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Cubs Roster Move: Who Goes Down To Make Room For Jason Heyward?

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The Cubs have a choice to make later this morning.

The Cubs could use Jason Heyward’s defense (and bat)
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Jason Heyward, who’s been on the disabled list for almost two weeks, will be activated Saturday and start the game against the Brewers.

To make room for Heyward on the 25-man roster, someone’s going to be headed back to Triple-A Iowa.

Joe Maddon stated earlier this week that he wants to keep his eight-man bullpen, at least for now. Otherwise sending Pierce Johnson, who made his major-league debut Friday, would be the most logical move.

So that leaves three likely choices: Ian Happ, Tommy La Stella or Albert Almora Jr.

Here’s the case for each to stay.

Ian Happ

Happ is hitting .333/.462/.714 (7-for-21) with two doubles and two home runs in six big-league games. He’s played all three outfield positions, and competently so. Oddly, he hasn’t played at all at second base, his natural position. Maddon’s hinted that the Cubs might try him at third base to increase his versatility.

If Happ stays, the Cubs will play him, at least most days. There’s no reason to keep him in the big leagues as a bench player.

Tommy La Stella

TLS is a good bench player, though not versatile. His only real positions are second base and third base, and he’s average at best at those spots. In limited duty this year he has hit pretty well: .304/.484/.522 (7-for-23). He’s 2-for-6 as a pinch-hitter with four walks, so he’s a useful late-inning option. But can the Cubs afford to keep a guy who might start once every two weeks?

Albert Almora Jr.

Almora’s playing time has been reduced over the last few weeks. He’s started about half the team’s 40 games in center field, and since May 10 he’s just 2-for-16. But he is the team’s best defensive center fielder, and even though Jon Jay can also provide that center-field late-inning defensive role once Heyward returns, Almora’s defense is just a tick better than Jay’s, in my view.

There’s a case for keeping all of these guys, and a case for sending each of them down. All three have options remaining.

So, who do you think it will be? Make your guesses, and use this thread to discuss the roster move when it’s announced.

Poll

Who will the Cubs send to Iowa to make room for Jason Heyward?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Albert Almora Jr.
    (424 votes)
  • 5%
    Ian Happ
    (155 votes)
  • 68%
    Tommy La Stella
    (1908 votes)
  • 10%
    Someone else (leave in comments)
    (286 votes)
2773 votes total Vote Now