Cubs’ Nico Hoerner to start shortstop after IL return – NBC Chicago
Hoerner to start shortstop for Cubs after IL return originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
If it wasn’t already clear, Nico Hoerner will play the shortstop for the Bear cubs in the home stretch, after he got off the injured list.
And maybe go ahead.
The Cubs are using the remainder of the season to assess their roster through 2022. That includes how Hoerner views the shortstop.
“He will definitely play the shortstop when he comes back,” said manager David Ross of Hoerner, who was due to start a rehab assignment with Single-A South Bend on Sunday.
“It will be good to get him back and see what he can do on the shortstop.”
Hoerner, who has been out since July 28 with a right oblique stretch, has 34 games of big-league experience on shortstop, his collegiate and minor league position.
The Cubs called him from Double-A in 2019, while on his couch at home in Oakland, to take over as the starting shortstop in a pennant race, following Javy Báez’s injuries. and Addison Russell.
He moved to second base in 2020, becoming a Gold Glove Award finalist in his first season there.
“One thing I know about Nico is that he brings a work ethic, a drive to improve, the ability to keep growing in a position,” said Ross. “Look how fast he picked up second base and how special he was there.
“I have no doubts in my mind that he can be a big league shortstop on a regular basis. If he can stay healthy and stay on the pitch, he is a very important part for this team moving forward.
“Having the opportunity to watch him play short for a good period of time will be really nice. “
Where Hoerner will play next season is a bit of a question mark right now. If the Cubs get a shortstop this winter, he could move on to the outfield, with Nick Madrigal as a second baseline option.
“He’s a special kid,” Ross said of Hoerner. “The more you are around him, the more he has that baseball rat mentality. He wants to learn every part of the game.
“The kid loves the game, and I think these guys around a team are infectious and special.”