We hear that Chicago Cubs infielder Nick Madrigal could get some minutes at third base.
Now we can see him preparing for the position.
Rich Biesterfeld tweeted a photo of Madrigal grounding the ball at third base.
While Madrigal has spent his entire college and major league career at second base, Jed Hoyer acknowledged at the Cubs conference that Madrigal will see representation at third base.
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The move revolved around the Cubs’ stalemate in center field. Nico Horner will slide to second base after signing former Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson. The Swansby-Hoerner combination is a stunning defensive midfielder and Madrigal is an oddity.
“I’m just preparing for whatever they throw at me,” Madrigal told the Chicago Tribune. “I’m getting ready to do my job no matter what it looks like right now. It’s a very exciting time for Cubs fans, everyone in the Cubs.”
There are even rumors that the White Sox could explore bringing Madrigal back to the South. The White Sox really need a second baseman.
Madrigal’s hitting curve doesn’t fit your typical third baseman, but he has a valuable bat in a different way.
“He’s not your typical third baseman power slugger,” Hoyer told the Tribune, “but he’s a really good hitter, a really good player and he can definitely do it.”
As Hoyer proved, Madrigal — when healthy — is a phenomenal hitter. He has a .289 batting average and a .336 career on-base percentage. So the promise of finding a spot for him on the field is due to his ability at the plate.
The Cubs also have the option to use him at designated hit spots. Teams may want to find a spot for Christopher Morel, Patrick Wisdom and Zach McKinstry on the field or at the DH spot.
Madrigal is not known for his defensive skills. He doesn’t have a jaw-dropping arm or the ability to pass the ball laterally. He has speed so he can make a bunt or a short ground ball in his wheelhouse.
Still, it looks like a square peg with a hole-type fit; the Cubs have time to figure out how they’re going to lay out their roster.
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