Chicago Cubs infielder Nick Madrigal has struggled to get his legs under him since he was acquired by the team in a 2022 trade, but manager David Ross says that he fully expects him to be back with the team at some point in the future.
Madrigal, who is batting .247 in 93 at-bats with the Cubs this season, was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Thursday after Kyle Hendricks was activated from the injured list.
During his pregame press availability, Ross says that the team had a numbers crunch in the infield, and Madrigal was the odd man out.
“We’ve got a lot of guys competing for playing time at third base, and there just isn’t a lot of room for that skillset right now,” he said. “(We’re) just trying to get him back to finding his timing and putting good swings on the baseball.”
Madrigal found himself moved to the third base role after the Cubs signed Dansby Swanson, pushing Nico Hoerner to second base.
Madrigal has yet to hit a home run this season and has nine RBI’s, with two stolen bases and a .286 on-base percentage.
Overall, his numbers are down significantly from his time with the White Sox, with noticeable dips in his batting average and on-base percentage.
Ross says that Madrigal will continue to work at both second and third base in the minor leagues, and praised him for his willingness to take on a new position, which required him to not only work on his arm strength but also his footwork and awareness.
“The thing I’m most proud of for him is the way he took third base. He’s been clean over there,” he said. “That’s hard to do, and that’s gone unnoticed publicly. I keep marveling at the ability of him to make so many types of plays, and the arm strength he’s built.”
With Edwin Rios and Miles Mastrobuoni remaining on the roster, and with Patrick Wisdom and Christopher Morel taking most of the starts at third base, the infield is crowded for the Cubs, but Ross says he hasn’t seen the last of Madrigal.
“I’m sure he’ll be back really soon to help us,” he said.
He’ll still bounce around, play second and third. The thing I’m most proud of for him is the way he took third base. He’s been clean over there. That’s hard to do, that’s gone unnoticed publicly. I keep marveling at the ability of him to make so many types of plays, and the arm strength he’s built.
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