Latest reason for the Chicago Cubs delaying Matt Mervis promotion makes no sense
The call for the Chicago Cubs to promote first base prospect Matt Mervis is growing louder as the calendar has flipped to the month of May and the team is offering more gymnastics in regard to the reason why Mervis has not arrived yet.
Sahadev Sharma touched on the subject for The Athletic on Monday where he recapped the month of April and offered insight into the current balancing act being performed by the Cubs in regard to the decision of promoting Mervis.
"But the Cubs don’t appear to be pulling that lever just yet. Mervis may not be far off, but how they maneuver all of it will be interesting to see. Getting rid of Hosmer so early in the season would be a bad look in the clubhouse. It could rub some the wrong way in the sense that a well-respected veteran was given little time to work his way out of a slump. Fans certainly don’t want to hear that, which is understandable. Their focus isn’t often going to be on these types of things. Results drive fan emotions, which is natural."- Sahadev Sharma via The Athletic
There are a couple of issues with this reasoning.
The very first is that if the Cubs' clubhouse is in a position where the waiving of Hosmer may create a fractured clubhouse, then the team does not have a stable clubhouse to begin with. Hosmer was one of the last signings that the Cubs made this off-season and at the league minimum salary, it was a move that the Cubs made because of how easy it would be to cut ties with the veteran if he continued being the average to below-average offensive player that he has been since his last All-Star season in 2017.
To that end, Hosmer and his 84 wRC+ this season should not be considered a slump. Hosmer's ceiling, at this point in his career, is in the 100 - 105 wRC+ range. Meaning, what "working his way out of a slump" looks like for Hosmer is a return to being a league-average hitter.
Meanwhile, in Iowa, Mervis is truly dominating Triple-A pitching.
We're getting very close to the point where Mervis is outperforming any further thought exercise that the Cubs could offer as a defense as to why the first base prospect has not been promoted yet.