Chicago Cubs News: Nick Madrigal optioned as Kyle Hendricks returns

Chicago Cubs v Philadelphia Phillies
Chicago Cubs v Philadelphia Phillies / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

As expected, the Chicago Cubs activated veteran starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks from the IL on Thursday as Hendricks will make the start for the team against the New York Mets at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs had been playing with an extra position player since last Friday and the expectation was that a position player would be optioned once Hendricks was activated. The candidates were believed to be utility infielder Miles Mastrobuoni, second baseman turned third baseman Nick Madrigal, and third baseman Edwin Rios.

Given Ross' usage of Mastrobuoni over the past week, Madrigal appeared to have fallen out of favor with the Cubs' manager, and Rios, despite his lack of usage, does offer left-handed power off the bench. Therefore, it does not come as a great surprise that Madrigal was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Thursday in order to make room for Hendricks on the 26-man roster.

The hit tool that Madrigal showed with the Chicago White Sox at the beginning of his Major League career was a large part of the reason why the Cubs targeted him in the 2021 trade with the White Sox. Madrigal, who was on the IL at the time of the trade, returned to the Major League level with the Cubs in 2022 and never found consistent success with the team.

This season was no different for Madrigal as he slashed .247/.286/.301 in 98 plate appearances with the Cubs this season. While Madrigal offers little power, his line drive percentage with the White Sox was part of the reason why he found success offensively. Madrigal's line drive percentage with the Cubs this season was 18.1% and that is a number that will need to improve if he is going to find success once more at the Major League level.

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