Versatile Jared Young May Be Promoted to Replace Rafael Ortega

The Cubs haven’t made an official move as of post time, but Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register indicates that Jared Young will be promoted Wednesday. He’ll be taking the spot opened up when Rafael Ortega was ruled out for the remainder of the season with a broken left ring finger suffered Tuesday night. Young is not currently on the 40-man roster, but the Cubs could add him by placing Ortega on the 60-day IL.

This might look like a surprising move when you look at Young’s stats and see that he’s batting just .228 with a 90 wRC+ at 27 years old. But he’s also very versatile, logging time at first, second, third, left, and right for the I-Cubs this season. Drafted in the 15th round by the Cubs back in 2017, Young has progressed steadily through the minors and has previously flashed an above-average bat in addition to the defensive flexibility.

Some will no doubt be disappointed that it’s not Matt Mervis getting the call, especially with him mashing his 33rd homer and getting to 111 RBI on the season Wednesday afternoon. Outfielder Darius Hill is having an outstanding season as well, batting .324 with a 14.4% strikeout rate and a 114 wRC+ over 313 plate appearances for Iowa.

The thing about Young though, and I know this sounds harsh, is that he’s both more expendable and more likely to clear waivers should the Cubs take the likely course of DFA’ing him in the near future. These late-season moves are often strategic only in a procedural sense rather than being part of a plan to showcase part of the future. As much as I don’t like putting it that way, it’s what the front office is likely thinking.

All that said, I would love nothing more than to see Young go off if he is indeed coming up.

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