Cubs sending Russell to Triple A

Addison Russell is staying in Iowa for now as the Cubs delay his seemingly inevitable return

Addison Russell is staying in Iowa for now as the Cubs delay his seemingly inevitable return

The Cubs will option infielder Addison Russell to Triple-A Iowa when he is activated from the restricted list Thursday, the team revealed to reporters (Twitter link via Gordon Wittenymyer of the Chicago Sun-Times). "It's a long-term process with the work he's putting in to grow as a person".

Russell is batting.250 in six games on a minor-league assignment with Iowa.

For now, that will wait, as the Cubs choose to leave the shortstop in Triple-A instead of bringing him up for the weekend series against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field.

"He's going to split his time evenly between short and second", Epstein said of Russell. He has since apologized to his former wife, Melisa Reidy, who says she experienced physical, mental and emotional abuse during their two-year marriage that ended in divorce in August.

"Obviously, every player wants to be in the big leagues, " Epstein said.

Russell's suspension is set to end Friday.

"I said it the other day, and I stand by it: There's really no finish line, " Epstein said.

According to league rules, Russell was allowed seven days in the minors as his suspension neared its end, but the Cubs have made a decision to leave him at Triple-A while he acclimates himself to second base again. "I think we're better off letting him continue to go through a spring training".

"We have not concluded anything 100 percent, but for right now you'd look to see Javy play more at shortstop", Maddon said.

Epstein emphasized the higher priority of Russell's continued therapy off the field and said his status with the Cubs remains subject to continual monitoring and progress in that area. Talking to the people in his life, they notice improvements in the way he's handling himself in important situations, improvements in his relationships and the way he's functioning as a father and a partner.

Epstein also was bewildered by reports Sunday that a media member was told by a team employee to portray Russell in a positive light. People have their right to have those opinions and express them however they want. "We support that. We would never, ever, try to stifle freedom of the press or that type of free expression". The threat of reprisal to a media member about any topic, especially one of this nature, is not acceptable. Does the fact that he has been away from the team for so long, by his own doing, mean the Cubs should be extra careful how they dole out his playing time, vis a vis the guys who've been there all along?