While the move to bring up Dan Straily is reportedly a temporary one, the corresponding move to send Junior Lake going to Iowa is not. He will stay there for the rest of Iowa's season and then presumably get the call when rosters expand.
That sets up an interesting scenario in AAA. Lake is almost certainly being sent down so that he can play everyday, so somebody in the Iowa outfield will be the odd man out. The most logical choice for that would be Josh Vitters, who has struggled to a .219/.276/.349 season -- that is a Darwin Barney-esque 60 RC+, and from a position that is supposed to be more offensively oriented no less. Vitters is also a below average defender. If anyone is going to the bench, it's him.
There is also a question as to who would be called up once Straily makes his start. They could just keep him up if he pitches well. The Cubs already have Chris Coghlan, Justin Ruggiano, Arismendy Alcantara. and Ryan Sweeney out there. They could probably hold the fort with that, especially since Chris Valaika can also play there if needed.
The juicy scenario is to call up Jorge Soler, but he has been mired in his first slump (1 for 19 with no walks) of his abbreviated season. Is it the right time to call him up or do the Cubs want to see him make adjustments and break out of that slump? Perhaps the Cubs don't feel like it's a slump at all and just a run of bad luck. He has made contact in 15 of those 19 ABs. He could just be getting BABIP'd, but the no walks could also mean he has relaxed his good pitch selection and not waiting for pitches he can drive.
If the Cubs just want a 5th outfielder to replace Lake, than Matt Szczur fits the bill. Szczur has hit .315 with a .357 OBP in the second half, plays good defense at all 3 positions and provides speed off the bench (30 SBs). Such a move would allow the Cubs to play Junior Lake in CF at Iowa, something that would increase his value.
Logan Watkins is always a possibility because of his versatility. But he is Iowa's full-time 2B right now and the Cubs don't really need versatility with Chris Valaika on the roster.
Szczur makes the most sense. He is a fit off the bench, which would surely be his long term role anyway. And it would reward him for turning around his season after a slow start. My thought is that Soler has never been at any level long enough to make adjustments after pitchers have found a way to get him out, so there is benefit to him staying at Iowa. However, if the Cubs feel Soler's recent tailspin is more about bad luck than a bad approach -- or perhaps they think he is getting into bad habits and want to correct him at the MLB level, then maybe Cubs fans can celebrate a Soler call-up a little earlier than expected.
I am expecting Szczur, but like any fan, part of me is hoping for Soler. Mike Olt is another realistic possibility.
Or maybe the Cubs keep Straily up and make changes to their starting rotation. For a minor move, this could be interesting to watch.
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