According to a report by CBS Chicago, Theo Epstein has stated that Tommy La Stella will be rejoining the Chicago Cubs a some point this week. This news comes on the heels of the drama that was created when Tommy decided to not report to his Triple-A assignment when demoted back on July 29.
Of course, by now, we all know the story or at least a version of it. Tommy wasn’t happy with his demotion, he only wanted to play for the Cubs and it took him some time to decide that he would finally report, but eventually he did. He reported to Double-A Tennessee on August 18. He moved from Tennessee to Iowa shortly thereafter. He’s played well, as you’d expect, and he will be called back up no later than Thursday, when rosters expand to 40 players.
There is no doubt that Tommy La Stella belongs on this team. He’s had a great year and, unfortunately, he got caught up in a strange roster crunch that saw the Cubs choose to keep a player on the roster – Chris Coghlan – that they would’ve had to basically release if they didn’t keep, instead of sticking with La Stella. If it ended there than all would be good, but it didn’t and we all know that.
The biggest question is what impact, if any, does this have on the team. It’s most certain that Tommy will have some explaining to do and, to be perfectly fair, he may have already started to have those conversations. I don’t know that but I really hope he’s at least made an attempt to reach out to some of the players on the team to perhaps explain, apologize or even just say ‘hi.’
The bottom line is that the Cubs need a left-handed bat, badly. Chris Coghlan is on the DL and La Stella is the answer. There’s no doubt that his actions have created quite a stir, in a season that hasn’t really had all that much drama.
This team is bonded, bound if you will. They are a cohesive group of players who aren’t just teammates, they’re friends. Maybe Tommy is an the outer edges of the inner group of players, the core of the team. That’s what it seems like from the outside looking in but I’m truly just speculating on that.
Either way, Tommy’s going to be rejoining the Cubs and in the end there is no one man in that locker room that’s more important than what this team is trying to accomplish, what they’ve been working for since opening day. You can bet that every single player on the team – including any player who’s been in the locker room at all this year – completely understands that.
There will be conversations and there are certainly a number of players on the team who would’ve handled things differently but, at the end of the day, Tommy is his own man and he’s responsible for his actions. That goes for everyone on this team and you can rest assured that they all know why Tommy is back. He’s back because he deserves to be there. He’s back because he’s one heck of a baseball player. He’s back because this team is better with him on it.