The Chicago Cubs have placed second baseman Tommy La Stella on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique. Cubs beat writer Carrie Muskat of MLB.com announced the news via Twitter Tuesday afternoon.
According to the tweet, left-hander Zac Rosscup will come up and join the Cubs' pitching staff in La Stella's absence.
NBC Sports' RotoWorld called the injury a mild strain, indicating that La Stella should return after the minimum 15 days.
La Stella has played in two games so far this season: April 5 and 8 against the St. Louis Cardinals. He is 1 for 6 with a stolen base in those two games.
This is La Stella's second season in the Majors. He played 93 games for the Atlanta Braves in 2014, hitting .251/.328/.317 with 1 HR and 31 RBI in 319 at bats. The Cubs acquired him on November 16 in a trade that sent right-handed starter Aroldys Vizcaino back to Atlanta. Vizcaino pitched a total of five innings with the Cubs, all last year, since he came over from the Braves in 2012, mainly because he was recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Not surprisingly, the question again arises about why Kris Bryant did not get the call up. After all, the Cubs are also without third baseman Mike Olt for a short time more because of wrist problems suffered when hit by a pitch on April 11. Olt, though, pinch hit the next day and is still active.
Bryant is hitting .381/.375/.714 in five games with Triple-A Iowa as of April 13. His much-discussed 12-day layover ends on April 16, making Friday, April 17, the day that he should finally become a Major Leaguer. Still, he is not on the 40-man roster, so promoting him also means making other changes, which will happen to the chagrin of only the player who is knocked off in Bryant's favor.
CSN Chicago's Patrick Mooney quoted Cubs president Theo Epstein commenting Monday night on the potential call-up of the slugging third baseman when asked if Bryant will get the call soon. Said Epstein,
“Maybe, yeah, we’ll see. We’ll just weigh all the factors. We’ll see. Obviously, his development is a hugely important factor, and then the needs of the big-league team as well.”
According to Mooney, Bryant could get his chance when the Cubs host the San Diego Padres in the upcoming weekend series. Friday is the day in Cub fans' eyes, but there is still no guarantee that Bryant will get that call-up by then.