The Chicago Cubs appear to be preparing top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong for a promotion to the Major League level in September.
Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register reported on Sunday that the plan over the course of the next week is for Crow-Armstrong to get playing time at both right field and left field.
On the surface, it would seem like a strange move for the Cubs. Scouts gave the rare perfect grade, 80, on Crow-Armstrong's defensive ability in center field with the consensus being that the Cubs' top prospect could probably play Gold Glove-caliber defense in center field at the Major League level already.
Where Crow-Armstrong gaining experience in right field and left field with the Iowa Cubs does make sense would be for a potential promotion to the Major League level in September. Cody Bellinger is already a Gold Glove-caliber center fielder for the Cubs and the team also remains high on the defensive efforts of Mike Tauchman.
Meaning, if Crow-Armstrong does receive the promotion when rosters expand in September, he will not have a path to consistent playing time in center field. The Cubs will need to get creative with Crow-Armstrong's playing time and that likely will include starts in right field when the team is facing right-handed starting pitching.
Though, even in that scenario, the Cubs would be wise to play Crow-Armstrong in center field with Tauchman moving over to right field. Tauchman's heroic catch against the St. Louis Cardinals in July notwithstanding, Crow-Armstrong is the far superior fielder in center field between the two.
Under that scenario, such a lineup may see Crow-Armstrong in right field, Tauchman in center field, and Bellinger at first base. Crow-Armstrong's inclusion in the lineup would come at the expense of Seiya Suzuki in the outfield and Nick Madrigal at third base as the hot corner would be manned by Jeimer Candelario.