The injuries just keep piling up for the Cubs, though hopefully this one is more of a reset opportunity.
Infielder Nick Madrigal, mired in a horrible start to the season, is headed to the Injured List with lower-back tightness. I hope it isn’t serious, though it must have popped up late in the day, since the Cubs already announced a round of roster moves involving Wade Miley and Michael Hermosillo. Maybe Madrigal will take some time to rest and mentally reset, and then maybe he gets some time at Iowa on a rehab assignment, which could help him anyway. We’ll see how serious the issue is before going much further with those thoughts.
Taking Madrigal’s spot on the active roster is old friend Ildemaro Vargas, who was in San Diego already on the taxi squad (because of the COVID issues and the risk of spread). Vargas, 30, can play all over the infield with a solid glove, but he likely won’t bring too much with the bat. Though he’s hit well at Triple-A for years, he just hasn’t been able to do it at the big league level over any meaningful stretch. I would expect Vargas’s stay to be brief, and coincide with whenever Andrelton Simmons is ready to make his debut.
Vargas was not on the 40-man roster, so the Cubs needed to open a spot there, and Adrian Sampson has been DFA’d. The 30-year-old swing man has pitched in for the Cubs the last couple years when needed, but isn’t likely a medium-term piece. So the Cubs will probably see if he can clear waivers, at which point he and they will decide what’s the best next step (an outright to Iowa, or an agreed-upon release).