I had a reaction to this news at first, and I suspect you’ll have the same reaction. So take a moment to have that reaction and then I’ll explain why this is happening, because it took me a moment, too.
Nick Madrigal (back) has been activated off the Injured List after a very brief rehab assignment at Iowa, which seems odd given how much time he missed and how off he looked at the plate. If anything, it seemed like Madrigal might need time at Triple-A Iowa REGARDLESS of the injury. So why the heck is he coming back already?
Well, it’s because of the state of the 40-man roster: if the Cubs want another position player on the roster to take Seiya Suzuki’s place as he hit the IL, their healthy options were Madrigal or outfielder Alexander Canario, who has just 19 games above High-A, and is very much still finding his footing at Double-A Tennessee. So, Madrigal comes back a touch earlier than you might have otherwise expected.
He says he feels great, though, physically and mentally, and is ready to play.
Cubs have activated 2B Nick Madrigal from the injured list. Suzuki to IL on Monday opened an active roster spot. pic.twitter.com/iArC7HNfdx
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) May 31, 2022
We’ll see. I’m open-minded about how the switch might flip for him with timing at the plate, which was clearly off, but which he’s clearly had just fine before. I thought a long stretch of work at Iowa might be necessary, but maybe it wasn’t.
Madrigal returns after two games at Iowa, and he’s currently hitting .203/.250/.241/41 wRC+ with an uncharacteristic 16.7% K rate, and an egregious 61.5% groundball rate. Let’s hope the quantity and quality of contact ticks up considerably from here.