The Chicago Cubs made one aggressive move at the trade deadline, trading two prospects to the Washington Nationals for corner infielder Jeimer Candelario. The switch-hitter replaced Trey Mancini and although he did make an immediate impact, Candelario has hit a cold streak in the past month. Now, Candelario is headed to the injured list after missing Monday’s series opener against the Colorado Rockies.
Candelario will be out for at least 10 days. Meanwhile, outfield prospect Alexander Canario, who was called up on Sept. 1, and only got one plate appearance before getting sent down Triple-A on Monday, has been recalled Tuesday to take Candelario’s spot on the active roster.
Candelario started against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, but left the game following his at-bat in the fourth inning. After the Cubs were able to avoid a four-game sweep, beating the Diamondbacks 5-2, David Ross said Candelario was pulled because of a back issue.
Including his 0-for-2 performance on Sunday, Candelario is now slashing .183/.278/.385, in 126 plate appearances since his first two games against the Cincinnati Reds after he was dealt to the Cubs. If you recall, the switch hitter went 8-for-9, against the Reds in those two games back with the Cubs.
So far in September, Candelario is 3-for-27. At the very least he’s made those hits count, 2 home runs and a double, while drawing 6 walks, but also striking out 10 times in 35 plate appearances. At the very least, it could be a good thing to get Candelario some time to reset and hopefully he comes back strong. Prior to the trade deadline, Candelario had an .823 OPS in 99 games with the Nationals.
In addition to losing Candelario, the Cubs are also without closer Adbert Alzolay, who was placed on the 15-day injured list with a right forearm strain on Monday. Some tough injury luck hitting the Cubs in the final weeks of the regular season.
For Tuesday’s game against the Rockies, the Cubs have Cody Bellinger starting at first base with Nick Madrigal over at third. Those two will probably take up most of the starts in the corner infield spots until Candelario is healthy again. Meanwhile, Pete Crow-Armstrong, who made his MLB debut off the bench Monday, is starting in center field and batting eighth tonight.
The Cubs head into Tuesday night’s game, three back of the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the NL Central division and 1.5 games back of the Philadelphia Phillies for the number one Wild Card spot.