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2023 Cubs player profiles: Edwin Rios

Twelfth in the series. Not many people understand why this guy is on the roster, and the Cubs aren’t making that understanding any easier by not playing him.

Texas Rangers v Chicago Cubs
Edwin Rios goes deep
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Puerto Rican native Edwin Gabriel Rios was drafted in the sixth round of the 2015 MLB draft by the Dodgers and surfaced in the major leagues in 2019, playing in 28 games with 56 plate appearances resulting in four home runs, eight RBI, and a slash line of .277/.393/.617. He also logged appearances the following three years, for a Dodger total of 20 home runs and 43 RBI, with a slash line of .219/.299/.492. He had an .078 BA in 2021, with one HR and one RBI in 60 plate appearances — that’s bad.

So far, his Cubs tenure has been similar to 2021. He’s hitting .063 with one home run and two RBI, leaving Cubs fans to wonder why he is on the roster when more useful players are in Triple-A. David Ross doesn’t seem to want to play him and it sure looks like Miles Mastrobuoni, who can also play third base, would have been the better choice to occupy the spot. He does have a MiLB option, according to Fangraphs, and perhaps it would be best if they exercised that and got Rios a little playing time.

It’s easy to see that Rios has big power, but that doesn’t mean much if his bat never sees any use. Fangraphs had this to say:

Rios got in great shape ahead of 2020, played better defense at third base, and began to unlock his incredible power in games more regularly. He’s a very talented, corner role-playing piece.

But the Dodgers let him go, and he’s with the Cubs, riding the pine. He’s 29 years old and this could very well be the end of the line for him in the major leagues. Maybe Ross should play the man a little so that the Cubs could make an accurate assessment of his ability or showcase him for a trade for a lower-level prospect.

Four homers in spring training can’t be the whole story. But it’s all we have so far. Maybe one of the beats or bloggers can just ask Jed Hoyer what the deal is? Because inquiring minds want to know.