The Cubs made a LOT of moves today (we’ll have a more detailed breakdown tomorrow), but the biggest was adding arguably the best available bat, Tigers outfielder Nick Castellanos, to the offense just as the deadline expired. Castellanos isn’t as good against righties as he is against lefties, as we explored earlier today, but he should be able to leave a lasting impact on this offense and I can’t wait to see him with his new team.
But in order to make room for Castellanos on the active/25-man roster, the Cubs had to make some tough decisions:
Maddon: Robel Garcia will be optioned to AAA Iowa to clear a roster spot for Castellanos on Thursday.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) August 1, 2019
Although #RobelSZN was fun (and somewhat productive) while it lasted, I think this was a pretty easy decision to make.
Garcia was clearly capable of hitting for power, but was quickly exposed by big league pitchers (41.3% strikeout rate) and it was only getting worse. There was no reason to believe he’d be able to adjust quickly enough to keep a place on the roster, so this was ultimately the right call. And since the the Cubs weren’t likely to part with the newly acquired Tony Kemp, let alone Albert Almora/Ian Happ/Victor Caratini, well … the writing was on the wall.
Perhaps in September, when rosters expand, Garcia can return to the big league team alongside Ben Zobrist, Addison Russell, and others, to help the Cubs push towards the postseason. For now, he’ll head back to Triple-A to continue refining his approach and waiting in the wings for another opportunity.