Bouncing up and down between the big leagues and the minors cannot be easy in any circumstance, especially when it happens in rapid succession. There are constant adjustments – both in the sport and in life – and some ups and downs in spirit associated with not getting a real chance to “stick” in the big leagues. It’s not for everyone.
Utility man David Bote, so far, has handled it as well as just about anyone could. Not only has he done well in the minors when he’s been down there (i.e., no real letdown), but he’s freaking raked in his time in the big leagues. After yesterday’s solid performance, he’s up to .310/.415/.452 with a 132 wRC+. It’s just 52 plate appearances, but he’s done what he can in the time he’s been given.
And he’s almost certainly going to head right back down to the minor leagues this week.
Bote, 25, had already been sent back down upon the return of Kris Bryant when he got a one-day respite because of Albert Almora’s family emergency. Unless the Cubs are planning to go down to seven relievers, are ditching their backup catcher, or are prepared to lose Ian Happ, Ben Zobrist, or Tommy La Stella, there’s simply not a spot for him without injury.
I won’t be hoping for an injury, but, even if that doesn’t happen, Bote will still be back – at the latest – when rosters expand to the 40-man in September.
In the meantime, we’ll enjoy the success he’s had, including this diving play in the 9th inning yesterday to help lock down the win:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 15, 2018
That was part of a great day all-around for Bote in the field, and also at the plate. Which was, in turn, all the more impressive because he’d received almost no warning that he was going to need to hop on an early-morning flight, get across the country to San Diego, and the play in an afternoon game (Cubs.com).
It’s just what a guy has to do to make it on a roster like this, and Bote might have to do it many more times yet. Here’s hoping he keeps having this level of success while doing it.