CHICAGO (AP) Cubs infielder Tommy La Stella will report to Double-A Tennessee, and Chicago manager Joe Maddon said he hopes La Stella will be back with the big league team by early September.
La Stella was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on July 29, but refused to report there, and the Cubs placed him on the temporary inactive list on Aug. 9. La Stella told ESPN.com at the time that he was contemplating retirement.
''He's reported to Double-A, and moving on up to Triple-A, and he'll be back here probably by the first of September,'' Maddon said before the Cubs game against Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night.
Maddon said Cubs management had been talking extensively with La Stella as he tried to decide whether to remain in baseball.
''It's a good thing,'' Maddon said. ''We want him back He's going to be very helpful for us down the road. I like him in the clubhouse. I like his personality here. ... It's going to work for both sides I think.
''He's so good to have off the bench,'' Maddon said.
He said La Stella needs at-bats before he can return to the majors, and is expected to play short stints at Tennessee and then Triple-A Iowa before returning to the Cubs.
La Stella, 27, was hitting .295 in 51 games for the Cubs this season before the demotion.