According to Marquee Sports Network’s Taylor McGregor, the Chicago Cubs have designated infielder Jonathan Villar for assignment.
Villar signed with the Cubs this past offseason on a one-year, $6 million deal. The hope was that he would add depth to their infield, as well as a spark to the lineup. The switch hitter wasn’t terrible in April, hitting .283 in 15 games. That said, the next two months have been rough for Villar. From May 7 to June 23, Villar batted an abysmal .190 with two home runs, 28 strikeouts, a .243 OBP, and a .330 SLG in 107 plate appearances. He also had eight errors in the field between second base, third base, and shortstop.
In 2022, Villar posted a slash line of .222/.271/.327 with 34 hits including the two home runs, 15 RBI, and six stolen bases with the Cubs. Before this season, he was considered an average defender. But, with the Cubs this year he posted -7 defensive runs saved in 225 innings at second base.
It’s assumed that Villar will hit the free-agent market unless another team wants to take on the remaining $3.44 million of his contract.
David Bote returns to the Cubs for the first time this season. After undergoing offseason shoulder surgery, Bote started the season on the IL as he recovered. However, he began a rehab assignment roughly a month ago with Triple-A Iowa and has looked great out west in Des Moines. In his 18-game rehab stint, Bote slashed .284/.351/.403 with six doubles, a triple, and 12 RBI. The 29-year-old utility man returns to the Cubs hoping to bring some offensive and defensive stability to the middle infield along side Nico Hoerner.
What’s On Tap?
David Bote is in the lineup for the Cubs on Friday night against the St. Louis Cardinals. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. CDT. He replaces Villar at second base on Friday. Ideally, Bote’s presence brings better fortune for a team struggling to win games.
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