Chicago Cubs need Nico Hoerner on their Opening Day roster
Nico Hoerner has a good shot at cracking the Chicago Cubs roster in 2020.
A shortened baseball season has resulted in some big changes. While the big league Chicago Cubs prepare for the upcoming season, minor league affiliates will not. While not unexpected, this is an unsettling decision that has hundreds of prospects wondering what their next moves will be.
Like training camp, teams across the league have included prospects in their Summer Camp rosters. Workouts will largely begin July 3, featuring 50 to 60 players hoping to help their organization win a World Series despite the short-season schedule.
No matter how you look at it, a championship is a championship. Teams are still going to take the field and give their absolute best. Of course and understandably, you have some players who have opted to sit out due to the pandemic. Family is everything and never forget or judge those choosing loved ones over the game.
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Now that we know the fate of the 2020 minor league season, what’s going to happen with prospects on the Cubs camp roster? There is a possibility that a few prospects could get in some major league action several years ahead of when they normally would.
For top prospect Nico Hoerner, this could be the perfect opportunity to cement his roster spot for years to come. Obviously, Javier Baez is the team’s everyday shortstop – at least for the time being.
Last season, Hoerner made his big league debut, hitting .282/.305/.436 with three homers and 17 RBI in 78 at-bats. Like some of Chicago’s previous top prospects, the former Stanford standout was received with open arms and high expectations given the history of those he has followed.
With a shortened season comes expanded rosters. To begin the year, each club will have 30 players on a roster. After four weeks this number will shrink to 26 for the remainder of the campaign.
Since the Cubs will have four extra players, it would make sense to give Hoerner the chance to get some work in. Considering the season will consist of only 60 games, David Ross is going to want Baez as fresh as possible. So why not keep hold of Hoerner, giving him time between second and short until the roster lowers to 26?
If it came down too it, Ross should consider carrying Hoerner along with Jason Kipnis and David Bote. In his first year with the Cubs, 33-year-old Daniel Descalso hit .173/.271/.250/.521 through 168 at-bats. Having him replace Ben Zobrist at second base was a complete failure, to say the least.
Maintaining Hoerner gives our new skipper two quality choices along with a Chicago native in Kipnis who’s eager to silence his critics. Despite experiencing some struggles and season-ending wrist surgery in 2019, he’s still a far better option than Descalso.