The Cubs didn't have much playing time available for Tommy La Stella last season, but he was an effective left-handed bat off the bench when called upon. Most of his time in the field was split between second base and third base, and as long as the Cubs have Javier Baez and Ben Zobrist available to cover multiple positions, it's difficult to imagine a larger role for La Stella. If he were to end up on another 25-man roster, he could see an uptick in playing time. La Stella has a good eye at the plate, and a good hit tool, but he lacks the raw power necessary to hit more than 12-15 homers even if he becomes a starter for a prolonged stretch down the road. Even on a team with less depth, La Stella is ideally suited for a part-time role as a pinch-hitter who consistently offers quality plate appearances.
La Stella agreed to a one-year, $950,000 deal with the Cubs on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. This is one of the lower figures an arbitration-eligible player will receive, but it's easy to see why. La Stella is strictly a bench player, and has not received 200 plate appearances in a season since 2014. He hit .288/.389/.472 with five home runs in 151 plate appearances with the Cubs in 2017.
La Stella (leg) pinch hit in Friday's victory over the Brewers and recorded the eventual game-winning RBI on a bases-loaded walk. Due to his leg issue and the Cubs getting healthy La Stella had recorded just two at-bats since his last start Sept. 10, but his lack of activity did not prevent him from working the key walk Friday night. La Stella figures to continue playing sparingly, but he is seemingly healthy heading into the final week of the regular season.
La Stella is starting at second base and batting second Monday against the Pirates. La Stella is 5-for-8 with two homers and five RBI over his past two games, so Manager Joe Maddon will reward him with a third straight start at the keystone. While the 28-year-old is batting .322/.419/.575 in 52 games this season, he hasn't seen sufficiently consistent at-bats to be a reliable fantasy option. Still, he could prove to be a solid streaming choice, especially when he assumes a favorable spot in the lineup between Jon Jay and Kris Bryant.
La Stella went 3-for-5 with a pair of homers and four RBI on Saturday against the Phillies. La Stella smacked his fourth and fifth homers to help lead the Cubs to an easy road victory. Although he doesn't get enough consistent at-bats to be a reliable fantasy option, he's been an excellent hitter this season with a .310/.412/.571 slash line.
La Stella went 1-for-3 with a three-run homer and a walk against the Reds on Wednesday. The Cubs' utility man has been shockingly good in a small sample this year, sporting a .295 average and 14:10 BB:K over 96 plate appearances; he's even set a new career high in homers already: three. Hey, it ain't much, but La Stella has shown steady improvement over his four MLB seasons -- which is rather strange, as he's been something of a train wreck in the minors. Regardless, there's not much fantasy value to be had here outside the deepest of NL-only leagues and occasional DFS usage.
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