be necessary.
Managing eight relievers, Matt Szczur (out of options), and La Stella (arguably a better fit than Szczur, but has options left) is a tough task, but the Cubs made it work for now.
As for how long La Stella – who is clearly a Major League caliber player – will be down, Brett’s thoughts from yesterday still work:
How long would La Stella be down? Well, it could be a matter of putting together a long-rumored trade involving Szczur, or it could be a decision to go back to seven in the bullpen if the starters start going a little deeper, or it could be the ever-looming possibility that someone else gets hurt.
So far this year, the Cubs have needed the extra reliever more than they’ve needed the extra bench man, so if there is no injury or trade, it’s conceivable that La Stella could be in Iowa for a bit. How the I-Cubs would coordinate the need to keep La Stella sharp with the development needs of Ian Happ and Jeimer Candelario will be interesting to follow.