Is DJ LeMahieu's call up trade-related?

Yet another productive Cub has been added to the disabled list; this time it's Jeff Baker, he of the .512 batting average and .659 slugging percentage against left-handed pitching. Furthermore, the Cubs have already announced Baker's replacement -- and it's not who you'd expect the team to call up.

Convention would say Bobby Scales is the obvious pick to replace Baker. Right-hander, plays all over the infield -- and perhaps most importantly, is probably done developing his game. Basically he's your definition "replacement player" that hits right-handed and plays the infield.
Instead, the Cubs have elected to call up DJ LeMahieu -- the not-yet-23-year-old having quite a season at Class AA Tennessee, hitting .358/.386/.492 with 19 extra-base hits in 202 plate appearances. 
As a developing prospect, you'd think the Cubs would want DJ to get continuous work at the plate and in the field. But Mike Quade already told Paul Sullivan today that he would not be starting LeMahieu in place of any healthy productive established starter. Maybe there's room for him in the outfield, but with 105 games at 2B, 50 at short, and 69 at third, that'd certainly be unconventional.
Call me crazy but the move seems more than a little funny. Which leads me to this thought: maybe the Cubs are preparing to make a trade?
There's three players that I think are worth talking about because LeMahieu is up instead of a Class AAA vet -- they are DJ himself, the man on the DL, Baker, and the Cubs' current second baseman, Darwin Barney.
"But no!" you cry. "Barney is one of the few Cubs that can actually hit, and play defense, and do all the stuff you're supposed to do to be a major league player!" Indeed, Barney is hitting well this season, with a .314 average fueled by a .331 BABIP. But he's not walking -- just seven bases on balls in 202 plate appearances -- and he isn't hitting for power, as his isolated slugging is 2nd lowest on the team (ahead of the Fuk, interestingly enough). 
To be perfectly honest, it's more than likely that the DJ call up is *not* a precursor to a trade; the Cubs might just wanna see what the young kid can do in a few major league at-bats before sending him back down to the minors. But whereas LeMahieu might be a part of the Cubs' long-term plans in the infield, Jeff Baker most likely is not, and due to his lack of power, it's likely that Barney isn't either.
I guess we'll see. But if a deal is made, I will definitely say "Told ya so!" to maybe a friend of mine or something. Wahoo!

Comments

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  • Not at all...it is obvious that Hendry or one of his minions is reading GROTA!

    However, Baldy McGrindy isn't reading, because we say if you call them up, then play them.

  • Rodrigo Lopez isn't the answer.

  • In reply to sep484:

    I mean, sure. The real answer is, "Dempster, Zambrano, Garza, Wells," and then whoever you want. If you prefer Davis and or Coleman to Lopez I guess that's up to you. We'll see how he does!

  • In reply to ajwalsh08:

    Eh you're right. I'm extremely frustrated though.

  • In reply to ajwalsh08:

    1. the Cubs aren't conventional.
    2. if DeWitt can play the OF, so can DJ.
    3. well, DJ doesn't have power and is average on D.
    4. as we know, Quade like Louie won't play kids unless it's a must. like he said "the other 3 are playing well", Castro, Barney, that's 2.

  • In reply to tioart:

    Only real point I'd make is, DJ might yet/sort of currently is developing power, based on his age. With Barney, what you see is what you get.

  • In reply to tioart:

    You are reading way to much into the situation. It is clear that LeMehieu was being brought up to AAA to play every day, then the Cubs changed their mind with the decision to put Baker on the DL. LeMehieu is a temp bench player. He will be back to playing every day at AAA as soon as Baker is back... unless of course Ramirez also gets hurt and goes on the DL. :)
    This is just a short term "get his feet wet" visit to the major leagues.

  • In reply to ddevonb:

    Allow me to quote myself:

    "To be perfectly honest, it's more than likely that the DJ call up is *not* a precursor to a trade; the Cubs might just wanna see what the young kid can do in a few major league at-bats before sending him back down to the minors."

    In other words, I pretty much agree with you!

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