Here's why the Chicago Cubs called up Luis Vazquez instead of Matt Shaw

The Chicago Cubs called up Luis Vazquez despite the fact that that his offensive numbers aren't exceptional this season, so where is Matt Shaw?
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Luis Vazquez just received the call that every baseball player hopes to get at some point in their career and he’s now moved on from the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, joining the big league team for the series opener against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday.  

That’s fantastic for Vazquez, but the question that Chicago Cubs fans should have is: what does this mean for top infield prospect Matt Shaw?

The Cubs utilized their first-round pick in 2023 on Shaw, a shortstop from the University of Maryland, and he has not disappointed. He dominated across three levels of the minors to end the 2023 season and he got off to such an impressive start in 2024 that favorable comparisons were being made to Kris Bryant. Unfortunately, Shaw’s numbers have fallen off of a cliff as of late.

He was hitting .324/.500/.647 through his first eleven games of the season but his slash-line now sits at a paltry .208/.344/.328. He’s still walking (24) a fair amount compared to his strikeouts (34) and he’s successfully grabbed nine out of the eleven bases he attempted to steal, it’s just the bat that has lagged behind a bit. 

How does Luis Vazquez’s promotion impact Matt Shaw?

A change of scenery is occasionally necessary. Promoting Shaw to Triple-A could be seen as problematic for myriad reasons, not the least of which would be his aforementioned struggles at Double-A Tennessee. Perhaps getting Shaw one step closer to the big leagues would help him (and the Cubs) in the short and long-term. 

BJ Murray is currently manning third base at Iowa and recently had a hot week to bounce back from a rough start. That situation could have some defensive log jams, but if the Cubs were focused on getting Shaw to Chicago, it's nothing that can't be worked through. It's also worth noting that, in this particular instance, Vazquez is on the 40-man and Shaw isn't - at least not yet.

The Cubs have faced more injuries than just about any other team in Major League Baseball this season and need to find a way to breathe life into the team. I love Vazquez as a supporting player, but Shaw may be the best prospect the Cubs have left in the minors so it’s definitely in the team’s best interest to get him ready in case the next injury necessitates another call-up.