When Nick Madrigal left the Cubs’ marathon game last Saturday with yet another hamstring issue, it felt like only a matter of time before he was placed on the IL. The third baseman has played well when healthy, but he hasn’t been at full strength for much of the season and his roller-coaster performance has shown it. Despite a tremendous June that saw him generate a 148 wRC+, Madrigal is down to 83 wRC+ on the season.
With corner infielder Jeimer Candelario also on the IL, the Cubs recalled Jared Young from Triple-A Iowa. I personally would have preferred to see Matt Mervis get another shot, but Young’s ability to play third as well as first earned him the nod. Christopher Morel will be manning the hot corner Tuesday night with Patrick Wisdom at first, and the assumption is that Young will serve primarily as depth.
Following a very strong start that saw him collect a homer and two triples in his first three games, Young cooled significantly and ended up batting .171 with a 69 wRC+ in 39 plate appearances across parts of June and July. He played exclusively first base in that stint but has played over 135 innings at third for the I-Cubs and could be used there situationally.
While I understand Young’s versatility — he can also play corner outfield spots — the Cubs are in need of more pop and could use a guy who’s collected 13 hits in the last eight games. That would be Mervis, who has hit five doubles and two homers in that stretch. There’s still time for him to get another shot, of course, so we’ll see how things play out.
I should also acknowledge my pro-Mash bias, because Young has plenty of thump with 21 homers and a .994 OPS in Triple-A this year.