Robel Garcia is like a large typhoon with no one forecast, arriving with extreme, unexpected depth and impacting the landscape. The Cubs seem near giving their thriller guy a examine Wrigley Field, growing Theo Epstein’s alternatives at the exchange closing date.
However, the switch-hitting infielder played on Arizona’s backfields in spring education should result in the Cubs dealing with Addison Russell as they look for ways to improve a roster that presently projects to win 88 games fewest because of 2014. Left-surpassed relief seems the concern; however, the lineup may want to use a lift too, as it’s far producing a .721 OPS and 4.6 runs in keeping with recreation in June.
Garcia ought to provide help if the Cubs can fit him onto the 25-guy roster. He’s hitting .298 with 20 homers and 56 RBIs in 66 games among Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa. Those are crazy totals for a 26-year-old whose profession appeared over almost earlier than it started.
Garcia, a local of the Dominican Republic, signed with the Indians in 2010 but changed into launched at the end of spring education in 2014, quickly after his 21st birthday. He wasn’t equipped to stop and wound up playing in Italy, where he helped lead UniPoisai Bologna to a championship last season.
His massive spoil got here while he was with the Italian national team that became hosted with the aid of the Oakland A’s in Arizona this spring. Team Italy performed some Instructional League video games, and that’s wherein he stuck the eye of Gabe Zappin, a scout with the Cubs.
“He stood out physically together with his body, and then he gets up to the plate, and it sounds one-of-a-kind off the bat,’’ Zappin informed the Athletic. “He hit a ball into the wilderness off a without a doubt good arm, and then he came lower back up and hit one off the middle-field fence. So I notion, ‘Boy, who’s this and what’s he doing here?’”
Garcia has remained a revelation, meeting each assignment despatched his manner. He’s dealt with advanced pitching simultaneously as transferring all over the infield, with 36 begins at 0.33 base, 20 at 2nd base, and five at first base.
“He’s a sincerely interesting player,” Cubs president Theo Epstein stated. “It is a great tale. He hits the ball genuinely hard from both facets of the plate. He gets it inside the air lots, particularly left-exceeded, and he can get around on everybody’s fastball. … He’s were given a few versatilities to his sport, virtually got a few energy to his recreation. It’s an exciting fit for the membership down the road.”
The Cubs’ infield image is presently crowded. In addition to middle gamers Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Javier Baez, Joe Maddon’s everyday alternatives include Russell, David Bote, and Daniel Descalso on the roster. Ben Zobrist is on an indefinite go-away of absence, but there have been tips he ought to go back in some unspecified time in the future after the All-Star ruin.
Maddon has turned around 2d base between Russell, Descalso, and Bote without tremendous achievement. The Cubs rank thirteenth in the NL with a .627 OPS. Russell, a true shortstop, is a three-plus participant who incomes $2.7 million on a one-year deal that became decreased after his 40-game suspension for domestic violence. He should gain from an exchange and have some cost despite hitting best .243 with a .686 OPS for the last 3 years.
He was a key to the Cubs’ championship in 2016, riding in ninety-five runs and being worth +19 Defensive Runs Saved, as rated using Fangraphs. His off-the-subject problems seemingly impacted him in 2017 and ’18 and are handling element-time popularity this season. If he regains his early shape, he could offer a prime upgrade for Baltimore, Miami, and Pittsburgh.
Descalso, who is hitting .102 when you consider that April 25, has become a release candidate. That may also open a course to the most important leagues for Garcia. It might be a primary payroll plus if he ought to play in a function in destiny seasons, as Zobrist earns $12.5 million within the closing 12 months of a $12-million settlement. The Cubs want to shop money while they can as they’ve Baez, Bryant, and Rizzo headed toward loose organization after 2021.