<
>

Cubs to call up top infielder prospect Addison Russell for second base

PITTSBURGH -- The Chicago Cubs will call up top infield prospect Addison Russell on Tuesday, a source familiar with the situation confirmed late Monday night.

To make room on the roster Arismendy Alcantara will be optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

Russell, 21, was acquired by the Cubs from the Oakland Athletics last July 4 for pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel after Oakland took him with the 11th overall pick in the 2012 amateur draft.

Rusell, ranked as the No. 4 overall MLB prospect by ESPN's Keith Law, has primarily been a shortstop but moved over to second base recently in preparation for a promotion to the majors.

"You never know where the need is going to be on the major league level," manager Joe Maddon said before the Cubs beat the Pirates 5-2 Monday night. "(We're) being a little bit more pro-active regarding prepping him for a need that might be open here."

Russell was hitting .318 for Iowa this season, breaking up a perfect game against Oklahoma City on Monday before getting called up by the Cubs.

His best position is shortstop but with Starlin Castro there for the big league team Russell will play second base.

According to ESPN Stats and Information, Cubs second baseman rank 29th in the league with a .135 batting average and last with a .355 OPS. Alcantara was hitting .077 before being demoted.

Russell is expected to be in Pittsburgh for Tuesday night's game and make his debut at second base. He'll be the second elite prospect the Cubs have called-up in the last week.

Kris Bryant made his debut on Friday and is hitting .429 in four games. He had three hits and three RBI's in Monday's victory.

CBSSports.com was first to report the Russell promotion.