Although he’s only had a chance to play in the alternate site Triple-A games, the Cubs have decided Nico Hoerner should nevertheless be the next depth man up. Joc Pederson is hitting the injured list, and Hoerner is coming back to the Cubs.
Pederson has left wrist tendinitis, according to the Cubs, which could possibly help explain his miserable start to the season. That’d be your hope, anyway, and you’d hope that some rest and treatment could help him get right. The Cubs’ offense could really use his bat, if it’s doing what it can normally do (especially against plus fastballs). Pederson’s stint is retroactive to yesterday, so he’ll be eligible to return just after the calendar flips to May.
In the meantime, Hoerner comes up presumably to serve off of the bench until the actual Triple-A season gets underway? You’ve gotta figure the Cubs are going to want him getting regular starts eventually – that was the main reason he was sent down in the first place – and you also gotta figure the Cubs aren’t already done with David Bote as the primary starter at second base now that he’s kinda raking. So mostly bench work for Hoerner and a start or two over the next week?
We’ll see how Hoerner is used, and what happens when more roster shuffling is necessary. It would’ve been a little more one-to-one for the Cubs to make room for Cameron Maybin to take Pederson’s spot, but perhaps they didn’t want to open a 40-man roster spot just yet?
In the meantime, here’s hoping Hoerner gets in some game action – get him as much as he can reasonably get this year if the focus is development! (Also, this move is your reminder that the original second base decision was clearly never about service time (which just didn’t make sense anyway). Just sayin’.)