By sending lefty Brian Duensing to the disabled list, the Chicago Cubs pushed off the need to make a decision on Tommy La Stella and Matt Szczur.
For weeks now, we’ve looked at the inevitable decision facing the Chicago Cubs. Either Matt Szczur or Tommy La Stella appeared doomed to miss out on a spot with the big-league club out of camp.
Yet, according to multiple reports, that will not be the case. Chicago placed left-hander Brian Duensing on the disabled list to open the year, while keeping both La Stella and Szczur on the team’s 25-man roster to open the year.
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In essence, this move kicks the can down the road on the Szczur-La Stella decision. The former has no remaining minor league options, and is said to be drawing interest on the trade market.
According to Maddon, La Stella will report to Triple-A Iowa if told to – a change from late last season when he refused an assignment to the I-Cubs.
Solid performances for both players this spring
Szczur batted .295/.354/.477 this spring and served as one of the team’s primary pinch hitters during last year’s run. La Stella, meanwhile, hit .270/.349/.486, swatting a pair of homers in Cactus League action.
While it’s not feasible to think this is a permanent solution, the Cubs have bought some time – perhaps to find the right deal for one of the players. Either way, it asks a lot of the bullpen. With one left-handed option, it’s on Maddon to push the right buttons.
With the move, Duensing heads to the DL. The southpaw holds a career 4.13 earned run average across eight big league campaigns. This spring, however, he pitched to a 4.66 ERA and opponents hit well above .300 against him.