If this report is accurate, then it would be a signal that the Cubs are going to have to do more on the roster today after yesterday’s weirdness.
Welcome to The Show Tyler Payne (maybe? this is from his alma mater):
🚨 He's headed to the big leagues! A HUGE congratulations to Tyler Payne, who has been called up by the Chicago Cubs. pic.twitter.com/Drmqpn9lN9
— WVSU Baseball (@WVSU_Baseball) September 30, 2021
Very much like yesterday’s surprising Trent Giambrone call-up, Payne is a guy who was not on the 40-man and was not expected to be on the 40-man after the season. So if he’s coming up, you can presume it’s another example of the Cubs taking an opportunity to reward a guy who has grinded for so long and is so well-liked by teammates and coaches.
Payne, 28, has played mostly at Double-A this year (.231/.291/.363, 81 wRC+) after rising from rookie ball back in 2015. He was the Cubs’ 30th rounder that year.
As for the roster implications, it makes you wonder about Patrick Wisdom hitting the IL with no injury designation yesterday. There was no 40-man roster move made, which means it more or less had to be the COVID IL for Wisdom. And if the Cubs have a COVID situation with one player, the fear would be other players, too. Which could mean Payne comes up also without a 40-man roster move.
It’s also possible the Cubs are just IL’ing someone else who is out – Nico Hoerner, for example – with a traditional injury, but that would require a 40-man move.
UPDATE: It’s the taxi squad for Payne.