The Cubs Just Sent Nick Madrigal to Triple-A
When we learned yesterday that Kyle Hendricks was going to return to (and start for) the Chicago Cubs tonight, the roster speculation began. Who was he going to replace on the active roster? A pitcher? One of the position players? Well, now we know. And while their choice is absolutely the correct one, it still comes as something of a surprise: Nick Madrigal is finally heading to Triple-A Iowa.
Despite a few timely hits and a better-than-expected defensive performance at third base, Madrigal’s time has finally come. In nearly 100 PAs this season, Madrigal has slashed just .247/.286/.301 (62 wRC+), and he still doesn’t have even one single barrel to his name. Not just this season, like in his entire time with the Chicago Cubs. And with the emergence of Chris Morel, who could cover those backup infield jobs whenever he’s not starting at DH, Madrigal became unnecessary.
So now he’ll head to Iowa to see if he can discover a different approach (or rediscover the old approach, I guess) that made him valuable during his time with the White Sox. Clearly, it wasn’t working with the Cubs.
Frankly, I can’t believe the Cubs actually pulled the trigger, but I’m happy they did. This was a necessary decision, and rolling with a bench of Mike Tauchman, Edwin Rios, Miles Mastrobuoni, and Tucker Barnhart (while Cody Bellinger is still gone) is simply better than continuing to force the issue with Madrigal.
It’s also nice to see the Cubs getting a little serious with their roster. Eric Hosmer is gone, Nick Madrigal is gone, Chris Morel and Matt Mervis are up, and even Hayden Wesneski was sent to Iowa to work on himself. I think we all agree this team has a chance, but these sort of tough decisions (on a personnel level) were always standing in the way. Who knows what the rest of this season has in store for us, but I’ll feel better about whatever happens if the Cubs are at least putting their best foot forward.
I am SURE this is not the last we’ve seen of Nick Madrigal. But for now, this is what needed to happen.