We have known since early afternoon Monday that Javier Baez would be joining the Chicago Cubs on his first callup to the major leagues. What we did not know up to now is who would be removed from the 25-man roster to make room for Baez (Baez's addition to the 40-man roster now has that roster full at 40).
Blake Parker has been optioned back to Triple-A Iowa, collecting more frequent-flyer miles as he travels from Denver to Omaha, where the I-Cubs are playing tonight.
And hooray! This means, at least for now, that the Cubs will have seven relievers and five bench players.
We had already learned earlier today via Twitter that Baez would be wearing uniform No. 9, which is the same number he wore when he briefly played in the Arizona Fall League last year. From my friend (and co-author of "Cubs By The Numbers") Kasey Ignarski, here's a complete list of all Cubs to wear number 9:
Mark Koenig (1932), Rogers Hornsby (player and manager, 1932), Gabby Hartnett (1933-36), Frank Demaree (1937-38), Hank Leiber (1939-41), Chico Hernandez (1942), Clyde McCullough (1945-48), Mickey Owen (1949), Rube Novotney (1949), Hank Sauer (1950-55), Bob Lennon (1957), Gordon Massa (1957), Bobby Thompson (1958-59), Del Rice (1960), Jim Hegan (1960), Cuno Barragan (1961-63), Randy Hundley (1966-73), Steve Swisher (1974-77), Joe Wallis (1978), Tim Blackwell (1978-81), Butch Benton (1982), Larry Cox (1982), Fred Koenig (coach, 1983), Johnny Oates (coach, 1984-87), Damon Berryhill (1988-91), Matt Walbeck (1993), Scott Servais (1995-98), Benito Santiago (1999), Damon Buford (2000-01), Todd Hundley (2001-2002), Paul Bako (2003-04), Henry Blanco (2005), Jody Gerut (2005), Scott McClain (2005), Juan Pierre (2006), Jake Fox (2007), Reed Johnson (2008-09), Chad Tracy (2010), Blake DeWitt (2010-11), David DeJesus (2012-13)
Other than Randy Hundley, there aren't many memorable players in that list, and due to Yosh Kawano's clubhouse numbering system that was in effect for the 1960s and informally through the 1970s, there are a large number of catchers who have worn No. 9. One of those players, Cuno Barragan, hit a home run in his first big-league at-bat. As you can see, in the early days of uniform numbering even great players like Gabby Hartnett frequently changed numbers (one of the reasons for the classic vendor's yell, "You can't tell the players without a scorecard!").
Here's hoping that Baez makes it a number to remember forever.
One more roster note: Mark Gonzales reports that Kyuji Fujikawa is with the Cubs tonight, meaning another roster move is imminent, though that is apparently going to happen later:
Fujikawa is in Denver, but will not be activated on Tuesday. #Cubs— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) August 5, 2014
It's possible the Cubs are working on some sort of deal that would open up a 40-man spot for Fujikawa, but that hasn't been completed yet. We await developments.
Tonight's game preview will post at 5 p.m. CT for even more Baez.