The long game of "Where's Tommy?" has finally come to an end as Tommy La Stella, apparently after a meeting with the Cubs brass in Chicago, has agreed to report to Double-A Tennessee. As reported by Smokies broadcaster Mick Gillispie, La Stella is starting at second base and batting second tonight.
Tonight's @smokiesbaseball lineup includes @TommyLaStella @Cubs #GoCubsGo 7:05 vs Jacksonville pic.twitter.com/VoHVoxPXgs— Mick Gillispie (@BroadcasterMick) August 17, 2016
La Stella was a victim of a numbers game on July 29, when he was sent down to Triple-A Iowa despite having a pretty strong season. Instead of going directly to Des Moines, La Stella asked for more time to report and went home to New Jersey. When that extra time was up, La Stella was still a no-show in Triple-A.
The Cubs have tried to downplay the situation as much as possible, and their strategy appears to have paid off as La Stella has now agreed to go to Double-A Tennessee. No reason was given for La Stella going to Double-A rather than Triple-A, but I have to assume the reason is that the I-Cubs are currently on a West Coast swing rather than anything about Des Moines or the I-Cubs coaching staff.
The Cubs also had to make another move today as they needed to clear a roster spot to keep Trevor Cahill in the majors after his strong start yesterday in a doubleheader. Today, they placed Joe Smith on the 15-day DL with a left hamstring strain.