#Cubs activate Denorfia; Szczur to Iowa

The Cubs activated outfielder Chris Denorfia from the 15-day DL on Sunday and optioned outfielder Matt Szczur to Triple-A Iowa. Denorfia will be available for Sunday’s game vs. the Nationals.

Denorfia, 34, was sidelined with a hamstring injury, and has only played 12 games. He opened the season on the DL because of the injury, and was activated April 17 but then returned to the DL on MAy 5. In two games with Double-A Tennessee, as part of his rehab, he went 2-for-9 with two doubles and two RBIs.

Szczur, 25, was 6-for-36 with two doubles in 23 games for the Cubs this season. With Iowa, he has batted .330 (29-for-88) with three doubles, two triples, four home runs and 14 RBI in 24 games.


I think is past time for Szczur to start taking at bats from Otto Out, whoops, I mean Dexter Fowler.

Fowler’s OPS+ is only slightly below league average despite his recent slump. When he does get it going again, he’ll be a good table setter for Rizzo and Bryant. I’d rather have him batting leadoff this season than Szczur, who has yet to prove that he can consistently hit Major League pitching. As a 5th OF he’s fine because of his speed and defense, but I would not want him playing everyday unless the Cubs have been eliminated from playoff contention. Also, welcome back Carrie. I think all of us missed your informative and entertaining posts!

Szczur has not been given an opportunity to show what he can do at the major league level. I’d like to see him get 12 at bats or more per week for at least 3 weeks. They could rotate him through making a start at each outfield spot each week. That would get Szczur at bats and rest the starters. Then if he’s outperforming Fowler, start giving him at least semi regular starts in center.

Pingback: #Cubs activate Denorfia; Szczur to Iowa - Cubs Chronicles

If he hits a slide let him go I think there better options in Iowa

Yes, we need one more decent bat in the lower part of the order. Also, let’s hear it for Joe for yanking Rondon after that walk on Saturday.

Sure glad they shipped Szczur out instead of Mike HacksterBaxter. What an asset he is!!!

Szczur has gotten his chances and he hasn’t been good …. Baxter is worse but low on options… That’s the reason I suspect… Don’t worry tho Baez will be up within the next week

By my count Szczur got two starts. That’s not much of a chance.

Aloha Petrey- you probably heard the tough news for Baez- out for 4-8wks. Now the team will have to figure out what to do at ss and 2nd these next couple of months. I am sure it will work out. Today was a big win and Hendricks pitched good and the bullpen held the line, that was very encouraging. Take care. Mahalo!

figure out what to do?!?! They will keep it the same…. end of story…. I don’t know how many times that needs to be said

Aloha Petrey- All I meant by that was if as you state Baez was coming up, then I have a feeling we will see different lineups for a bit, especially between ss-2nd base, that’s all. It was more of a rhetorical statement and thought maybe you would respond with possible suggestions for the next 8weeks of play (keep Castro at ss but give him some days off, same for Addison?). Take care. Mahalo.

It’s bad judgment to worry about how many options Baxter has left. He contributes ZERO and has DFA written all over him. At least Sczcur can run and play defense.

That’ll be hard while he’s on the DL.

Baez’s injury is unfortunate, hopefully he’ll be able to come back pick up where he left off. Good to take the season series from Washington today.

The Cubs don’t need to see what Szczur can do at the Major League level because they already know what he can do. He’s been a member of the organization since he was drafted in 2010, which makes him one of the longer-tenured players in the organization. It’s the job of the scouting and player development departments to let the club know what they’re prospects can do, so when you call them up to the Majors, you don’t need to give them an automatic 500+ plate appearance season just so you know if you have anything good or not. The reason why Matt Szczur is getting treated like a backup outfielder is because the Cubs organization has him rated as a MLB 4th outfielder and nothing more.
Are there occasional diamonds in the rough that outplay their own scouting reports? Sure. But scouting has gotten so advanced these days that those diamonds in the rough are fewer and further between. I wouldn’t want to take at bats from an established player hitting in a key position in the lineup to give them to a project player in hopes that he outplays his own scouting report in a season where you might actually have a decent shot at making the playoffs. 2012-14, sure. But this year at this point I’ll take an underachieving Dexter Fowler batting leadoff in hopes that he eventually returns to his regular career numbers than a projected backup in hopes that he can outplay his own scouting report.

*they’re should be their. Proofreading is obviously not my strong point!🙂

Aloha Doug- there is truth in what you said. I was intrigued by Petrey’s suggestion of having Baez possibly play in CF if he came up. I know he is quite an athlete and can play multiple positions. So for this year, if Fowler can stay healthy it is not a bad thing to have him in CF but give him some days off too. I believe he is only signed through this year so between now and the beginning of next season there is time to try out different scenarios. Take care. Mahalo.

Yes, Fowler becomes a free agent after this season. My main objection to the statement Mat B made was that Szczur deserves to get at bats from Fowler now. I agree that if Fowler needs a day off here and there and Szczur is on the team, then he can give Fowler a rest in center for that day. As I said, I believe the Cubs think of Szczur as a backup OF and that’s exactly the role you describe him as. If the Cubs suddenly fall out of contention and they know that Fowler is not coming back, then I wouldn’t mind Szczur seeing more playing time just in case he is that diamond in the rough I was talking about. But as of right now, the Cubs are in playoff contention and don’t seem to be ready to drop out anytime soon. If the Cubs had Szczur rated higher or Fowler was only hitting .190 or hurt, then sure, put Szczur out there. But none of that is the case right now and Szczur is playing the role of backup outfielder who can go to AAA when the Cubs need some roster flexibility, which is exactly what I think they rate him as.
As for next year, I think it’s safe to assume that Soler will be in RF. After that, the question about the Cubs 2016 OF seems to always be, will Bryant or Schwarber be in LF? After that it’s will Albert Almora be ready to play CF? If you still have an opening in the OF after answering both of those questions, then you can look to Szczur or Lake to maybe fill the opening(s). But of course there are other possibilities as well, such as Chris Coghlan, who is still under team control for next season. Or Alcantara, who might get another shot at some point. Or Billy McKinney, who might be nearing ready at this point next season. Or any number of trade possibilities. Or a big FA signing such as Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Gordon (player option for 2016), Justin Upton, Dexter Fowler returning, Denard Span or Jason Heyward. So while I will give you that there’s a chance that Szczur factors into the OF equation in 2016, there are many other stronger options, both internal and external, and the fact that with Soler out, Junior Lake is getting the starts over Szczur tells me that the Cubs internally rate Lake ahead of Szczur. Plus again, I object to taking at bats away from Fowler and believe it to be a plan not only detrimental to the Cubs playoff hopes for 2015, but also not giving you enough chance of a positive returns for 2016 to be worthwhile.

Doug….that was very well stated. Only a Fowler injury or a horrendous offensive slide should allow for any current player (let alone Szczur) on the Cubs roster to challenge for the CF positon and at that it would be more than Szczur making that challenge. Fowler is Fowler, we are getting what was expected, an adequate performance and sometimes a very good performance but steady enough for the purpose of temporarily manning a position with good skills. I would be happy if the Cubs pursued a major upgrade for CF and LF for 2016. Coghlan, Lake and Szczur could be good players on this team but for some reason I don’t think any of the three are the answer for long term LF or CF.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: