Ian Stewart finished a rehab assignment with the Iowa Cubs on Friday after recovering from a left quad injury. According to MLB rules, you can only have a position player rehabbing in the minors for 20 days. That time elapsed on Friday, and the Chicago Cubs had to make a decision on Stewart.
Because he was only hitting .091 at Iowa and the with the emergence of Luis Valbuena and Cody Ransom, the Cubs decided to keep Stewart at Triple-A for the time being. Stewart did not have to accept the assignment, but he forfeits the money remaining on his $2 million contract if he does not. Stewart accepted the assignment and had 72 hours to report to the Iowa Cubs.
Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com spoke with GM Jed Hoyer, who says that Stewart took the 72 hours provided to him off. “He will be (back), but he has his time, his 72 hours,” Hoyer said on Monday, “We had a lot of discussions with him about it, in the end that was the decision. He has the right, it’s the given right the players have and that was the decision.”
Stewart was supposed to be the starting third baseman for the Cubs last year, but only played 55 games mostly due to a wrist injury. He was re-signed to be the starter once again in 2013, but he has been out all season thus far with the quad injury.
You would think that Stewart would be doing anything that he could to make his return to the big leagues. Taking the weekend off because the CBA allows it? That does not seem like a smart move for a guy that is looking to return to the majors. He was already with the Iowa Cubs, so there really was no reason he could not just play right away.
It is Stewart’s right to take this time off, but this certainly leaves a bad taste in your mouth about the guy. I am sure that the Cubs do not like this situation and may be questioning Stewart’s motives as a ball player from here on out. At this point, as long as Valbuena continues to perform well, I do not see a reason to have Stewart on the big league roster.