Prior to the Chicago Cubs game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night, the team announced that imaging revealed that Nick Madrigal suffered a moderate hamstring strain after pursuing a foul ball during Monday's loss to the Brewers.
Hamstring strains are often handled on a case-by-case basis and a rough timeline for Madrigal's return may be approximately 2-4 weeks. Given that the Cubs decided to place Madrigal on the injured list immediately, that may be an indicator that the team feels the third baseman's hamstring strain is more severe than the one that Nico Hoerner suffered earlier this season. The Cubs waited to see if Hoerner would be able to play through the injury before placing him on the injured list a few games after the injury occurred.
It would also seem likely that a minor-league rehab assignment will be needed for Madrigal before he returns from the injury.
Madrigal, for all the jokes that were made at his expense at the beginning of the season, had become an integral part of the Cubs' offense since his return from Triple-A Iowa earlier this month. Since June 9, Madrigal is slashing .328/.409/.466 on the season with a wRC+ 144. During that same stretch, Madrigal had recorded his first barrel and home run in a Cubs' uniform.
The injury could not come at a worse time for the Cubs as it would seem that how the team fares against these final two games of their current series against the Brewers will go a long way toward determining the direction the team takes at the Major League Baseball Trade Deadline.
Regardless, it would appear that the Cubs are moving forward with giving Christopher Morel an opportunity to learn the third base position. Morel's bat needs to be in the lineup but his defensive shortcomings have left the Cubs in a bind with how to use him. If Morel can learn to play third base in, the bare minimum, an average capacity, that will be an important development for the team's future.