u Assigned to AAA Iowa team
Jones County native Terrance Gore may soon be back running in a major league pennant race, thanks to a recent trade.
After spending all of his professional baseball career in the Kansas City Royals’ organization, the former Greyhound was traded last week to the Chicago Cubs for cash or a player to be named later.
Gore, who had spent all of this season with the Royals’ AAA minor league team in Omaha, Nebraska, was assigned to the Cubs’ AAA team in Des Moines, Iowa. But it is believed he will be called up to Chicago when the big league rosters can expand to 40 players on Sept. 1 and be available as a pinch runner as the Cubs battle to hold on to first place in the National League Central division.
Gore, who was drafted in the 20th round by Kansas City in 2011, has 291 stolen bases in eight seasons in the minor leagues and 21 stolen bases in parts of four seasons in the major leagues, mostly as a pinch runner.
Chicago manager Joe Maddon told the Chicago Tribune he was pleased that the Cubs aggressively pursued the speedster before the Aug. 31 trade deadline, which means he will be eligible for the playoffs if the Cubs qualify.
“That’s one of the things you want to be proactive with,” Maddon said, recalling that the Cubs acquired Quintin Berry and Leonys Martin in previous seasons for their ability to steal bases.
“It’s a great thought to get him at this time because the skill he has is unique,” Maddon said. “It’s a skill we really don’t possess. It’s fun to have. He’s had it in big moments and not (been) intimidated. Speed kills, and it’s one of those things that doesn’t go away.”
The Cubs are expected to use Gore as the Royals did – almost exclusively as a pinch-runner in the late innings to put pressure on opposing pitchers and catchers, using his speed either to steal a base or take extra bases on hits by following batters.
Gore was first called up to the major leagues by the Royals during their 2014 pennant run. He only batted twice in 11 games, being used as a pinch runner in the other nine, stealing five bases and scoring five runs.
In the playoffs that year, he added three more stolen bases and scored two runs.
He was again called up in September of 2015 to be a pinch runner, stealing three bases in nine games. He appeared in only two playoff games, stealing one base and was caught stealing once.
Gore started the 2016 season in Kansas City, stealing two bases in four games, but was sent back to the minor leagues until September, when he was again recalled and stole 11 bases in 13 games. The Royals did not advance to the playoffs that season.
In 2017, Gore had two brief stints with the Royals early in the season, then was called up again in September, stealing two bases in 12 games.
Because Gore had exhausted his minor league options, which allows a major league team to send a player back and forth from the majors to the minors as often as it wants, Gore was non-tendered by the Royals this past winter, and he became a free agent. But he immediately signed a minor league contract with the Royals and was assigned to the AAA team in Omaha.
He was used less frequently most of this season, often going several days between starts in the outfield. He was batting .211 with 26 runs and 16 stolen bases in 67 games when he was traded last week.
Gore started in center field in four of his first five games with the Iowa Cubs, going 3-for-14 with three runs and three stolen bases.
In his eight minor league seasons, Gore has a .241 batting average with 32 doubles, 15 triples and one home run in 658 games. He has had only 11 at-bats in 49 major league games, and is still looking for his first hit.