There has been much speculation about who would be removed from the 25-man roster when Steve Cishek was activated, expected to happen before Tuesday’s game. Some thought Pedro Strop might head back to the injured list. There isn’t another obvious choice on the pitching staff, and thus here is the somewhat surprising move:
Cubs option David Bote to AAA Iowa today.— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) August 19, 2019
Just ahead of Steve Cishek's anticipated activation from IL (hip)
David Bote has had his playing time reduced with the acquisition of Tony Kemp and the recalls of Ian Happ and Addison Russell from Triple-A Iowa. This will mean the Cubs will temporarily be going with nine relievers, a 14-man pitching staff and just three bench players (whoever doesn’t start at catcher and at one of the infield and one of the outfield positions).
This isn’t optimal in my view, but the Cubs have just 11 games remaining before rosters expand, eight of those at Wrigley Field, and they can likely get by with that short bench and an extra reliever until September 1.
Bote has started just two of the Cubs’ last eight games and he will likely benefit from having more regular playing time for Iowa over the next week and a half. He is having a decent year with the Cubs, hitting .257/.352/.429 (69-for-268) with 10 home runs and 1.6 bWAR.
There’s been no official release from the team on this move, but expect that announcement mid-afternoon Tuesday before the night game against the Giants.