The Cubs have added versatile infielder Zach McKinstry to the active roster and optioned infielder Alfonso Rivas to Triple-A Iowa. McKinstry, acquired Saturday from the Dodgers for right-handed pitcher Chris Martin, will wear uniform No. 6 and is available for Sunday’s game against the Giants at Oracle Park.
The 27-year-old McKinstry has played in 74 career major league games over three seasons with the Dodgers, hitting .210) with 10 doubles, eight home runs, and 31 RBI. He has logged just 14 MLB plate appearances in 10 games this season, though he has batted .335 with a .396 OPS in the minors. In parts of six minor league seasons, he has hit .278 with a .799 OPS and 41 homers.
A very versatile defender, he’s played mainly the middle infield positions and can flex to third or either corner outfield spot as well. He seems like the kind of player who can fill in well for a team that is going to have a lot of extra reps to hand out as of August 2. In addition to getting the opportunity for regular playing time he was not going to have with the Dodgers, the Fort Wayne, IN native is happy to be back near home.
“I’ve been to Chicago a bunch, grew up in Indiana, so definitely know a lot about their pizza and a big fan of pizza,” McKinstry told reporters in the clubhouse Sunday when asked about his IG post name-checking Lou Malnati’s. “They have a few in Phoenix, where I live now, and we go at least once a month and splurge a little bit.”
The infielder said he’s already received a DM from the pizza chain, so maybe he’s got his first endorsement lined up. Between the cuisine and a chance to prove himself, it sounds like McKinstry is happy about the move.
“Playing every day is my goal and that’s why we’re here,” the new Cub continued. “I felt almost like a caged animal there (with the Dodgers), hanging out on the bench, getting to see what they’re doing, learning from some of the best in the game. I’m excited to use it now.”
Rivas is hitting .232 with four doubles, one triple, three home runs, and 24 RBI in 71 games for Chicago this season.