Three days after leaving the game early with hamstring tightness, the Chicago Cubs have placed infielder Nick Madrigal on the 10-day injured list ahead of a pivotal homestand, recalling infielder Jared Young from Triple-A Iowa in the corresponding move.
Madrigal, 26, has rebounded a bit offensively from his first season with the Cubs while providing excellent defense at the hot corner, a position new to him heading into the 2023 season.
After posting just a .249 batting average and 66 OPS+ in 59 games in 2022, Madrigal has put up a 79 OPS+ in 2023 with career-highs in runs, hits, doubles, RBI and stolen bases.
While Madrigal has put up stronger numbers overall in 2023, he has struggled quite a bit in recent weeks, with just 17 hits in his last 73 at-bats, making up a .233 average for a hitter who strongly relies on consistent contact to be effective offensively.
Defensively, the Cubs will be at a loss without Madrigal’s glove at the hot corner, where he ranks in the 96th percentile in all of baseball with nine outs above average this season.
As for Young, the left-handed British Columbia native will begin his second stint with the big league team this year.
Young, 28, appeared in six MLB games in 2022 and has made it into 13 games this season, slashing .171/.256/.371, going 6-for-35 with two triples and a home run.
A regular player with the I-Cubs in 2023, Young has put up phenomenal numbers in Des Moines this season.
In 90 games in Triple-A, Young has slashed .310/.417/.577, amounting to a .995 OPS with 16 doubles, 21 home runs and 50 walks.
While primarily a first baseman, Young has some experience in right field and second base, though it’s likely the Cubs will use him as a first baseman and pinch-hitter given the current roster configuration.
The Cubs, currently in a playoff spot by mere percentage points, open up a pivotal three-game set against the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight at 6:40 p.m. at Wrigley Field.