Cubs manager David Ross hasn’t hesitated to pull players when he has sensed they’ve not hustled or made mental mistakes, as evidenced by his removal of Kyle Schwarber and Javy Baez from games in two previous seasons.
But as long as Franmil Reyes is a member of the Cubs, Ross may point to his lumbering designated hitter as an example of the importance of hustling.
The 6-5, 265-pound Reyes legged out his second triple in five games Friday against the Brewers. Reyes’ hustle enabled him to score on an infield hit by Ian Happ to cap a three-run first.
“It’s just taking advantage of what the game gives you,” Reyes said. “One more thing that shows people you have to hustle every time. If I didn’t get to third, I couldn’t score with the infield single that Ian had.”
Reyes extended his hitting streak to nine games to start his Cubs career, tied for fifth-longest in franchise history.
A warm, strong wind blew toward the outfield, but Reyes thought his drive to right-center was gone and started running harder once he saw right fielder Hunter Renfroe turn his back.
“I never think when I’m hitting I’m getting a triple,” Reyes said. “But every time I try to pull the ball in the gap, I try to be in scoring position. You guys will always see that from me. I’m not the fastest guy, but I’ll put pressure [on the defense].”
Nick Madrigal’s ability to leg out an infield hit in the first showed that he’s close to being fully recovered from a right hamstring injury that sidelined him for nearly four months of the 2021 season.
“Doctors and therapists said it would take a good amount of time to feel completely 100%, and there’s a chance I may never feel 100%,” said Madrigal, who tied a career high with three hits and is batting .325 (13- for-40) since returning from the 10-day injured list because of a groin injury.
“But the last couple weeks I feel I’ve taken the next step as far as feeling normal again. It’s one of those things all year long it’s tight here and there. But especially this last week, I feel I’ve been able to run and don’t worry about it. It’s definitely encouraging to feel a little better.”
This and that
Ross will take a closer look at Keegan Thompson, who lasted 3 2/3 innings and has pitched 104⅓ innings, his highest total since throwing 129⅔ innings in the minors in 2018.
“I think he’s got some fatigue setting him with this season, and we’ll take a big picture look at that and make sure everything is on the up and up with him,” Ross said.
• Right-hander Kyle Hendricks, who hasn’t pitched since July 5 because of a right shoulder strain, is expected to travel to Arizona soon to embark on a throwing program, Ross said.