Addison Russell was suspended last September for 40 games under terms of the Joint MLB/MLBPA Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy, a policy negotiated between players and management in 2015.
As per the terms of that agreement and his suspension, he had a seven-game rehab assignment at Triple-A Iowa and after the suspension and rehab assignment ended, he was optioned to Iowa and played five more games. All told, in Russell’s 12 Triple-A games he hit .222/.357/.467 (10-for-45) with two doubles and three home runs.
Today, he will rejoin the Cubs:
Cubs moves...— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) May 8, 2019
Zobrist given leave of absence for personal reasons (restricted list). Russell recalled from AAA Iowa. Zobrist timeline not clear (undetermined length of time).
Pedro Strop on 10-day IL with left hamstring strain. Mike Montgomery activated from IL.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) May 8, 2019
Ben Zobrist was scratched from Tuesday night’s starting lineup for what were termed “personal reasons” and at this time it's still not clear what those are. With Zobrist on the restricted list, a 40-man spot is open.
The return of Russell to active status with the big-league Cubs will be difficult for some fans. I understand that. Theo Epstein has long said that Russell would not be able to return until the team was sure that he was following the program set up for him for his off-the-field life. We can only hope that he is doing that and becoming a better person. I wish him well. It’s still possible that the Cubs will trade him somewhere. As I’ve written before, I think that would be best for all concerned.
I’d think when Zobrist returns, Mark Zagunis will be optioned to Iowa, and then the team will have to make a choice about Ian Happ. Victor Caratini is also on rehab assignment, and obviously when he returns Taylor Davis will head back to Iowa.
Mike Montgomery has also been on rehab assignment, and his return gives the Cubs another lefty out of the pen. The injury to Pedro Strop might explain his poor performance the other night. The Cubs will have to mix and match at closer while Pedro is out.
Incidentally, usually players optioned to Triple-A, as Russell was last Friday, must stay there for a minimum of 10 days. That, however, doesn’t apply when the player is recalled to replace someone put on the IL, as is the case today.