The Cubs announced that corner outfielder Narciso Crook has been selected onto the major league roster. Center fielder Jason Heyward is headed to the 10-day injured list, retroactive to June 27, due to right knee inflammation. In order to create a 40-man roster spot for Crook, Michael Hermosillo has been transferred from the 10-day to the 60-day IL.
Crook, 27 next month, is in position to make his major league debut. He’s spent almost a decade in pro ball, originally entering the affiliated ranks as a 23rd round pick of the Reds back in 2013. A New Jersey junior college product, Crook played in the Cincinnati farm system until last year. His performance was generally inconsistent, but the 6’3″ outfielder slowly played his way as high as Triple-A. He spent the bulk of last season at that level, hitting .245/.360/.448 in 86 games.
The Reds never selected Crook onto their 40-man roster, and he qualified for minor league free agency at the end of the year. He inked a non-roster pact with the Cubs and has spent the whole season at Triple-A Iowa. Crook is hitting .268/.375/.510 with nine home runs through 184 plate appearances, drawing walks at a strong 11.4% rate along the way. He’s striking out nearly 30% of the time with Iowa, but the power and plate discipline were enough to get him his long-awaited big league look.
Crook adds a right-handed bat to the corner outfield and designated hitter mix for manager David Ross. The trio of Ian Happ, Christopher Morel and Rafael Ortega figure to assume much of the playing time. Heyward had already begun losing reps of late, as he’s having another very rough season. Through 151 plate appearances, he owns a .204/.278/.277 line with a single longball.
Hermosillo has been out since May 8 with a left quad strain. Today’s transfer rules him out for sixty days from that time, pushing his return window back to early July. The 27-year-old outfielder began some baseball activities last week but has yet to start a minor league rehab assignment.