More on the Big Cubs Moves: Hosmer Gone, Bellinger to the IL, Thompson to Iowa
Some more on the big moves the Cubs made yesterday, including saying farewell to Eric Hosmer, putting Cody Bellinger on the Injured List, and sending Keegan Thompson to Triple-A Iowa …
Eric Hosmer Designated for Assignment
- David Ross said there is a direct line from the Cody Bellinger injury to the Eric Hosmer DFA (The Athletic): “If Belli doesn’t go down, Hosmer’s probably still here. We need that defensive replacement (Tauchman) out there in center field. Two everyday outfielders isn’t enough. I don’t think this is a shakeup because of the little stretch we’re on. There’s real need here and these are the levers we’re going to have to pull.”
- I assume that’s not entirely UN-true, but if the Cubs really wanted to keep Hosmer while also getting Tauchman up, there would’ve been other ways to do it. Especially given that Edwin Rios came up at the same time. But opening up the 40-man roster spot for Tauchman by way of Hosmer simply made the most sense at this point.
- As for Hosmer’s departure, Nico Hoerner underscored how well-respected and well-liked Hosmer was in the clubhouse:
- As for David Ross, he talked about the sad decision. “He’s been a big part of impacting this group since spring training, the way he comes in and works every single day,” Ross said of Hosmer, per the Sun-Times. “Just an emotional day from that standpoint. That’s probably the worst part of my job, having those types of conversations. He’s as [much of] a professional as I’ve ever been around. And his energy has impacted a lot of guys around this clubhouse, the coaching staff, our organization, in a great way. So, sad to see him go.”
Cody Bellinger to the Injured List
- For as much as the Cubs outwardly seemed to be hoping Bellinger would miss just a day or two, it now sounds like he’ll be missing more than the minimum stay on the Injured List. So that sucks.
- “My experience tells me that the hope of a minimum stay is a very rare thing that happens,” Ross said, per The Athletic. “Nico would be the exception to the rule. He felt great probably two days ago. Giving him those extra two days with the day off there made a lot of sense. Hopefully Belli’s back in 10 days, that’s what we’re shooting for. But we don’t know. It’s the human body and we all like to predict and I’d be terrible at doing that.”
- Maybe Ross is just being overly cautious with his words, but that Athletic piece also quotes Bellinger as saying there is still “irritability” in his knee right now, so it’s not like he was guaranteeing a return in a week. Maybe that happens, maybe it doesn’t. I’m not even sure precisely what the injury is just yet, though Bellinger is able to throw, hit in the cage, and work out in the weight room.
Keegan Thompson Optioned to Iowa
- Yes, Thompson was surprised to get the news (Chicago Tribune): “I think everyone’s kind of caught off guard a little bit when they get that news. But I’ve been inconsistent. … I’ve been struggling this year in the strike zone. I’ve been getting ahead of guys and then my offspeed stuff is just kind of not there.”
- David Ross indicated that the plan is to stretch Thompson back out into the multi-inning role he had last year, which means the Cubs are abandoning the idea of having Thompson be a little more versatile and available more regularly for both multi-inning and one-inning duties. They tried to make that happen with some specific work this offseason, but statistically, it just didn’t take (Thompson was still awesome when pitching with at least three days of rest, and truly awful when pitching with only one or two days of rest). I’m sure it stinks that he might be limited because of his necessary recovery between outings, but wouldn’t you rather have a dominant Thompson who can give you a three-inning appearance almost twice a week, rather than a guy who just can’t contribute?
- As for what Thompson will work on at Iowa, pitching coach Tommy Hottovy sees a need for Thompson to get back to attacking when he gets ahead (The Athletic): “It’s just limiting some of those non-competitive pitches that come as the at-bat goes on trying to put away (hitters) in those two-strike counts. Not having the feel quite right on the slider, curveball or on the fastball on those late-count situations. That’s why you see a guy who gets strike one at an insane rate but has a high walk rate. Some of those non-competitives come into play. So he has to get back and hone in on what he needs to do on some of those pitches and then trust the process.”