David Bote returns to Cubs more than two years after last major-league appearance

As he drove to Wrigley Field, Cubs third baseman David Bote was unsure of the emotions he would feel. It had been more than two full seasons since Bote appeared in the majors, toiling away at Triple A wondering if he’d get another shot at the majors.

Bote got to a stoplight and spotted a restaurant that he and his wife had a date at in years past. So much has changed over the years.

“I looked over and pictured the scene there,” Bote said. “I’m a different person than I was four or five years ago and I’m thankful for that. I’ve learned a lot, and I get the chance to do things differently with the same organization. That doesn’t happen very often.”

The Cubs selected Bote from Triple-A Iowa Sunday morning and optioned third baseman Nick Madrigal.

Bote is remembered by Cubs fans for his memorable pinch-hit grand slam against the Nationals in the ninth inning of 2018, when the Cubs were trailing by three runs.

In spring of 2019, Bote signed a five-year, $15 million contract with the Cubs. From 2020-2022, Bote slashed .212/.291/.370 in 183 games. Multiple veterans have cycled through Iowa and selected for a chance in the big leagues. For two years, Bote was not one of those players, but that didn’t deter him.

“I didn’t know if it was ever gonna happen again,” Bote said. “I can’t control that. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t, but I will keep showing up every day. I’m employed and [going to] keep trying to get back and do everything I can to do it.”

Bote relished that he was the one being called up. At Iowa, he served as a mentor for players, offering feedback when approached. He’ll take the spot of Madrigal, who was slashing .221/.280/.256 and offered no power.

“His best skill set is to be a bat against left-handed pitching,” manager Craig Counsell said. “I’ve always thought David was just a solid IQ baseball player. He hits the ball really hard, which is one of the important things on offense, especially today. He has the ability to do damage in this park and time of year we’re getting to, that’s an important thing to be able to do.”

Crow-Armstrong’s speed

Cubs center fielder Pete Crow-Armstrong singled to first base on a soft ground ball before utilizing his speed and stealing second base. His speed gives the Cubs a different look on the bases. Crow-Armstrong is in the 100th percentile in sprint speed, according to Baseball Savant.

“Speed goes into making you a good offensive player,” Counsell said. So we’ll continue to look at that. But we don’t have a ton of team speed. [The Cubs] certainly have individuals that can do it, but as a group, it’s not a sign of strength to the group.”

Crow-Armstrong leads the team in stolen bases (7) after Saturday’s theft. The Cubs’ 38 stolen bases puts them at 14th in the majors.


  • To make room for Bote on the 40-man roster, reliever Adbert Alzolay was moved to the 60-day injured list. Nothing has changed for Alzolay in his recovery process; it is strictly a procedural move.
  • Left-hander Jordan Wicks is starting for Iowa this afternoon. Right-hander Keegan Thompson and reliever Daniel Palencia will also throw.

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