Nico Hoerner To Bat 6th, Play SS In MLB Debut

His promotion comes as Javier Baez and Addison Russell deal with injuries.

670 The Score Staff
September 09, 2019 - 5:55 pm

(670 The Score) The Cubs have called up top prospect Nico Hoerner, and he'll start at shortstop and bat sixth as the team opens a four-game series at the San Diego Padres on Monday evening.

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Hoerner's promotion comes as the Cubs are shorthanded as shortstop. Javier Baez has a hairline fracture in his left hand and could miss the rest of the regular season. He was set to visit a specialist Monday, after which the Cubs will know more about a potential timeline for a return. On Sunday, backup shortstop Addison Russell was hit in the head by a pitch in a loss to the Brewers. He's being evaluated for a concussion.

Hoerner, 22, is the No. 47 prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline. He finished the season at Double-A Tennessee, where he hit .284 with three homers, 22 RBIs and a .743 OPS in 70 games. The Cubs selected him in the first round of the 2018 amateur draft.

To make room for Hoerner on the 40-man roster, the Cubs designated lefty reliever Randy Rosario for assigment. In other roster moves, Chicago recalled right-hander James Norwood and optioned right-hander Adbert Alzolay.

Entering Monday, the Cubs were 4.5 games back of the NL Central-leading Cardinals in the division race and 1.5 games up on the Diamondbacks for the second NL wild-card spot.