Cleat Geeks

Wrigley Weekly Wrap-up


LaStellaTommy La Stella still hasn’t reported to Triple-A Iowa after being sent down on July 29th. On that day, the Cubs demoted him to activate outfielder Chris Coghlan from the disabled list, La Stella had an option in his contract. La Stella didn’t take the news well, according to manager Joe Maddon. Instead of reporting to Triple-A in the usual 72-hour time frame, he decided to return home to New Jersey, where he has continued to hit and work out. The Cubs have stayed in contact with La Stella and have placed him on the temporary inactive list (getting paid without earning service time) in the minor leagues, general manager Jed Hoyer said last week. In order for La Stella to come back up to the big league team, he has to get those at-bats in at Triple-A. “Listen, we all have different agendas in our life. We all interpret everything differently. Pretty much, the ball is literally in Tommy’s court right now,” Maddon said. “We love having him here. He’s a great teammate. He’s a very good player. Do we want to have him back? Absolutely, but pretty much, it’s his decision that he has to make for himself.” Hoyer made it clear that La Stella is healthy and has no family issues that would hinder him from reporting. The Cubs also didn’t put any kind of timetable on it and they won’t rush him into a decision. “He’s a 27-year-old kid. He’s working through some stuff, and we’re trying to give him time to work through those things,” Hoyer said. “We’ve had a lot of contact with him … He’s processing a lot of different things right now. He’s working through some issues.” It’s definitely tough to see this happen with La Stella, he was a key bat off the bench for the Cubs. He was hitting .295 with an .846 OPS and made occasional spot starts when the match-ups called for it. Like I mentioned, he had an option in his contract which means he could be sent down without being exposed to other organizations. “It was just a matter of once we went ahead and did it, it’s just probably his personality, viewing his baseball life in general,” Maddon said. “It’s just what he’s thinking and what he wants his next step to be regarding his career path in baseball or otherwise. There’s no animosity whatsoever. It’s really the same conversation. It’s just a young man in a situation now trying to weigh his different options.” Maddon also said that he’s a very good hitter and a lot of fun to be around. No one knows if La Stella will get a chance to play for the Cubs again, but apparently he will retire if he doesn’t play for the Cubs per Jesse Rogers of ESPN. Iowa’s season ends on September 5th and he would likely only need a handful of at-bats to be ready. Not sure why La Stella decided on this route because he would be back in September, when the rosters expand. This whole dilemma could put a strain on La Stella’s relationship with the organization and that is very concerning going forward.

Injury News: Reliever Pedro Strop has a torn meniscus in his left knee and will be sidelined four to six weeks. “I almost cried just thinking that I might be out for the season,” Strop said. “This is a special group and I want to be part of the playoffs and the World Series, if we get there.”

Side Notes: Pitcher Trevor Cahill will start the first game of the doubleheader on Tuesday. Jason Hammel will start the night game. The Iowa Cubs placed Albert Almora Jr. on the disabled list because of a sore thumb he injured on August 10th while making a play.

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