Though the Cubs have not made an official announcement as of post time, outfielder Nelson Velázquez is being promoted to Chicago. The Cubs placed reliever Chris Martin on the bereavement list Sunday, so Velázquez could take the open roster spot. That would make a lot of sense after Clint Frazier‘s activation resulted in reliever Brandon Hughes being sent back to Iowa.
Folks!!! This could be officially time for Nelson Velázquez SZN in Chicago pic.twitter.com/xp7PL6UnQB
— Greg Zumach (@IvyFutures) May 29, 2022
The Cubs also have a 27th spot available for Monday’s doubleheader, so that is a factor here as well. There’s been some speculation about Seiya Suzuki hitting the IL with a sprained left ring finger suffered on an awkward slide in Thursday’s loss, but it sounds like he could be available Sunday and won’t need extended time off. Even if that’s the case, he won’t be at full strength.
I can confirm that Nelson Velazquez is indeed headed up to Chicago.
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) May 29, 2022
Velázquez burst onto the scene in a big way when he tore up the Arizona Fall League in late 2021 and he carried that over to Double-A Tennessee. After posing a 1.094 OPS with nine homers in 22 games, the outfielder was promoted to Triple-A Iowa and has been working through a bit of an adjustment period. This has the feel of a very temporary move meant to give Velázquez a quick cup of coffee at a time when the big club needs depth.
And in case you’re wondering how the Cubs can see fit to promote him while Caleb Kilian remains in Iowa, it’s a matter of Velázquez already being on the 40-man. Even though Kilian should be added for a number of reasons, this move is much easier because they don’t have to drop anyone to make it.