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Cubs Activate Shortstop All-Star from the Injured List

Per a team announcement, the Chicago Cubs activated shortstop Dansby Swanson from the injured list on Tuesday. Swanson landed on the injured list on May 10 with a right knee sprain but will return as the Cubs start a series against the Atlanta Braves, his former team.

Additionally, Chicago called up infielder Luis Vázquez from Triple-A and optioned infielder Miles Mastrobuoni and outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong. The Cubs have been without both Swanson and Nico Hoerner for a week due to injuries, and Mastrobuoni struggled in their absence.

Cubs Activate Dansby Swanson, Call Up Infield Prospect

While Swanson hit well in the season’s first 10 games, he struggled mightily since. Since April 9, Swanson hit .177/.233/.260 with a 30 percent strikeout rate. Plus, Statcast reveals that he has not made hard contact this season. Perhaps Swanson spending a month on the injured list helped him reset.

Despite his offensive struggles, Swanson contributes greatly with excellent defense. The reigning National League Gold Glove winner at shortstop recorded 18 Defensive Runs Saved and 20 Outs Above Average last season. Even if he doesn’t hit, he provides the team with immense value defensively.

This is something the Cubs certainly felt in his absence. Chicago turned to Mastrobuoni and Nick Madrigal with Swanson shelved. Neither of them offered much offensively, but they also didn’t field nearly as well as Swanson.

So, it makes sense that the Cubs decided to replace on of them with a defensive wizard in Vázquez. The 24-year-old came up as a shortstop and earned a reputation as a glove-first player. However, his prospect pedigree has risen as he finally started to hit last season.

The success has carried into this year, as he hit .270/.369/.409 with three homers in 164 Triple-A plate appearances. The Cubs have also deployed him around the infield, and he’s adapted well thanks to quick hands and smart instincts. Chicago is expected to deploy him as a utility infielder, and he should offer a higher upside than Mastrobuoni.

Cubs Demote Crow-Armstrong

Perhaps the most disappointing part of the roster moves is Crow-Armstrong getting demoted. The former top prospect has hit .236/.295/.364 with slightly below-average strikeout and walk rates. Despite the struggles, the 22-year-old has flashed some intriguing tools. He’s stolen five bases (with zero failed attempts) while recording six Defensive Runs Saved in center field.

Crow-Armstrong will likely be back in the majors at some point this season. But for now, the Cubs decided to give the talented outfielder extra seasoning in Triple-A to work on his struggles.

Main Photo: © Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports


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