This minor-league infielder is getting tough to ignore

The Chicago Cubs have an infielder in the minor leagues who’s getting hard to ignore.

The Chicago Cubs have little to be excited about as of late, as they are in the middle of a strange rebuild/retool that has yet to yield any sort of real results.

The club is 34-52 entering today, good for fourth place in the NL Central 13.5 games behind the Brewers and 12.0 out of an NL Wild Card spot if the season ended today.

Patrick Wisdom has continued his ways as a corner infield/outfield power threat and Nico Hoerner has emerged as one of the better shortstops in the National League. Alfonso Rivas at first and Andrelton Simmons at second have both struggled with the bat, though Simmons at least remains an excellent defender.

David Bote remains on hand as an oft-used backup infielder who can play anywhere on any given day. Behind these players, the depth has been depleted as Frank Schwindel and Nick Madgrial, two everyday starters for the club, have missed time due to injuries.

However, there is an MLB veteran of four big league seasons waiting in the minor leagues for his chance at some big league time.

Cubs: Minor league infielder Dixon Machado can’t be kept down for much longer

Former Detroit Tigers infielder Dixon Machado spent four seasons in the big leagues with the Tigers to mixed results. He spent the 2019 in the Cubs’ Triple-A Iowa affiliate and had a career year, hitting 17 home runs and driving in 65 runs.

2020 and 2021 saw the versatile infielder playing in Korea where he continued to show off his sharp fielding and improving bat. He played in 277 games over two seasons, hitting 17 home runs, driving in 125 runs and drawing nearly as many walks (112) as strikeouts (124).

Back in the Cubs system at Triple-A Iowa, Machado has spent time at second, third and shortstop in 73 games. His bat remains strong and his eye at the plate seems to only be improving.

The 30-year-old has just a single home run this season but he has 22 RBI, nine stolen bases and more walks (42) than strikeouts (34). His batting average is sitting at .291 entering today, the highest mark of his career if the season ended today.

Machado represents a player profile that the Cubs have always loved to have on their team, whether they’re winning or rebuilding. He can play all four infield positions and play them well. He has speed on the basepaths and one of the best batter’s eyes in the entire organization. He gets on base and is good for the occasional home run but the majority of his value lies on his pesky singles and stolen bases.

Machado has already found himself on the radar of some Cubs fans out there who are calling for him to replace Andrelton Simmons.

If Simmons continues to be a poor offensive contributor or if the injury bug strikes this Cubs team once again, he should be first in line for a call up. Of course, Machado is not on the 40-man roster but a Simmons DFA/release would make room for the younger infielder on the active roster.

Source link