Nick Madrigal Immediately Got Two Grounders at Third Base Today, Looked Capable

The ball will find you.

Never has it been more true than today, when the first TWO batters put the ball in play to third base, where Nick Madrigal is making his debut. We’ve heard all about his work at the position this offseason, trying to make himself a little more versatile, but until we can actually see game action, it’s pretty hard to know if he’s playable there.

So far, through those first two plays? I thought he looked playable:

So, on that first one, he certainly gathers himself to put a lot behind the throw, but it also really was a strong throw. It wasn’t terribly accurate – Matt Mervis had to stretch to keep the base – but it was stronger than I was expecting to see.

The second one, moving in and to his right, I thought Madrigal looked even better. Freddie Freeman isn’t a blazer, so that’s a factor, but it looked routine. If I didn’t know I was supposed to be watching third base closely today, I probably wouldn’t have even thought much about the third baseman, other than he’s a little small. Ideally, that’s where Madrigal can be defensively at third: not noticeable.

I’ll admit it. Through two plays, he looked better than I thought Madrigal would. Long way to go, but I’m cautiously optimistic that he MIGHT be able to play at third when the Cubs want him there.

Madrigal also added an RBI single punched the other way, so he’s having a good day so far. Gotta have those hits, too, regardless of what happens at third. If Madrigal hits like he always did before last year, then you will find somewhere you play him semi-regularly.

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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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