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Cubs, Hermosillo dealt tough blow with season-ending injury

2 weeks agoTony Andracki

Michael Hermosillo’s story was easy for Cubs fans to get behind.

The Illinois native signed with his childhood team and immediately hit a home run in his first start with the Cubs last month.

The three weeks since have included some highlight-reel catches and other big hits. At 26 years old, Hermosillo represents an intriguing long-term option for the Cubs roster.

We’ll have to wait until 2022 to see what kind of impact Hermosillo might have on this organization. The young outfielder will miss the remainder of the 2021 season with a left forearm injury.

The Cubs placed him on the 10-day injured list Wednesday and selected fellow Illinois native Nick Martini from Triple-A to fill the outfield spot on the roster.

There’s some confusion about when exactly Hermosillo injured his forearm but he believes he jammed it into the ground sliding into home over the weekend. He pinch-ran in Tuesday night’s game but he has been limited in swings.

The injury will take a few weeks to heal and there is not enough time left on the calendar for Hermosillo to ramp back up into game shape.

“It’s really unfortunate because he was doing a lot of really, really good things for us,” Cubs bench coach Andy Green said. “He seemed to be just finding his groove, taking really good swings against left-handed pitching. A guy that I know [David] Rossy was eager to see play throughout the remainder of the year.”

Hermosillo signed a minor-league deal with the Cubs in November and put up some eye-popping numbers in Triple-A. In 43 games with Iowa, he hit .306/.446/.592 (1.038 OPS) with 10 homers, 29 RBI and 8 stolen bases.

In 16 games in the majors, he hit .194 with a .737 OPS with 3 homers and 7 RBI while playing all three outfield spots.

A former 28th round pick, Hermosillo is a native of Ottawa, Ill., and turns 27 in January.

As the Cubs set their sights on the future, they were anxious to evaluate Hermosillo. He could fill a role as a platoon player, drawing starts against left-handed pitchers and providing depth in the outfield (similar to the role Jake Marisnick played before he was traded away).

Green spoke with the young outfielder about the disheartening news and gave Hermosillo advice on how to proceed from here.

“I mean, it sucks,” Green said. “There’s really no other words around it. You try to handle that with a degree of empathy and help him understand it sucks. It’s also part of his story. He’s still got every opportunity to write a great story with his baseball career.

“This is what it is for him and how he handles it and responds to adversity ultimately dictates how long and how good his career is. For him to look at this as just another challenge, take a few days and it’s probably fair to pout a little bit and be a little bit sad about what just happened.

“But I think he’s the kind of guy that’s gonna end up attacking this. I don’t make roster decisions or anything along that, but I know everybody in this clubhouse has enjoyed him and seen real viability in him as a roster piece going forward.”

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