Alfonso Rivas, Who is Not in the Lineup Today, Does Nothing But Hit as a Professional

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Alfonso Rivas, Who is Not in the Lineup Today, Does Nothing But Hit as a Professional

Chicago Cubs

It’s not like everyone didn’t know that Alfonso Rivas was big-league ready. Roster construction being what it is, and an improving density of big-league-caliber players at Triple-A and in MLB, together meant that the Cubs would periodically have some tough decisions about who plays where and when. So when Rivas was sent down to Iowa last weekend, it said more about those other considerations than it said about Rivas’s ability.

I was glad, therefore, to see that Rivas knows what’s up and doesn’t see any reason to doubt his own ability based on the Cubs’ roster-related moves:

In 60 big league plate appearances, Rivas has hit .345/.400/.473 (142 wRC+), albeit with a .486 BABIP. The plate appearances look really impressive, though, consistent with what we’ve come to expect from him. He won’t be a 142 true talent wRC+ guy, but an above-average big league bat? Seems pretty darn likely at this point.

The 25-year-old first baseman (and occasional corner outfielder) played 175 total games at the various A levels, never played at Double-A, and then has raked at Triple-A across stints in 2019, 2021, and 2022. The power may not be what you’d want from a first baseman, but everything else is on point. Oh, and hey, the power sure showed up yesterday:

Rivas, after his big day yesterday, is not in the starting lineup today. Frank Schwindel continues to draw regular starts at first base as the Cubs explore what they have there (fine by me), and Ian Happ is the primary dude in left field (also fine). Where Rivas could (and should) work in more often while he’s up is by way of the center field mix, not because he can play there, but because we often see Jason Heyward playing there while Rafael Ortega DH’s.

It seems a better mix would be Rivas at first base with Schwindel DH’ing, and one of Heyward or Ortega taking a seat. That likely improves your lineup AND your first base defense considerably, all while still allowing you to evaluate Schwindel, Rivas, and one of Ortega/Heyward. I just don’t see why, out of those four, Rivas is the one you’d want to be sitting. I want to see him play. Regularly. There’s no reason not to right now.

Great dude, too:



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.