Cubs Roster Moves: Ortega to 60-Day IL, Young Called Up (UPDATE)

UPDATE: Sure enough, the Chicago Cubs are making the move for tonight’s game. Rafael Ortega heads to the 60-day IL with his broken finger, and his season is officially over.

In Ortega’s place, utility prospect Jared Young is being called up and added to the 40-man roster. Congrats to Young on reaching the big leagues, and here’s hoping he makes the most of the next few weeks!

*original post follows*

With Rafael Ortega’s season over thanks to a broken finger, it’s an open question how the Chicago Cubs will handle the impending roster move. From where I sat this morning, my best guess was that the Cubs would just wait until after tomorrow’s off-day and then activate Willson Contreras from the IL to take Ortega’s spot. But then, I was only speculating that Contreras would be ready to go by Friday, based on comments from David Ross that it was possible.

I might be wrong about that.

Instead, it looks very possible that utility prospect Jared Young could get a call up tonight to take Ortega’s place:

Young, 27, had a couple seasons of really raking at the lower levels of the system after he was drafted in the 15th round of the 2017 draft. He wound up being named the Cubs’ minor league player of the year in 2018.

Young is capable of playing in the outfield, as well as the right side of the infield, so he’s got plenty of versatility going for him. His bat has fallen off this year at Triple-A, though (.228/.310/.413/90 wRC+), and I don’t think he was going to get serious consideration from teams to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft.

In other words, if Young gets the call tonight, this isn’t about putting him on the 40-man roster now since he was going to go on it eventually anyway (like Hayden Wesneski and Jeremiah Estrada, for example). Instead, I think this means the Cubs are willing to, at some point after the call-up, subject Young to waivers to remove him from the 40-man roster in advance of the November protection deadline (so they can add a prospect who *IS* at risk of selection in the Rule 5 Draft).

But that doesn’t necessarily mean Jared Young would be lost from the organization entirely (he could clear waivers, be outrighted, and sign a new minor league deal), and it’s also getting a couple steps ahead of ourselves. For tonight, if Young comes up, it’s a nice moment for a player who has been working for a long time for an opportunity like this. I hope he starts if he does come up.

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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