The Cubs will soon be faced with a major dilemma, one of the roster variety. Everyday is another day that infielders Nico Hoerner, David Bote, and Matt Duffy are closer to returning to the Cubs’ active roster.
The problem facing the Cubs is not all that bad. Patrick Wisdom and Sergio Alcantara are both playing very well in their time replacing injured Cubs. Patrick Wisdom has been especially good, slashing .412/.444/1.088. Yes, you read that right, a 1.088 slugging percentage. He has seven home runs, including two 2-homer games while playing a very solid third base.
Sergio Alcantara in less time is proving to be super valuable. In 14 at-bats, Alcantara is hitting .429 with two doubles and two triples. He has also played 2B, 3B, and SS, which is exactly what the Cubs needed in the absence of Hoerner, Bote, and Duffy.
The big question is what will the Cubs do when Hoerner, Bote, and Duffy return from the Injured List, especially with both Wisdom and Alcantara providing real value to the Cubs? Unfortunately, Alcantara is out of MiLB options, so the Cubs will be forced to either keep him on the active roster or release him. In my opinion, he has already shown that he is more valuable than Eric Sogard, because he can viably play 2B, SS, and 3B, is a switch hitter, and has blazing speed.
My only concern with getting rid of Eric Sogard is that he has a lot of experience as a pinch-hitter and has been very good in that roll so far in 2021, hitting .333 in 21 at-bats. Sergio Alcantara has had little experience coming off the bench since he is still early in his career. When Hoerner returns, Alcantara will have a bench roll at best barring more injuries. I am more willing to roll the dice on Alcantara providing more value to the Cubs than Eric Sogard, and I think most Cubs fans would agree.
The good news for the Cubs is that Patrick Wisdom still has multiple MiLB options. This gives the Cubs flexibility to send him back to Iowa if they feel that is the necessary move in order to keep Alcantara.
Ultimately there are two ways to handle this situation with Patrick Wisdom. Number one, keep Wisdom with the Cubs and move him to more of a bench role. When it comes down to it, the Cubs are going to ride with David Bote and Matt Duffy more often than not over Wisdom. Number two, the Cubs send Patrick Wisdom back to Iowa in order to make sure he continues to get consistent at-bats, that way when the Cubs need him he is able to come back and play similar to how he is now.
In my opinion, the best thing for Patrick Wisdom is to be optioned back to Triple-A Iowa and continue to get everyday at-bats. Although this may be a gut punch for Wisdom, and the Cubs fans that have quickly latched on to him, this is what will be best long term for both Wisdom and the Cubs. If Wisdom is downgraded to only a bench roll and spot starts, the Cubs risk losing his hot bat when he is called upon.
Follow me on Twitter @JoeMarras, and let me know what you think will end up happening when the Cubs activate Nico Hoerner, David Bote, and Matt Duffy. Don’t forget to tag me @JoeMarras and @CubbiesOnTap.