The Cubs have been playing roster tag all season as they kept both Matt Szczur and Tommy La Stella and began the year with seven relievers.
Bullpen failures early meant that management chose to add an eighth reliever (Brian Duensing, activated from the disabled list). Two trips to the bereavement list (Carl Edwards Jr. and La Stella) postponed the roster decision until now:
La Stella’s refusal to go to Triple-A Iowa last year is old news and doesn’t need to be re-hashed. The bottom line appears to be that TLS had options remaining and Szczur didn’t, and the Cubs chose to keep Szczur.
Neither Szczur nor La Stella had much playing time this year so far. La Stella has played in just six games, all as a pinch-hitter. The photo above shows his only hit, an RBI double against the Pirates last Sunday.
Szczur has played in seven games, five as a pinch-hitter, two as a defensive replacement. He started the final game of the last homestand in left field. He also has just one hit.
So this is a minor roster move, for now. Joe Maddon and the front office feel they can get along with four bench players, two of whom are outfielders.
No doubt, there will be more shuffling as the season goes on.