Cubs rookie Miguel Amaya has made an instant impact in his return to The Show
Miguel Amaya immediately made an impact on the Cubs’ offense.
The rookie catcher, who was recalled on Saturday after Justin Steele landed on the 15-day IL, crushed his first major-league home run in the 3rd inning off the Padres’ Ryan Weathers. Amaya’s blast was a 2-run, 104.6 mph homer to left field that traveled 415 feet.
“I just put it in my mind, like just swing the ball, don’t try to do too much, put it in play and things are going to happen,” Amaya told Taylor McGregor after the game. “It happened and I was just putting in my mind, my first homer when I was a kid. Now it’s my first homer in the big leagues, so it is amazing for me.”
Amaya’s first stint in the majors came in early May, when Yan Gomes landed on the concussion IL and the Cubs turned to the Panamanian backstop who was in Double-A at the time. His performances, offensively and behind the dish, firmly put him back on the Cubs’ radar as a potential catcher of the future. He was optioned back when Gomes returned, but to Triple-A Iowa.
He’s thrived in Iowa, hitting .313/.450.479 with a home run, 5 doubles, 10 RBI and a 141 weighted runs created plus. With his return, it gives the Cubs another right-handed hitting option, plus another catching option to alleviate some of the workload on veterans Gomes and Tucker Barnhart.
“It’s the same game,” Amaya said. “I just put it in my mind, wherever I was playing, just play as a big leaguer and do the little things that I can control every single day. And just go out there have fun and do what I can do.”
Sunday against the Padres, Amaya reached base in all 4 plate appearances — he had 2 singles and was hit by a pitch in addition to his homer — in his first start back.
“Every hit was basically up the middle,” Ross told reporters after the game. “Left-center type approach and he’s simple, he’s spread out. Really good swings. Nice performance from him.”