Chicago Cubs News: Nick Madrigal impressing at third base

Aug 15, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Chicago Cubs second baseman Nick Madrigal (1)
Aug 15, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Chicago Cubs second baseman Nick Madrigal (1) / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The third base position is a focus area for the Chicago Cubs in Spring Training as it is the only position that the team does not have a clear starter as they head into the 2023 Major League Baseball regular season. The expectation was that Patrick Wisdom and Christopher Morel would platoon for the Cubs at third base during the 2023 season but that was prior to the team's signing for former Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Edwin Rios last week.

Another player that is in the mix for playing time at third base is Nick Madrigal. Madrigal getting reps at third base was first revealed as part of the team's plan last month and it would appear to be off to a great start. While addressing reporters on Thursday, Cubs manager David Ross spoke highly of the work that Madrigal has put in at third base so far during the team's Spring Training.

"“I’ve been impressed,” Ross told reporters Thursday at Cubs camp in Mesa, Arizona. “He’s moving really well. Feels like a totally different player than we saw last year where he looked like he was guarded at times and it was hard work to run. The first ball that was hit to him in the infield – (Cubs bench coach Andy Green) hit it pretty hard after hitting balls in the gap on the infield, outfield – moved his feet, gobbled it up well and threw a nice strong throw. He’s moving well. The arm strength is there."

David Ross via 670 The Score

If Madrigal is going to make the Cubs' Opening Day roster, chances are it will be due to him proving during Spring Training games that he is capable of playing third base. Otherwise, with other players on the roster that can play multiple positions such as Rios, Morel, and Zach McKinstry, it would seem that Madrigal may start the season with the Iowa Cubs. Madrigal does have two minor league options remaining so there is not a final decision that would need to be made during Spring Training regarding his future with the team.

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Despite the impression that Madrigal has made on Ross at third base, it remains unlikely that he would be placing himself in a position to be the team's everyday third baseman. The Cubs are still a team that lacks power in their starting lineup and that is something that Morel, Wisdom, and Rios would offer while playing regularly at third base. For as much as the Cubs may like Madrigal's hit tool, he lacks power in his approach and likely will prevent him from being the team's true focus at third base.