After Injuries Forced Kris Bryant to OF, Even More Injuries May Force Him Back to 3B

Kris Bryant hasn’t played a single inning at third base since April 20, a situation necessitated by a string of injuries to Joc Pederson, Ian Happ, Jake Marisnick, and Jason Heyward. In fact, he’s now logged nearly twice as many starts (27) and innings (233) in the outfield as he has at the hot corner (14, 121.2). Now, however, a rash of infield injuries may force him back to third.

The Cubs announced Tuesday that they had placed Matt Duffy on the IL retroactive to May 23 with a lower back strain, then Nico Hoerner went down hard with a hamstring injury while trying to leg out a single. In the wake of Hoerner’s injury, infielder Sergio Alcántara — not to be confused with Arismendy — was lifted from the Iowa Cubs game, presumably to prep for a trip to Chicago.

But as Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register tweeted Wednesday morning, that may have merely been precautionary. That’s because Birch is reporting that outfielder Rafael Ortega will instead be heading to Chicago, though Birch noted that he wasn’t sure whether it was to fill a spot once Hoerner is presumably placed on the IL.

We should find out soon enough how this is all going to shake out, but it would be at least mildly curious to see the Cubs add Ortega at the expense of, say, Nick Martini. That feels like a bit of a lateral move that doesn’t do much to address their obvious depth issues. Perhaps that means Patrick Wisdom would be DFA’d to make room for Ortega.

That would mean moving Bryant back to third as David Bote, who is mired in a slump at the plate, serving as more of the backup second baseman to Eric Sogard. Or maybe Bryant can just play two positions at once.

Update: Read into this what you will as to the severity of Hoerner’s injury, but the Cubs have signed speester Dee Strange-Gordon to a minor league deal.

Back to top button