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BCB After Dark: See you in September?

The late-night/early-morning spot for Cubs fans asks if we will (or should) see top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong at Wrigley Field this season.

Pete Crow-Armstrong
Pete Crow-Armstrong
Dylan Heuer

Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the grooviest get-together for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. We’ve been waiting for you to stop by. There’s no cover charge this evening. Come on in out of the heat and sit with us. Bring your own beverage—probably something cold.

BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.

The Cubs lost to the White Sox tonight, 5-3 in a return to those crummy games from the first half of the season. It seemed like every White Sox ball found a hole and every Cubs blast was right at someone. On top of that, the White Sox seized on every Cubs mistake and the Cubs did not do the same. It was a very disheartening loss. But on the bright side, Seiya Suzuki hit a home run. Also there’s another game tomorrow.

Last night, I asked you how worried you were about the lack of left-handers in Cubs pitching staff, in particular the bullpen. As BrunoCubs noted, we got quite the bell curve on the vote with 33 percent saying they were worried a “3” on a scale of 1 to 5. Thirty percent said they were a “4” and 23 percent were at a “2.”

On Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, I don’t normally write about movies. But I always have time for jazz, so those of you who skip that can do so now. You won’t hurt my feelings.

Tonight we have some Spanish jazz artists playing some bossa nova. This is vocalist Andrea Motis and the Joan Chamorro Quintet with saxophonist Scott Hamilton playing “Maditaçao.”

Welcome back to everyone who skips all that jazz.

The story in the minor leagues this year is Cubs’ top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong. Earlier tonight, Crow-Armstrong hit a walk-off two-run home run. Since he was promoted to Triple-A Iowa, PCA (as he’s called for short) has hit .289/.407/.622 with three doubles, four home runs and three steals in just 11 games. When you add in the 73 games that PCA played in Double-A, he’s hitting .289/.376/.539 with 18 home runs and 30 steals this season. And of course, he’s played Gold Glove-level defense in center field.

So that’s brought up the question of when we’re going to get to see Crow-Armstrong in the majors. Earlier today, Cubs general manager Carter Hawkins went on the radio and was asked that very question. In particular, Hawkins was asked if Crow-Armstrong could see Wrigley Field this year as part of a September call-up.

Hawkins answered: “Certainly at this pace, he’s in the conversation.”

So tonight’s question is “Should Pete Crow-Armstrong get a September call-up?” The September roster rules are different these days than you may remember. Nowadays, players can (and must) call up just one position player and one pitcher for a 28-man roster. That doesn’t mean that only two players get a September call-up (players can be called up and sent back down according to the normal rules), but it does mean there isn’t room to call up half a dozen players like in the past.

While it’s certainly possible, if PCA got a September promotion, that he’d tear up the major leagues and provide a big boost. I wouldn’t count on it though. Crow-Armstrong has generally struggled (albeit quite briefly in the case of Triple-A) when he gets promoted and only starts to turn it on after he settles in on the new level. But in Chicago, he wouldn’t really get a chance to “settle in.” He’d need to produce immediately and he’d only have about a month of experience in Triple-A by September 1.

More likely, calling up Crow-Armstrong would provide the the Cubs with a superior defensive replacement in the outfield and a very good pinch runner. On top of that, he’d likely be an extra left-handed bat off the bench. Those are all things the team could use down the pennant stretch and into the playoffs if they manage to make it.

However, there are some downsides to calling up Crow-Armstrong now. It starts his service time clock, which is something that Cubs fans are quite familiar with in the case of Kris Bryant a few years back. Maybe that’s not so terrible now that there are incentives for calling players up early, but the other issue is that PCA does not need to be added to the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft this winter. There are a lot of other well-regarded Cubs minor leaguers that do need that protection. By putting Crow-Armstrong on the 40-man roster now, the Cubs risk losing a different minor league player this winter.

So should Pete Crow-Armstrong make his major-league debut next month? And will PCA make his major-league debut next month? From Hawkins’ answer, it certainly sounds like the front office is considering it.


Should Pete Crow-Armstrong make his major-league debut this year?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    (59 votes)
  • 67%
    (124 votes)
183 votes total Vote Now

And will he?


Will Pete Crow-Armstrong make his major-league debut this year?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    (45 votes)
  • 73%
    (124 votes)
169 votes total Vote Now

Thank you so much for stopping by. We’re glad that you took the time to visit with us. Please get home safely. Tip your waitstaff. Don’t forget your credit card. And join us tomorrow for more BCB After Dark.