Barring unforeseen circumstances, Jason Heyward will rejoin the Cubs Saturday afternoon at Wrigley.
But whose spot will he take on the Cubs' 40-man roster?
The apparent choice is Tommy La Stella, who has already been sent down to Triple-A this season as part of the ongoing roster crunch at the big league level. La Stella intially refused a demotion to the minors late last season but has taken a different stance this year, playing in 12 games during his last stint with Iowa.
A week ago, Ian Happ would've been the easy call to go back down to Triple-A once Heyward returned. But the rookie — one of the game's top prospects — has been turned heads in his first week in The Show.
Happ has started six straight games since being recalled, hitting second twice before moving to the cleanup spot and providing protection to Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo in the lineup.
But would it be best to send the 22-year-old switch-hitter back down to the minors to play every day?
"Not if he's playing regularly in the majors...," Joe Maddon said Friday, smirking.
Maddon conceded Happ is definitely not the kind of player the Cubs want to sit around with only 26 Triple-A games under his belt. But when the guy entered Friday's game with a .353/.500/.824 slash line, it's not hard for Maddon to find playing time for Happ.
"Of course, [the roster decision] is very tough," Maddon said. "That's what happens when you're good — you have tough decisions. You have a lot of different options.
"The fact that Ian's come up and done so well makes it even more difficult. We'll try to figure it out and make our best guess."
However, it's not like La Stella is struggling, either. In a part-time role, the left-handed hitting infielder boasts a .318 batting average and 1.028 OPS, both the best numbers on the Cubs after Happ.
Heyward has been out since May 6 with an injured finger, but made a brief rehab stop in Class-A South Bend Thursday night and felt fine — "[the finger is] good enough."
Heyward went through pregame warm-ups and batting practice Thursday before singling home a run. It was also the first time he didn't wear a splint on his finger since first suffering the injury.
On the season, Heyward is hitting .253 with a .697 OPS, three homers and 17 RBI while continuing his run of stellar outfield defense.