The end of the season is typically when we see promotions galore, but the roster limit of 28 has prevented dugouts from being filled to bursting with prospects. That said, the Cubs have already used a National League-record 65 players this season and may be prepared to up that number Thursday evening.
According to West Virginia State University Twitter account, former Yellow Jacket Tyler Payne has been promoted to the majors. This is a surprise because the 28-year-old catcher has only played one game at Triple-A this season and didn’t really make much noise at Double-A (.231 average, 4 homers), but we have to consider the potential of a developing COVID situation on the roster.
🚨 He's headed to the big leagues! A HUGE congratulations to Tyler Payne, who has been called up by the Chicago Cubs. pic.twitter.com/Drmqpn9lN9
— WVSU Baseball (@WVSU_Baseball) September 30, 2021
Patrick Wisdom was placed on the IL Wednesday for an undisclosed reason, which likely means it was a matter of COVID protocols. Trent Giambrone being called up with no corresponding 40-man move all but ensured that was the case. Now we’ve got Payne, who isn’t on the 40-man, possibly coming up.
The Cubs lost backup catcher Robinson Chirinos to an oblique strain, so this likely means either Willson Contreras or Austin Romine will be headed to the IL for some reason or another. And by that, I mean COVID. Then again, maybe there’s something else afoot. Payne actually resembles Romine, so maybe the Cubs thought they could pull the old bait and switch.
Either way, congrats to Payne on grinding it out as a 30th round pick. I don’t care how you get that cup of coffee, it’s pretty cool to see a guy get to make his MLB debut.