Pete Crow-Armstrong – Pic via Tennessee Smokies
As the first half gets ready to come to a close the next five days, one of the main storylines of the second half is going to be exactly when PCA and Owen Caissie get promoted to Iowa. Both are having very good seasons at Double-A .
However, there’s a small problem and that the Cubs really don’t have a spot for them unless they make some roster changes in Iowa. For me, it’s not a question of if they get to Iowa, but when. The Cubs are going to need to challenge the two young 20 and 21-year-olds fairly soon, especially if they plan on having them be a part of their long-term core, as early as next year on opening day.
The Cubs organization right now is not short on outfielders. If the Cubs were to make a trade, they could use their surplus of minor league outfielders to make a deal, but PCA and Caissie probably would not be in the mix, even if most teams begged. The Cubs have plenty of outfielders from Iowa on down to the Dominican that they could deal instead.
Iowa’s outfield currently consists of Darius Hill, Nelson Velazquez, Yonathan Perlaza, sometimes Jared Young, and sometimes Miles Mastrobuoni. Brennen Davis and Alexander Canario are currently on the injured list, although both could be coming back at some point here in the next few weeks. Strangely enough, Canario began his rehab this week in Arizona and will probably be there the rest of June.
For Caissie and PCA to move up to Iowa, there’s got to be two spots. I don’t see two spots opening up in Chicago or Iowa anytime soon. Could there be a trade of some of those guys to make a room? That’s an option, but are the Cubs going to be involved in a trade for major league pieces or will they be in a trade for younger prospects? Based on how the Cubs are doing now, both options are still on the table.
Maybe the Cubs give Yonathan Perlaza a chance with some other organization by sending him to another team and they could do the same for Velazquez. However, the needs of the MLB club come long before any prospect.
The odds are in favor of the PCA and Caissie going up to Iowa at some point in the second half, PCA sooner than Caissie.
Still a lot of their future depends upon what the Chicago club is going to do over the next six weeks.
To be frank, once Tennessee either clinches a spot in the playoffs, or is eliminated, PCA will be in Iowa. He’s more than ready. That will give him about 280 to 300 ABs in 70 games. Then, a trip to the AFL would not hurt either to help get him ready for opening day in centerfield.
If that happens, PCA’s move to Iowa would open up a spot for Ezequiel Pagan to move up a level along with possibly Felix Stevens to South Bend and other options to Myrtle Beach. It could crate a cascade of transactions..
Over the course of the next six weeks, a lot could change in the outfield corps of the Cubs. Until then, there’s going to be a lot of hurrying up and waiting.