The Cubs made a roster move today as they recalled infielder Tommy La Stella from Triple-A Iowa and sent right-handed reliever Spencer Patton down to make room. This move comes one day in advance of the September 1 expansion of rosters.
La Stella is starting in tonight's lineup and batting seventh.
La Stella was sent down to the minors on July 29 to make room for Chris Coghlan, despite the fact that La Stella was having a strong season with a .295/.388/.457 batting line. For those of you just waking up from a coma, La Stella took the demotion poorly and asked for extra time to report. While that request was granted, La Stella still did not report to Iowa after the extra time that the Cubs granted him expired. The Cubs refused to publicly pressure La Stella (we don't know what went on behind the scenes) and La Stella, for his part, stated emphatically that he did not want to be traded. Eventually, on August 17, La Stella reported to Double-A Tennessee for two games before moving on to Iowa when the team returned from their West Coast road trip. In his 12 games in Iowa, La Stella batted .273/.304/.386, although that was in just 46 plate appearances.
Patton has bounced between Des Moines and Chicago all summer. In 12 games with the Chicago Cubs, Patton is 1-1 with a 4.67 ERA. One assumes he will be recalled to Chicago as soon as he is eligible to return, as the rosters expand tomorrow. The Iowa Cubs season ends on Monday. Iowa has not qualified for the postseason.