“It’s a Little Worse Off Than We Thought” – Nico Hoerner’s MRI Results Were Not Ideal

Noticeably absent for almost a full week now, you didn’t necessarily need to hear the MRI results to know that Nico Hoerner’s triceps issue was something more than totally nothing.

Unfortunately, though, the scan revealed that Hoerner is dealing with a legitimate strain in there – “mild to moderate” – and it’s no longer clear when he’s going to be back.

“It’s a little worse off than we thought,” Cubs manager David Ross said of the MRI results, per NBC. “He’s feeling good, which is nice. The MRI showed a little bit more [to suggest] needing to be cautious. So we’re just going to try to play it day to day. He’ll be out for a couple more days.”

For now, there isn’t a publicly-stated plan to put Hoerner on the Injured List, which means, given the backdating, the Cubs must think there’s a good chance he could be used within the next week. Ross told NBC that Hoerner could hit and run right now off the bench, but the Cubs don’t necessarily want to risk further injury if he’s still feeling it.

More from Ross, via Cubs.com:

“He’s pretty disappointed with the news and the information,” Ross said. “I don’t think he has anything left to prove to us this year, but yeah, I would definitely say, the guy likes to play baseball and we like those guys out there as much as possible. And he’s a big part of what we’re doing here. He sets the example, gets better every single day, works hard. Having him being able to [play at] full strength is important for us.”

So why not just IL Hoerner? Well, again, if he might be ready to go in a day or two or five, then an IL move would keep him out longer than necessary. Moreover, if there’s not someone ready to go immediately to take his roster spot, it’s kind of a “what’s the point” situation.

I’m sure there’s also a little bit of thinking that you don’t want to put Hoerner on the Injured List unless you really have to, because that’s been one of the big digs at him the last few years: his ability to stay healthy and on the field. I’m sure Hoerner doesn’t want another IL stint on his resume, and I could see the Cubs – if they weren’t stretching to find a roster spot for someone else at the moment – trying to avoid it. Hopefully Hoerner can come back before the end of the season, play some more quality shortstop, and all is hunky dory heading into the offseason.

Even if, for whatever reason, a prescription of additional rest is order through the end of the season, I don’t know how much that would change anything for Hoerner and the Cubs.

There’s nothing left for Nico Hoerner to prove this season about his ability to play shortstop, if that’s where the Cubs line him up next season. He was very good at the job this year, and showed plenty of arm strength – when healthy – to handle the position. Obviously, if the Cubs add an impact shortstop in free agency, we already know that Hoerner can be exceptional defensively at second base, too. Any middle infield option is going to be in play regardless of how this season ends (unless, I guess, the arm issue evolved into something catastrophic).

In the meantime, we’ll keep seeing more of Christopher Morel at shortstop, where he has looked really good defensively:

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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