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Cubs place Jeimer Candelario on IL, recall outfield prospect

10 months agoAndy Martinez

The Cubs were struck by the injury bug again.

The team placed Jeimer Candelario on the 10-day IL with a low back strain prior to Tuesday’s 6-4 loss in Colorado. Outfielder Alexander Canario was recalled to take his place on the active roster. Canario was optioned to Iowa on Monday to make room for Pete Crow-Armstrong’s call-up.

Candelario exited Sunday’s win over the Diamondbacks after the 4th inning with back pain, per manager David Ross. He did not play in Monday’s win in Colorado, either.

“Candy’s dealing with a little bit of back stiffness,” Ross said prior to Monday’s game. “I think coming in today he feels like he’ll probably pinch hit off the bench. He’s kinda day-to-day.”

He had been a difference maker when he was first acquired at the trade deadline from Washington. In his first 18 games, Candelario was slashing .349/.423/.571/170 wRC+. In his last 18 games, he is slashing .109/.215/.309/40 wRC+.

The Cubs will hope the IL stint can help him heal and settle back into the groove he was in when he was first acquired by the Cubs.

Candelario’s trip to the IL will likely mean that Nick Madrigal will get the bulk of the playing time at the hot corner with Cody Bellinger playing first base. That likely creates more centerfield playing time for Crow-Armstrong and Mike Tauchman to split, depending on matchups.

If there’s a lefty starter, like there was Monday in Colorado, then Ross can use Patrick Wisdom at first, play Bellinger at center and use Christopher Morel at the DH spot. Then, Ross can still use Tauchman or Crow-Armstrong as defensive or pinch-hitting options, like he did Monday.

Canario’s re-addition gives Ross more depth off the bench. He had just 1 at-bat in his first stint up, but could see more, depending on situation and matchup.

“I gave him a crappy pinch hit, to be honest and gave him one at-bat and it’s not how you envision your debut going, but I know he’ll be back,” Ross said Monday. “He’ll be back soon and get him back down, getting some at-bats, getting him sharp. He’ll be back at some point, ready to help us, have a long really career, helping us out.”

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