Nick Madrigal has not had a good start to his Cubs career. In 23 games he’s batting just .203/.250/.241 (16-for-79) with three doubles and 14 strikeouts, a far cry from the consistent .300 hitter he was with the White Sox, in the minor leagues and in college.
Now, we might know what’s causing some of that hitting trouble as the Cubs placed Madrigal on the 10-day injured list late Tuesday with a low back strain. To replace Madrigal on the 26-man active roster, the Cubs recalled infielder Ildemaro Vargas from Triple-A Iowa. Vargas needed to be added to the 40-man roster, so to make room on that roster, righthander Adrian Sampson was designated for assignment.
Vargas was batting 279/.321/.414 (29-for-104) with three doubles, four triples, one home run and seven RBI in 25 games for Iowa this season, and he played for the Cubs, Pirates and Diamondbacks in the major leagues last year, going 8-for-43 (.186) in 18 games.
This likely solves the issue of what happens to Andrelton Simmons when he’s ready to be activated. At that point Vargas will probably be DFA.
Vargas is available for tonight’s game in San DIego. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery and return for Madrigal, so he can show off the talent that got him drafted in the first round by the White Sox.