Chicago Cubs News: Luis Torrens DFA as Cody Bellinger returns

Chicago Cubs v Oakland Athletics
Chicago Cubs v Oakland Athletics / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs made a roster move on Friday afternoon as the team designated catcher Luis Torrens for assignment while reinstating center fielder Cody Bellinger from the paternity list.

The player that benefits the most from the move is outfielder Nelson Velazquez. Through his first stint at the Major League level in 2023, Velazquez had earned the opportunity for an extended run. Velazquez now gives the Cubs a natural fourth outfielder while having the ability to also provide power off the bench or as the team's designated hitter against left-handed pitchers.

Torrens made the Cubs' roster as the third catcher in large part due to the idea that the team was high on his offensive approach. Torrens was out of minor-league options and the Cubs reportedly did not want to risk losing his bat by trying to push him through waivers at the start of the season.

Torrens had 22 plate appearances during the first month of the 2023 season and slashed .250/.318/.300. Torrens' 77 wRC+ and .285 wOBA speak to the lack of quality plate appearances he had with the Cubs this season.

The return of Bellinger will also stabilize the middle of the Cubs' lineup. Bellinger is slashing .300/.380/.550 through his first 92 plate appearances this season with 5 home runs.

Circling back to Velazquez, it is encouraging that the Cubs made the right move and rewarded the early production they saw from the young outfielder. Velazquez is a better fit on the Cubs' roster given the team lacked a true fourth outfielder and his offensive approach and power will be needed as the season progresses.

With Torrens now waived, Dom Nunez will likely become the team's "up-and-down" catcher in the event that there is an injury to either Yan Gomes or Tucker Barnhart. Nunez is currently with the Iowa Cubs in Triple-A.

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