Tommy La Stella Returning to the Chicago Cubs
Tommy La Stella was recalled to the Chicago Cubs today (8/31). Relief pitcher Spencer Patton is being optioned to AAA Iowa to open up the roster spot that La Stella will now occupy. This move is coming one day before MLB rosters expand to the entire 40-man “expanded” roster. Come September 1, both should return to the roster. With Tommy La Stella returning to the Chicago Cubs he will be getting the start at second base against the Pittsburgh Pirates. This is probably the only reason for the roster move. The Pirates are starting right hander Ryan Vogelsong and the Cubs are looking to just add another lefty bat to the lineup.
Tommy La Stella Promoted
Tommy La Stella was demoted towards the end of July for lefty outfielder Chris Coghlan. La Stella then failed to report to Triple AAA in the amount of time allotted. His response to his actions were that he wanted to play for only Chicago. He also admitted to contemplating retiring if he wasn’t able to play for his desired team. He remained at his home and continued to work out and stay in playing shape for if and when the Cubs called.
After several weeks La Stella would finally report to AA Tennessee on Aug. 17. He would only stay for two days then get called up to AAA. He had a .273/.304/.386 slash line while with the Iowa Cubs for a short time.
Spencer Patton Demoted
Spencer Patton will probably stay in Chicago and remain in the dugout for the game. On paper, Patton technically has to be recalled. He will return to the active roster when it expands to 40. Patton has made 12 appearances, pitching 17.1 innings for Chicago this year. He gave up 10 runs resulting in a 4.67 ERA.
Both Spencer Patton and Tommy La Stella are on the fence for making the 25-man playoff roster. Much will depend on how they perform in the final weeks of the season. Off the bench, La Stella could be a very valuable left-handed bat. And Patton could be a solid bullpen arm. Both have had their issues, La Stella’s holdout and Patton’s struggles, but if they prove they belong they could easily make an impact during the postseason.