Nick Madrigal Will Be Getting Some Reps At Third Base

We’ve talked numerous instances about how the addition of Dansby Swanson, and shifting of Nico Hoerner over to second base, makes issues robust on this roster for Nick Madrigal. Unlike another second-base-capable gamers at the moment on the 40-man roster or at Triple-A Iowa – Christopher Morel, Zach McKinstry, Miles Mastrobuoni, and David Bote, for instance – Madrigal’s worth is usually restricted by his potential to play solely second base, or DH. In both case, he actually has to hit to justify his spot, and it is a bit of arduous to see in the intervening time the place he’ll get the form of common enjoying time essential to get the bat on monitor.

That’s why commerce hypothesis about Madrigal is smart, even when I’m not but able to say a commerce – particularly one which’s merely dumping Madrigal – is the perfect transfer. You by no means understand how a lot depth you’ll need, you can’t rule out Madrigal turning into a high quality massive league bat (in his personal distinctive method), and you can’t ignore that Madrigal is a man who nonetheless has minor league choices remaining and hasn’t really spent THAT a lot time within the massive leagues or at Triple-A. Why would we assume he is a completed product?

Against that backdrop, Cubs President Jed Hoyer dropped one thing of a shocker on the Cubs Convention, saying that Nick Madrigal could be taking some reps at third base this offseason. It’s not totally clear whether or not that extends into Spring Training, a lot much less the common season, but it surely’s one thing that’ll be labored on.

“He’s not what you consider a stereotypical third-baseman energy slugger,” Hoyer informed the Chicago Tribune, “however he is a very good hitter, a very good participant and he can undoubtedly do it.”

Obviously the Cubs are getting ready to suppose creatively about how they will get Madrigal extra alternatives. If he *does* provide the bat he confirmed in 2020 and 2021 (.317/.358/.406/111 wRC+), then he is a man you need enjoying someway, someplace. I can perceive eager to see if he may even remotely deal with third base, leaving you with no less than a doable choice for a few of his begins.

That stated… can he even remotely deal with third base? You do not get that sense when watching him, and his 14th percentile arm power could be fairly arduous to justify on the left aspect of the diamond. Madrigal has not performed third base in his profession.

I suppose we’ll see, and there is not a ton of hurt in giving him a while to work with the coaches there, and even a Spring Training begin or two. When push involves shove, although, I’d be VERY shocked to see Madrigal make even a single begin at third base this 12 months.

A separate factor Hoyer stated about Madrigal’s down season with the Cubs, which was actually very attention-grabbing (through the Tribune):

Looking again on Madrigal getting back from his torn hamstring, Hoyer stated he in all probability would have stored Madrigal again final spring coaching if he may have a do-over.

“He’s a competitor and possibly tried to persuade us he was prepared and he in all probability wasn’t, and I believe that is considerably on us,” Hoyer stated. “Going ahead, (I’d) not do this with a participant like him who’s all the time going to let you know he feels good.”

The Cubs final 12 months talked about how bodily limitations early within the 12 months may have led to points on the plate, which may have led to overcompensation, which may have led to completely different bodily points (Madrigal had numerous them). In the primary half of the season, whereas lacking time with a again harm and a groin pressure, Madrigal hit an abyssssssmal .222/.263/.250/47 wRC+. After coming back from the groin pressure in August, nonetheless, he was nearly a league-average hitter the remainder of the best way. Still not what he must be to normal actual worth, however extra just like the man he’d been all through his baseball-playing profession.

As for the third base factor, we’ll see if he really winds up working there in Spring Training. The Cubs probably simply wish to protect as a lot flexibility as doable for now, as a result of there isn’t any hurt in it whenever you’re simply speaking about mid-January. For commerce functions or in any other case.

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