The revolving door that is the Cubs second base picture continues to spin.
Saturday, the Cubs placed infielder Daniel Descalso on the 10-day injured list with a sprained left ankle (retroactive to July 24). In a corresponding move, the team added Derek Holland, whom they acquired from the Giants on Friday, to the active roster.
Descalso’s Cubs career got off to a solid start, as he hit .243/.338/.386 in 70 April at-bats. His playing time has decreased in each month since then, however, with Descalso’s offensive performance also declining as well. From May 1-July 23, he’s holds a .107/.224/.131 slash line across 84 at-bats.
On the one hand, it can’t be easy for Descalso — who's hitting .181 in 160 at-bats this season — to work through his struggles at the plate when he’s receiving such a limited number of at-bats. The 32-year-old last started on June 30 and has started 19 games since May 1.
On the other hand, Descalso’s offensive shortcomings have made him a less desirable starting second base option for the Cubs. This, combined with the fact that the Cubs have an absurd amount of players capable of playing the position. Descalso, Addison Russell, David Bote, Robel Garcia and Ben Zobrist have each made at least 10 appearances at second base this season.
Russell was sent down to Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday, but the Cubs recalled Ian Happ on Friday. Happ played 134 2/3 innings at second base with Iowa this season, and manager Joe Maddon said mentioned how it’s not out of the realm of possibility for Happ to play there with the Cubs.
"He asked a good question — he wanted to know, game-in-progress, 'would you ever put me in the infield?'" Maddon said on Friday in Milwaukee. "I said, 'I don't know that, but with five bench players right now, maybe not out of the chute. But like I also told him, if you're losing the game and you're trying to win the game, you'll do anything."
Happ will primarily play outfield with the Cubs, so he’s not necessarily jeopardizing Descalso’s playing time any more than the aforementioned players. However, Descalso was in a precarious position before Happ’s promotion. The latter’s presence doesn’t necessarily help his playing time situation.
Holland holds a 5.90 ERA in 31 games (seven starts) this season, but he posted a 0.68 ERA in 10 relief outings (13 1/3 innings) from June 24-July 18. After allowing a run on July 20, the Giants designated him for assignment the next day. He's joining the Cubs bullpen following a heartwrenching 3-2 loss to the Brewers on Friday.
The Cubs used Kyle Ryan, Steve Cishek, Brandon Kintzler, Pedro Strop and Rowan Wick in the game, so there's a good chance Holland gets into Saturday's game, if the situation calls for it.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Cubs games easily on your device.