Chicago Cubs News: Luis Vázquez's promotion creates roster mystery

Mar 5, 2024; Surprise, Arizona, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Luis Vazquez (75) bats against the
Mar 5, 2024; Surprise, Arizona, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Luis Vazquez (75) bats against the / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs have a much-needed off day after struggling to generate offense during their four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates over the weekend.

Injuries to Dansby Swanson and Nico Hoerner have forced the Cubs to roll out a starting lineup that includes Nick Madrigal and Miles Mastrobuoni over the course of the past week. Swanson is expected to be activated from the IL on Tuesday, and Craig Counsell indicated on Sunday that Tuesday would likely be a decisive day for Hoerner.

Hoerner has missed the past five games but the Cubs have yet to place him on the IL. News broke on Sunday that may be an indicator of where things are headed for Hoerner as the Cubs will be promoting Luis Vázquez to the Major League level on Tuesday.

Vazquez is arguably the best fielding prospect in the Cubs' minor-league system now that Pete Crow-Armstrong has arrived at the Major League level. During the 2023 season, Vázquez broke out offensively, hitting 20 home runs across Double-A and Triple-A.

Vázquez's power numbers are down at Triple-A this season. He has 3 home runs through his first 168 plate appearances, and he is in the middle of an offensive slump, hitting under .150 during the month of May. All this to say that it would seem strange that the Cubs would promote Vázquez to the Major League level while he is in the midst of an offensive slump, only to have him sit on the bench.

The leading theory is that Hoerner will be placed on the IL on Tuesday, with Vázquez as the corresponding move. However, considering the struggles that both Madrigal and Mastrobuoni have had this season, it can't be ruled out that the veteran infielders will be moved off the 26-man roster on Tuesday when Swanson is presumably activated and Vázquez's promotion becomes official.