Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Matt Shaw Returns from Mysterious Absence but Bad News for Other Top Cubs Prospect

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Top-hitting Cubs prospect Matt Shaw returned to the lineup for the Tennessee Smokies Tuesday night following his mysterious absence. Shaw had just won Southern League Player of the Week and then a few days later he was no longer in the lineup.

Shaw last played on June 27, and because he’s at the minor league level there just wasn’t any information regarding his departure from the field. There was never a roster move made involving Shaw going on the injured list or being moved to the development list, so his extended leave from the team has still gone unexplained.

But hey, Shaw’s back and that’s great news. He was selected to the 2024 All-Star Futures Game and on Tuesday it was confirmed that he would play in the game.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Shaw gets promoted to Triple-A following the All-Star break and you shouldn’t either. He went a whole month slashing .306/.389/.565, with 7 home runs and a 176 wRC+ in 126 plate appearances, while carrying a 17.5 K% and 11.9 BB% from May 25 through June 27.

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Overall in 2024, Shaw has a 131 wRC+ with 10 home runs and 19 stolen bases in 69 games at Double-A.

Good to see Shaw return, but there’s also some bad news for Cubs No. 3 ranked prospect Owen Caissie. The left-handed hitting outfielder was also selected to represent the Cubs in the Futures Game, but Caissie has withdrawn his name from the event because he’s currently dealing with a back issue.

Caissie has not played since the 4th of July. The back tightness popped up last Friday and for now the Cubs are being cautious with Caissie.

James Triantos, ranked No. 53 in MLB Pipeline’s top-100 prospects list, has replaced Caissie on the Futures Game roster.

Although he’s a replacement for the All-Star game, Triantos is very much deserving of the honor.

Prior to the back issue, Caissie posted a slash line of .279/.387/.443, with 8 home runs in 331 plate appearances. The left-handed hitter got up to a 117 wRC+ after getting on a hot streak at the end of June and into July. In his last eight games, Caissie was 13-for-34 at the plate, slashing .382/.417/.529.

Fingers crossed that a couple weeks of rest will be enough to get Caissie’s back problem to dissipate.

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