Chicago Cubs prospect Braylin Marquez is another obstacle in his journey back to the big leagues.
Marquez underwent surgical debridement June 17 on his left shoulder, Jared Benner, vice president of player development, said Monday. Marquez is out for the rest of the season. Children expect him to make a full recovery.
“It was something that had been stalling for a while, both with the throwing program and away from the mound,” Benner said. “Ultimately it was something we had to do.”
The 23-year-old has not pitched in a game since September 27, 2020, when he made his MLB debut on the final day of the regular season and allowed five runs in ⅔ innings against the White Sox.
It was expected to be a breakout year for Marquez, the Cubs’ former top pitching prospect. He needs to work against hitters in game situations and get back into the rhythm of the season. His last minor league game came at High A in September 2019, and aside from his brief major league debut, he has moved up from High A in his seven-plus seasons in the organization.
COVID-19 has pushed it back twice.
Marquez contracted the virus in the spring of 2021. told the Tribune in March That he later developed the heart condition myocarditis, which he dealt with for months. Left shoulder fatigue then worsened and lasted late into the summer. A summer training program had Marquez feeling good heading into camp, until he tested positive for COVID-19 again and was symptomatic, preventing him from reporting to camp until March 21. .
“When you have that long, it’s like a Tommy John rehab — the physical part of it is fine. It’s the mental part of going back and competing,” pitching coach Tommy Hotovy said of Marquez in March. said about “If he does, and everything is going well, there’s no question he can help us at some point.”
Marquez was once ranked as the No. 37 overall prospect in baseball by Baseball America prior to the 2020 season. The Cubs appear ready to start Marquez this minor league season as a starter, but after missing another year Marquez could be moved into a reliever role — if he can stay healthy.
While Marquez’s big league future remains up in the air, Brennan Davis’ return is nearing.
Davis is currently at the team’s complex in Mesa, Ariz., following construction. is passing Back surgery June 2 To prevent vascular malformations. The Cubs expect Davis to play in games in two or three weeks, starting with Arizona and eventually working his way back up to Triple-A Iowa.
“You kind of have to go with it one step at a time,” Benner said. “It kind of fits the timeline that we were expecting. You never know what’s going to happen on the medical side. But we were hoping the whole time he’d be back this year, and it looks like he should be.
Davis, 22, has not played in Triple A since May 3 and his back problem appears to be affecting his game until surgery. He hit .195 in 22 games with Iowa and had a .286 on-base percentage and a .584 OPS.
Banner hinted that the Cubs could try to get Davis more at-bats in the offseason, “but that remains to be seen.” If Davis’ rehab goes smoothly, Arizona could be fall league or winter ball options.
Meanwhile, Miguel Amaya’s return from Tommy John surgery took a big step on Friday. The 23-year-old catcher, fresh out of IL, played his first game at Double-A Tennessee in more than a year.
Amaya, who had surgery in November 2021, played 12 rehab games in the Arizona Complex League to work on his timing and approach after a long layoff. Through his first two games with Tennessee as the designated hitter, Amaya clubbed a home run and two doubles.
Amaya isn’t expected to be caught in a game for a while, according to the Banner, adding that “it’s certainly possible” he plays in the AFL.
“He’s a key spot for us, it’s hard to find quality catching throughout the game, so any time you have a catching prospect, it’s always great,” Benner said. “To get him back swinging the bat, you don’t want to waste too much time with a young player. He hit the ground running this weekend.