September 20: The strain is of a Grade 2 variety, Madrigal told reporters (including Bruce Levine of 670 The Score). That’s a reasonably significant injury that often requires a few weeks of recovery, though Madrigal stated he’s without a current timetable for a return.
September 19: The Cubs placed infielder Nick Madrigal on the 10-day injured list, with a retroactive placement date of September 17. Infielder Jared Young was called up from Triple-A Iowa to take Madrigal’s spot on the active roster.
Madrigal suffered a right hamstring strain that forced him to make an early exit from Saturday’s game, and after a few days of examination, a trip to the IL became inevitable. “We got some imaging and it’s worse than expected,” Cubs manager David Ross told MLB.com and other reporters.
This is the second time Madrigal has strained his right hamstring this season, with the previous injury costing him most of July. Despite that somewhat lengthy past timeline, Ross is “not ruling out hopefully postseason [availability]” for the infielder should the Cubs reach the playoffs. “He’ll still be working and trying to get back, but it’s just the same hamstring — just worse than we thought.”
Madrigal has hit .263/.311/.352 over 294 plate appearances this season, and that lack of pop made playing time hard to come by earlier in the season. With Dansby Swanson and Nico Hoerner entrenched in the middle infield positions, Madrigal was limited to mostly part-time at-bats with Patrick Wisdom at third base. Madrigal began to earn a larger share of playing time throughout the summer, and even after Jeimer Candelario was acquired at the trade deadline, Madrigal still got some looks at the hot corner when Candelario was utilized at first base (with Cody Bellinger playing center field).
More third base time opened up when Candelario hit the IL with a bad back last week, and with Madrigal now also out, Wisdom and Christopher Morel figure to split time until Candelario returns. Chicago’s fight for a wild card slot has been hampered by a few notable injuries in the last few weeks, with Marcus Stroman missing significant time and the likes of Candelario, Adbert Alzolay, Michael Fulmer, and now Madrigal all out.