3:30pm: Infielder Miles Mastrobuoni was optioned in a corresponding active roster move, per Sullivan. Left-hander Brandon Hughes, who will require season-ending surgery, has been transferred to the 60-day IL to open a 40-man spot for Young.
3:05pm: The Cubs will be selecting the contract of infielder/outfielder Jared Young, reports Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. Young’s presence at Wrigley Field was first reported on Twitter by @crawlyscubs. Young isn’t on the club’s 40-man roster, so they will have to make a corresponding move or moves in order to make room for him.
Young, 27, was selected to the club’s roster in September of last year and got a cup of coffee in the majors. He had a solid .263/.364/.368 line in 22 plate appearances but was outrighted off the roster in November. He’s spent all of this year mashing in Triple-A. He has 13 home runs in 52 games while walking in 13.8% of his plate appearances and striking out at just a 20.5% rate. His .326/.426/.605 batting line amounts to a 154 wRC+, indicating he’s been 54% better than league average.
Defensively, he’s played a bit of third base and the outfield corners but has seen most of his time at first base. The Cubs haven’t gotten much production at the cold corner this year, as Eric Hosmer hit .234/.280/.330 on the year. He was released and replaced by Matt Mervis, who slashed .167/.242/.289 before getting optioned to the minors. The club returned Cody Bellinger from the injured list before he was 100%, hoping to have him at first instead of his usual center field position but he’s hit just .160/.214/.200 since being activated. Trey Mancini has also seen some time there and hit a tepid .245/.317/.364 on the year.
With all those struggles, it’s understandable that the Cubs are looking for new approaches, especially as they’ve now climbed back into contention. Their 37-39 record isn’t especially impressive but they are just three games back of the lead in the wide open National League Central and they have the best run differential in the division. They’ll now give Young a chance to test his skills against big league pitching again, with just over a month before the club will have to decide whether or not to pursue upgrades at the trade deadline.