Some Chevy applications run the heater hose return to that location vs. the water pump.
Trans coolers don't have heater hose diameter barb fittings. Be thankful the OP's radiator has a screw-in metal plug. Most vendors use the crappy rubber caps that crack and leak within a year.Does this new radiator have a built-in trans cooler?? It is typically in the passenger side tank with inlet near the top and outlet near the bottom of the tank.