Easily overlooked in Monday’s David DeJesus trade and the seven Cub homers that followed over the next two games was an understated outfielder who may get a chance to redefine his big-league career with the Cubs: Brian Bogusevic.
The lefty-hitting former Astro, who signed as a minor-league free agent over the winter before getting called up from Iowa in late June, was the immediate beneficiary of DeJesus’ trade to Washington – activated from the DL (hamstring) in the corresponding move.
Then on Tuesday, he provided half of the Cubs’ meager offensive production with his first homer with the club in a 4-2 loss to the Nationals.
DeJesus’ departure opens up lots of playing time over the final six weeks of the season for guys like Bogusevic and Ryan Sweeney, another lefty-hitting outfielder expected to return from a rib injury when rosters expand in September.
“We need to take a look at Bogusevic, and obviously Sweeney will be back … and give these guys a shot,” said Sveum. “It’s not that easy to find left-handed power bats and guys that can run and play defense as well.”
Not sure exactly what he means by power bats. Combined, they had 25 home runs in 2,518 career big-league plate appearances before this season.
But they’ve both performed well enough for this club this year to get extended looks down the stretch for shots at sticking around.
And Donnie Murphy, who joined the organization on a minor-league deal in April, is going to be hard to ignore for playing time down the stretch after hitting seven homers since joining the big-league roster earlier this month (including a homer Tuesday). Only Miguel Cabrera has more homers than Murphy since Aug. 6.
“It’s a good opportunity,” said Bogusevic, whose last homer before Tuesday was Sept. 29 against the Brewers in his next-to-last at-bat with Houston.
He almost lost that opportunity with the hamstring injury suffered just three weeks after getting called up. But the door opened wide again with Monday’s trade.
“What the end of the season is, is guys trying to get a foothold for next year, and after,” he said. “There’s about six weeks of the season left, and there’s going to be playing time to go around. So you’ve just got to take advantage.”