6:10PM: Bote’s ankle injury is “significant,” manager David Ross told reporters (including Tim Stebbins of NBC Sports Chicago), and it isn’t out of the question that Bote’s season could be over. Ross said Bote hurt his right ankle in rather fluky fashion, as he stepped onto a baseball while participating in a pregame baserunning drill. “You watch the replay, and it’s pretty nasty, how hard he rolled his ankle,” Ross said.
3:37PM: The Cubs announced a flurry of roster moves today, including the news that David Bote has been placed on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to August 26) due to a right ankle sprain. Chicago also designated right-handers Jake Jewell and Ryan Meisinger for assignment, and selected the contracts of right-hander Scott Effross and infielder Alfonso Rivas from Triple-A.
This is Bote’s second IL placement of the season, after a separated shoulder put him out of action for close to two months. Bote has seen most of the everyday second base at-bats since returning from that first IL trip, though he is still struggling at the plate, with only a .202/.270/.339 slash line over 268 plate appearances. The severity of the sprain isn’t yet known, and Cubs radio broadcaster Zach Zaidman (Twitter link) said Bote’s injury occurred yesterday during batting practice.
Both Effross and Rivas are now in line to make their Major League debuts, as the rebuilding Cubs continue to look at younger players. Effross was a 15th-round pick for the team in the 2015 draft, while Rivas was a fourth-round pick for the A’s in the 2018 draft, and was dealt to Chicago in January 2020 in the trade that sent Tony Kemp to Oakland.
On-base skills have been Rivas’ calling card over his brief pro career, as he has hit .288/.393/.411 over 1037 PA across three minor league seasons. The left-handed hitting Rivas has done much of that damage against right-handed pitching, and he has played some left field and right field to go along with his customary first base spot.
Effross began the season at Double-A and was then promoted to Triple-A for the first time. Overall, the 27-year-old has a 3.41 ERA and 27.61% strikeout rate over 60 2/3 combined innings this season, working out of the bullpen for 29 of his 31 appearances. Effross tends to rely more on grounders than missed bats, as he has consistently topped the 50 percent threshold for groundball percentage during his minor league career.
Jewell and Meisinger each signed minor league contracts with the Cubs during the offseason, and both right-handers were selected to the MLB roster within the last month. Jewell has a 9.90 ERA over 10 innings, while Meisinger has a 12.27 ERA in 7 1/3 innings.