Injured Hermosillo eyes role with Cubs in '22

September 9th, 2021

CHICAGO -- Michael Hermosillo has experienced hitting a home run at Wrigley Field, where he attended Cubs games as a kid. He recently had the chance to take his young daughter on to the famous field following a Sunday home game.

"That's something that I'll never forget," Hermosillo said Wednesday afternoon.

The 26-year-old outfielder has lived out a dream by playing for the Cubs, but Hermosillo does not want this to be how this chapter in his career ends. A left forearm strain landed Hermosillo on the 10-day injured list Wednesday, putting a period on his season.

The setback -- one he believes stemmed from an awkward slide into home plate Friday against the Pirates -- will require roughly a month of recovery time. Hermosillo is hoping he did enough in his 16-game stint to be on the Cubs' radar for 2022.

"I hope. I pray," Hermosillo said. "I definitely love it here, love the guys, love the management. They've helped me a lot. ... I think there's some things that I hopefully showed that will put that in the back of their head. But at the end of the day, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing regardless.

"Obviously, I'll get back from this injury, be healthy going into the offseason and then, yeah, just hopefully be ready to compete for a job next year."

Hermosillo hit .194/.237/.500 with three homers and seven RBIs for the Cubs. That included a .268/.321/.692 slash line when in the starting lineup (seven games) and a .905 OPS (15 plate appearances) against lefties. An 0-for-10 showing as an in-game substitute dragged the overall production down.

"Pinch-hitting and stuff, that's something I'm getting used to," Hermosillo said. "That's something I can get better at, if that's how I'm going to get on the field, that's how I'm going to contribute. If I can get better there and still keep the production when I was starting, I think I can be a Major League outfielder."

Hermosillo -- a native of Ottawa, Ill., who initially joined the Cubs on a Minor League contract prior to this season -- was extremely productive with Triple-A Iowa. Between some injury issues, he hit .306/.446/.592 with 10 homers in 43 games.

In the field, Hermosillo bounced between all three outfield spots, making some highlight reel catches in center. He made two impressive grabs against the White Sox on Aug. 27, and registered one Defensive Run Saved in his 29 innings in center.

Hermosillo said will spend the rest of this homestand with the Cubs before moving his rehab to Arizona.

"It's really unfortunate," Cubs bench coach and acting manager Andy Green said. "He was doing a lot of really, really good things for us. He seemed to be just finding his groove, taking really good swings against left-handed pitching and a guy that I know [manager David Ross] was eager to see play throughout the remainder of the year."

Green: Ross 'halfway home' to return

It has now been five days since Ross and president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer tested positive for COVID-19. Green relayed that there have been no subsequent issues and the team (with multiple negative tests across the board) is returning to normal protocols.

If the Cubs and Ross stay on this course, the manager might be cleared to rejoin the team Tuesday in Philadelphia.

"He's halfway home through this 10-day quarantine," Green said Wednesday. "But I think in the grand scheme of things, when you test positive for COVID, you're five days through the process and you haven't had a single symptom -- and as far as the clubhouse goes, there hasn't been any spread -- I think he's as happy as he possibly could be, given the set of circumstances.

"He's doing well and we're all eager to have him back with us and leading us."

Worth noting

• Outfielder Jason Heyward, who was scratched from the starting lineup Tuesday due to cramping in his right hamstring, was back in the order Wednesday. Heyward tested the hamstring with running drills pregame and was cleared to return to the field.

• Right-hander Keegan Thompson (10-day IL, right shoulder) played catch in the outfield Wednesday.


"Look at this as just another challenge. Take a few days and it's probably fair to pout a little bit and be a little bit sad about what just happened. But I think he's the kind of guy that's going to end up attacking this.

"I don't make roster decisions or anything along that, but I know everybody in this clubhouse has enjoyed him and see a real viability in him as a roster piece going forward." -- Green, on Hermosillo