Today, the Chicago Cubs officially activated Kris Bryant from the disabled list (yay!), and optioned utility man David Bote back to AAA Iowa to make room (less yay).
Bote, 25, has acquitted himself quite well in limited fill-in duty so far this year in the big leagues, hitting .300/.388/.425 (116 wRC+) in 49 PAs, and generally looking like a “yeah, that’s a big league utility guy.” He will be back again this year.
The option here was not so much a statement about Bote’s place or performance, of course. The bench is only four deep, so unless the Cubs were going to go down to seven relievers (not happening), they would have had to dump one of Ben Zobrist, Ian Happ, Tommy La Stella, or go without a backup catcher to keep Bote. So, yeah. Sorry, young man.
With the All-Star break coming, it’s … unfortunate … that the Cubs didn’t have a very mild injury situation pop up with a pitcher who isn’t going to start before the break anyway. Because then, the Cubs could have DL’d that player, and kept Bote on the roster as a freebie until the break. Yes. Unfortunate.