Nico Hoerner exits rehab assignment game in 3rd inning
David Ross and the Cubs were excited to have an extended look at Nico Hoerner at shortstop.
Now, they’ll have to wait a little bit longer to get that view.
Hoerner exited his rehab assignment game for the South Bend Cubs in the bottom of the 3rd in the middle of his second at-bat with what the Cubs said was “increased tension along his right abdomen”. The Cubs said he would be reassessed on Monday.
He swung and missed at a low pitch and immediately walked out of the batter’s box and back towards the dugout. Hoerner was hitting second and playing shortstop for South Bend and grounded out in his first at-bat.
“It’ll be nice to get him back and see what he can do at shortstop,” David Ross had said before the Cubs’ series finale against the Royals. “[Getting] a regular look there would be definitely nice for us.”
The Cubs originally placed Hoerner on the IL on July 29 with a right oblique strain. He was beginning his rehab assignment with South Bend on Sunday, with the goal being for him to join Triple-A Iowa later in the week to continue the assignment.
Hoerner played shortstop at Stanford and was expected to man the position when he returned to the big-league club.
“I think he can be an above-average shortstop,” Ross said. “I don’t wanna put any labels on guys before they go out and produce.”
Part of that belief was Hoerner’s ability to pick up a new position and excel at it like he did playing second base, where he was a Gold Glove finalist in 2020.
“One thing I know about Nico is he brings the work ethic, the willingness to get better, the ability to grow at a position,” Ross said. “I have no doubt in my mind that he can be a big-league shortstop on a regular basis.”