Alexander Canario Being Promoted, Corresponding Move Not Yet Known

As first reported by ESPN’s Jesse Rogers and subsequently confirmed by MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the Cubs are promoting outfielder Alexander Canario. Rogers shared the news during a segment on ESPN 1000 this morning, but he did not have information on exactly why the Cubs are bringing the young slugger up to the big club. Until we know for sure, the fear is that someone is hitting the IL.

Ian Happ is 0-for-18 with six strikeouts in his last five games and could be battling through something that a little rest would alleviate. Seiya Suzuki also pulled up running through first on a grounder late in Sunday’s game and may have aggravated the ankle he tweaked earlier in the season. The other possibility is that the Cubs are demoting someone to clear a spot for Canario.

Mike Tauchman hasn’t been hitting particularly well, though his .382 OBP makes it hard to believe he’s being sent down. While Miles Mastrobuoni has only gotten eight total plate appearances and has made just one start, it seems odd on the surface to replace him with Canario. First, there’s no point in calling up a dynamic young player and then having him sit the whole time. Second, Patrick Wisdom is a better fit from a strictly positional standpoint.

Unless, of course, the Cubs plan to use Canario in the DH rotation rather than Tauchman. Suzuki and Happ have both served in that role as well, possibly to prevent something minor from getting worse. I’m concerned that one of them is hitting the IL, though perhaps it’s a matter of Mastrobuoni heading to the minors so Canario can provide a little extra protection in the outfield.

Through 13 games with the I-Cubs this season, Canario is slashing .269/.377/.481 with a pair of homers and five doubles. For what it’s worth, Wisdom is hitting .391 with a 1.266 OPS and two homers over seven games.

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