Albert Almora’s Season is Over

albert almoraConfirming something I’d heard a few days ago (but was not able to confirm, myself), multiple reports out of Kane County say that Cubs prospect Albert Almora has been sent home, and will not return this minor league season.

Almora was placed on the disabled list back on August 7 with a groin issue, that has apparently turned out to be something other than a typical groin strain. Kevin Druley reports that it’s actually a bruised bone in his groin, which sounds awfully uncomfortable. Almora will continue to rest up for the balance of the season. As it was when Jorge Soler’s “season ended,” this isn’t a huge shock, given that there are just two weeks left in KC’s season. At this point, the Cubs might as well be cautious with a young player like Almora.

The real bummer is the total time that Almora has missed this year. Starting with his broken hamate bone and subsequent surgery, Almora missed a big chunk of time early, missed some time mid-season with a hamstring issue, missed a little more time with a hemorrhoid issue, and will now miss the final month-ish of the season with this groin issue.

When he’s been on the field, Almora has clearly lived into exactly what the Cubs’ hoped he would be: a stellar defensive center fielder with a great bat and a little pop. He’ll finish his first full professional season with a .329/.376/.466 in just 61 games, having played in full season low-A at just 19.

Assuming he’s able to recover from this injury in time, we’ll almost certainly see Almora playing some kind of offseason ball, either in the Instructional League or the Arizona Fall League in October. The latter, a challenging and prospect-heavy league, would normally be a bit of a stretch for a 19-year-old who has played only a half season in low-A, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Almora given a shot in the AFL because of his polish and advanced feel for the game.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

97 responses to “Albert Almora’s Season is Over”

  1. Noah

    Annoying, and the rather major type of minor injury thing is becoming a concern, but this not a huge deal. Even if Almora had time at Daytona this season, I doubt the Cubs would have started him in Tennessee in 2014 anyways. A hot first half of 2014 at Daytona puts him in Tennessee just a month or two after he may have arrived if not for this injury.

  2. Demarrer

    I don’t think Almora will be sent to the AFL personally. I believe a team is only allowed to send two players to the AFL that are below AA. We already know Bryant will, and I assume the other would be Soler because he is more advanced and on the 40 man.

    1. Mr. B. Patient

      I gotta agree with you here. Almora is not really set back all that much, and still a long way away from the majors. Not sure giving him a huge jump in competition after so much time off is worth it. Soler, being closer to the majors, needs the work more, plus I would not hate it if Baez continued his advancement, as he could be the closest to the majors.

    2. On The Farm

      I am not sure on the rules for the AFL RE: number of players below AA. But I bet Baez will be going, Bryant will be our guy under AA because he has already had some time off this year and they probably want to see more of him, and Soler will qualify through some other clause (maybe has to do with international players and age?). I am guess those three are locks.

      1. Mr. B. Patient

        Yes, those three would be my choice, also. Yes, I think there is an international player exemption.
        Last I read, each team contributes 3 position players, 1 starting pitcher, and 3 other pitchers.
        I’m also beginning to wonder if the AFL ‘rules’ are getting a bit looser than they use to be. Seems over the last few years there have been a bunch of exceptions. As long as they keep the skill level high, I don’t see why it would matter, as long as each teams feeder team doesn’t care.

        1. On The Farm

          So for the Cubs I wonder who they send pitching wise.Johnson is at 115.1 IP for the season, Edwards is at 108 (and they are also below AA). I guess they could send Alberto Cabrera, depending on how much/if they use him as a September call up, Frank Bautista as a RP. Jokisch is already at 149 IP so his season will be ending after the playoffs I would think. Any thoughts?

          1. Mr. B. Patient

            Good question. I have no clue. I really have no idea how this FO handles MiLB starting pitching.
            I would like to see Rossup, Zych and maybe Cervenka get some reps down there. They all could be players for the Cubs in 2014 sometime.

          2. cubchymyst

            For the pitchers, my guess is each will be rule 5 eligible. I agree with Patient that Cervenka, Rossup, and Zych are all possibilities. I think Jokisch has a good chance of going as well.

          3. C. Steadman

            Is Vizcaino a possibility or are they gonna just send him to instructional league instead of the AFL?

            1. Mr. B. Patient

              Yes, yes, and YES.
              Good call, Steadman.

            2. cubchymyst

              forgot about him, I’d say he is a high probability simply for the AFL.

            3. C. Steadman

              if he is sent there, then this will be the closest I’ve watched the AFL ever…i really want to see what he can do…i hope he can still be a effective starter

              1. willis

                I agree with the players mentioned of Bryant, Baez and Soler. Out of those three Soler is the most important because of how well he was showing and then how much time he missed. Need to get him out on the field against solid competition.

                As far as pitchers, Vizcaino is intriguinig if they trust that he’s healthy. Cabrera, Jokisch, Loosen, Hendricks could all be considered, but IP (as was stated) need to be a big factor in that. I think Zych and Rosscup are strong leans for the bullpen arms, with maybe Bautista joining them. As far as the SP, if healthy you color Vizcaino as the one and send him.

  3. cubchymyst

    I think Almora gets passed over for AFL this year in favor of Bryant. It seems like Bryant could be put on an accelerated promotion schedule and an AFL stint would give the FO more information about where to start Bryant next year. I think he could start in AA next year.

  4. Die hard

    Bone bruise in groin? I have a bridge in Brooklyn

    1. EvenBettersV2.0

      Congrats. Is it as entertaining as you think you are?

  5. Mat

    Eligibility Rules

    The eligibility rules to play in the AFL are simple.

    The roster size is 30 players per team.

    Each Major League organization is required to provide six players subject to the following requirements:
    All Triple-A and Double-A players are eligible, provided the players are on at least a Double-A level roster no later than Aug. 1.
    One player below the Double-A level is allowed per Major League team.
    One foreign player is allowed, as long as the player does not reside in a country that participates in winter ball, as part of the Caribbean Confederation or the Australian winter league.
    No players with more than one year of credited Major League service as of August 31 are eligible, except a team may select one player picked in the most recently concluded Major League Rule 5 Draft.
    To be eligible, players on Minor League disabled lists must be activated at least 45 days before the conclusion of their respective seasons.

  6. TabaccopouchinIvy

    Anterior iliac crest–”hip-pointer”

  7. No, You Should Not Expect a Javier Baez September Call-Up and Other Bullets | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    […] of this morning’s news that Albert Almora’s season is over, Baseball Prospectus has an eyes-on scouting report of the center field prospect from late […]

  8. koyiehillsucks2

    Not a good sign that he had 3 separate injuries the same year that kept him out a long time.
    It’s a bad sign that the two best OF prospects are already having injury issues.

    1. Edwin

      I’m less concerned with the injuries themselves. These are young players, and they should be able to heal. I think the bigger problem is the set-back to the development that the injuries cause.

      1. koyiehillsucks2

        what worries me is that Almora seems to be injury prone, I hope we don’t see the same trend next year.

        1. Drew7

          I mean, not much you can do about hemorrhoids, or taking a pitch off of the wrist.

  9. Jon

    Of all the Cubs big ’4′ prospects, I’m probably lowest on Almora. I l would love to see if we can put him in a deal, with maybe Vogelbach and more pitching pieces to get David Price.

    1. On The Farm

      Well to be fair a lot of other teams would probably have that view. Almora projects as a guy who plays great to gold glove D in CF and will be an average bat with just a higher floor. Of course that is less sexy than 80 power Bryant, the unstoppable Javier Baez, and one of the Cuban big three Soler (also projects good power). If we offer another team Almora for Price they are going to realize they are getting at best the #3 of the big four.

    2. Mr. B. Patient

      Price would cost Almora, a few other top 10s AND Baez. Would you still do it? A 29 year old pitcher (yes, a stud pitcher) who has a 50/50 chance of blowing out his arm before he ever pitches in a Cubs playoff game. Not for me. Not now anyway.

      1. Jon

        If they get Baez(would I wouldn’t trade), that’s a top 5 prospect in the game(kiss my ass Keith Law). That’s the deal. They don’t get anymore of the big 4. Maybe some filler.
        Dont’ forget you have to trade for him and then give him new paper.

        1. Mr. B. Patient

          So do we agree? The Ray’s asking price, for Price, starts at Baez, and we say NO.

          1. Jon

            Agreed. Can’t give up a young ARod.

            1. JB88

              I love Baez as a prospect as much as the next guy, but he ain’t a young ARod. ARod was playing in the majors as an 18 year old. Baez won’t see a ML game before his 21st birthday. Let’s try to keep things in perspective, Baez is good enough without the added hyperbole.

          2. RizzoCastro

            Everyone who is trading anyone good/great is going to want Baez. Stanton isn’t even worth Baez IMO.

            1. Mr. B. Patient

              Yes. This^.
              If we’re talking Price, I hang up the phone immediately.
              If we’re talking Stanton, I would at least think about it. Then say no?

          3. willis

            Flip Castro for Baez in that trade and I’m listening. But Baez as of now is absolutely untouchable.

      2. RizzoCastro

        No chance that would even be what they would get. Baez isn’t going in a deal for Price. Castro may be in a deal for Price, but even that would be a stretch. Castro is 23 Price is 29. Castro is signed. I think if the deal were with the Rays the Cubs would get Price plus a couple pitcher almost MLB ready for Castro and Vogelbach. Our prospects are a lot better than many of you think and Castro still has a ton of value.

        1. Mr. B. Patient

          First, you do understand that I am NOT a proponent of trading for Price, right? I was just giving an opinion on the Rays asking price. They traded Shields to the Royals for a Top 5, MLB ready prospect. Price > Shields, so IMO, he would cost significantly more (and even though I think he is, I’m not sure everyone thinks Baez is a top 5 prospect).

          1. On The Farm

            I think Meyers deserves to win the AL ROY. Rays made out like bandits, again.

            1. Mr. B. Patient

              Even though Wil Myers has a few letters missing from his name, I think he was a steal. I wonder, If Garza was healthy, if we could have landed him? Oh, to dream.

      3. Edwin

        Price turns 28 in a couple days, so for most of next year he’d be 28, not 29. I think right now, if it was Baez for Price straight up, or Baez for Stanton straight up, I’d do either deal, especially Baez for Stanton. Price and Stanton both seem like pretty established talents who perform at very good or even elite levels. As good as he is, Baez isn’t a sure thing yet.

        1. Blublud

          I wouldn’t do Baez for Stanton straight because I don’t trust Stanton. He has to stay healthy. Baez alone for Price, hell yeah.

          1. Edwin

            I’m curious, why don’t you trust Stanton? He’s only 23, and in 1800 mlb PA has a .378 wOBA and 138 wRC+. His K% has gotten better every year, his defense seems to grade out fine, and his baserunning has been decent the past two seasons. This year is a “down” year for Stanton, and he’s still on pace for a 3 WAR season.

            If anything, I’d doubt the Price move the most. I’d still do the trade of Baez for Price straight up, but I might pause for awhile. Price is probably peaking, and he’s about to get expensive, so there could be some question as to how much value you’d really be getting out of Price.

  10. Cubswin

    Baez and Bryant should be untouchable for us. If we were ever to do a trade for either Stanton or Price (not saying we should at all) It would have to be with Almora Vogey Alcantara something along that. They would probably want more so might have to throw in a Grimm or Hendricks. For all we know that could just be the start of a package. Either way sounds like a good chunk of prospects for one player which i’m not a fan of until we can see us 100% competing the next year or following year. We are all hoping for 2015 as am I, but i’m not willing to bet a ton of our good up and coming prospects on it

    1. C. Steadman

      yeah, i hate when people mention trading baez…why just cause he strikes out a lot? the 20 yr old kid has 30+ homers across Advanced A and AA two tough levels…also Bryant cant be shipped this offseason anyway but he definitely should be untouchable once he is eligible to be traded

      1. Kyle

        I’m not big on trading Baez either, but generally when people want to trade something, it’s not because we think they are worthless or bad. It’s because we think they are good and will get us something good in return.

        1. Mr. B. Patient

          I agree with you, that talk of trading BAEZ should be because of his value. I do, however, feel some people just don’t like the way Baez profiles, and want to get rid of him. (and these people may be the biggest whiners if we traded him and he fulfilled his promise).

        2. MichiganGoat

          Agreed, right now Baez is at his peak to trade so this is where the FO has to decide if his skills will continue into the big stage or if there are holes they are afraid will get exploited that he won’t be able to overcome. I know his performance thus far Nd the dreams of him doing this are something to drool over but ultimately people that know more than us will make the decision that will impact the rebuild. If we trade him for a solid stud that contributes at an All Star level it’s a risk they will have to consider because if they don’t and Baez doesn’t turn into the All-Star we are dreaming about and we didn’t pull the trigger we will be complaining about this for years to come. I’m not sure what the right move is here but it is a very important decision that will define the FO and the Cubs for years. Here’s hoping we make the right move.

          1. JB88

            While I think that Baez is really at a peak value right now, I’m also not certain that this FO can afford to trade him at the moment. There are just too many holes at the ML level to trade away a kid who, right now, looks like the surest thing in the system.

            If Baez were emerging at a time that Castro and Rizzo were performing well, Bryant, Almora, and Soler were all on the ML roster and producing, then I would probably advocate a trade. But, right now, I don’t think the timing is right. And, unless a Kershaw or a Harvey were available, I just don’t see the point of gutting the minors for a guy who has major question marks like Price.

            1. C. Steadman

              we should be wary of dealing with the Rays too…they ripped us off last time and now have two good players to show for it..didnt think Garza was worth Archer, Lee and etc…I dont want to see Baez and Lee in the same infield in the future with Archer a top 3 starter in the rotation..yes Garza did net us CJ which for that I’m eternally grateful

              1. JB88

                I can’t/don’t agree with this. It was not a good trade for the Cubs because Garza wasn’t what was going to put them over the top, but Garza also gave the Cubs about 6 WAR in 2 1/2 seasons, landed them a decent haul in return and, to date, has cost them roughly 1 WAR for Chris Archer’s two partial seasons with the Rays. Now, given that there is cost control trade off between Garza and Archer, it remains to be seen how good the trade was, but honestly I don’t think there is any way you can call it a “rip off”.

                1. willis

                  The Garza trade was not a rip off. The guys traded still haven’t proven much (if anything) at the Major League level and Garza gave the cubs some very good performances, You could say “going for it” before 2011 started was a short sighted idea, but what the cubs gave up for a very good pitcher was not a rip off.

            2. Edwin

              Major question marks?

          2. Mr. B. Patient

            Goat, what does your gut say? Do they trade Baez this winter?

        3. C. Steadman

          I put my full faith in Theo, Jed and the FO

  11. RizzoCastro

    Is Stanton all he is made out to be? Yes he has a ton of power, but his D isn’t that good. With that being said I think he would help the Cubs lineup just because of him being in the line up. Rizzo would see better pitches. it would change innings and the way pitchers pitch to the whole lineup. If the Cubs traded for him I think he would need to move to LF. I think the Cubs will make a move this winter. Barney is a good role player on D, but to me unless he is on a team that can just kill the ball on O for example the Tigers I just see him as a backup. I think the Cubs could move Shark, Castro, Vitters, & Barney this winter.

    1. X the Cubs Fan

      None of them are leaving this winter. I can see you just want to go along with everyone else because even your name has Castro in it.

      1. RizzoCastro

        Really?

        1. X the Cubs Fan

          Yes

          1. RizzoCastro

            I bet one or more of those 4 get traded this winter.

            1. mjhurdle

              i definitely could see at least 1 of those 4 moving.
              not sure about all four, but all are candidates, so you never know.

            2. X the Cubs Fan

              How much?

      2. RizzoCastro

        And no I’m not going along with everyone else. Baez will be a star and Castro needs a fresh start. I am a Castro fan and would hate to see him go, but if it makes the Cubs better I am all for it.

        1. On The Farm

          Castro has one bad season and he already needs a fresh start? Really?

          1. RizzoCastro

            1 bad season? He didn’t hit that well last year. He still has lapses in the field and looks like a guy waiting to explode when he makes a mistake or grounds into a DP. Yes a fresh start where he doesn’t have to have everyone looking at him like the savior of a franchise. I almost bet he will not want to move off SS so that may also become a problem if Baez were to be ready in July and the FO wanted him at SS. Do you see that playing out very well? Just all things to think about IMO.

            1. On The Farm

              He didn’t hit that well last year? is that based on his 3.2 WAR he produced at the SS position last year? I can throw out some more stats on why Castro didn’t hit “bad” last season, but WAR seems to be a generally accepted rule and his 3.2 WAR was 7TH among SS in the MLB. 7th! Even if they move him off SS for Baez (which I think it will be Baez moving) what has Castro done in his career that would make you think that would become a distraction? If anything calling up Baez would be great for Castro because all the weight gets lifted off his shoulder for a brief time while everyone is drooling over Baez to see what he can do. Especially since the FO has made statments that they want to try Baez out other positions this fall/winter/spring so again, I just don’t see where you are coming from at all.

              1. RizzoCastro

                I guess we will just have to see what happens this offseason and ST. I don’t mind moving Baez as long as it doesn’t mess him up. Power and OBP is very important to a lineup. Feared hitters always make your team better do the Cubs have a feared hitter in there lineup right now? Baez may be a bust or he could be the next big thing. You point to war on Castro well what is it this season? -1.0 which is his worst since his first year of 1.4. He has 8 steals this season last year he had 25. He has struck out 8 more times this season to last and we still have 35+ games left. So those are why I say these things. Baez may SO more than Castro but he may also hit 20 more HR’s and drive in 60 more RBI’s that’s big guys.

                1. On The Farm

                  I didn’t say he was tearing it up this year did I? I said he has one bad season and he needs a fresh start to which you said: “1 bad season? He didn’t hit that well last year”. Which is why I pointed out he was a top 10 SS last season. So I am not sure why you are pulling this years stats out on me, when I am admitting this year hasn’t been the greatest.

                  No one is doubting Baez could be the next big thing either, we understand the power potential brings to the table. You say moving his postitions may screw him up, hell it may make him better. Looking at his D at SS right now, he is not very good, why not move him to an easier position like 3B or 2B?

                  1. RizzoCastro

                    Then I can make that same argument for Castro to move.

                    1. RizzoCastro

                      He is trending down ward the last two years. The stats don’t lie.

                    2. On The Farm

                      If Baez’s glove suggests that its better than Castro’s by all means move him to 2B or 3B. As it stands right now Baez is making a lot of errors in the minors, the difference? You don’t see Baez’s errors on TV so you don’t have that bias against him. If Baez played the level of defense he is playing in the minors on the MLB level he would get killed as much as Castro.

                    3. RizzoCastro

                      All I have to say is either way this is good for the Cubs to have guys people like you and I are talking about here. I like Castro and if he could move to 2B and be happy then great, but I feel getting something for him in return to help in other areas would be the best thing for the Cubs if Baez can take over his spot. IMO

                    4. On The Farm

                      And you still realize that Castro is among the 10 youngest in the league, the Cubs would be selling low on trading him this winter, and you would still be okay with it?

                    5. RizzoCastro

                      Yes as long as it netted the Cubs a better return and pieces they need then I say Yes again. Castro may come back and be great next year or he could come back and be like this season and then what do you do?

              2. Edwin

                WAR includes defense. If you want to talk about hitting, try using wRC+, or wOBA. If you use wRC+, and compare Starlin Castro’s wRC+ to other shortstops, he was about .5 standard deviations above average. His wOBA was .7 SD above average.

                Otherwise, you’re correct. Castro might have had a slightly below average season at the plate, but compared to other SS, he was an above average hitter.

                1. RizzoCastro

                  But to me its more about the SS as a whole not just hitting. Castro makes some very good plays look easy, but he makes many mental mistakes and that has to stop at some point to say hey this kid is not just a good SS but a flat out All Star next level guy. So War is the whole package and that’s what we need to use. If yall want to say that Castro is going to be a better hitter than Baez then ok, but only time will tell.

                2. On The Farm

                  Which is why I said I could pull out more stats to prove how Castro was an above average SS, wOBA, wRC+, and ISO all show Castro was in the top 10 range last season. I don’t care where Castro is compared to all hitters, because SS is one of the hardest positions to find so if you have a top 10 SS, why would you trade him?

                  1. RizzoCastro

                    I say only trade him if you can get back supreme talent. And most of all if you have another SS that could be better than he is. I’m not saying Baez is better, do I think he will be… YES

                    1. On The Farm

                      I am not arguing you shouldn’t trade Castro if you get a blown away offer, no one is. You said that Castro has had back to back bad years, to which I pointed out he was well above the league average at SS last season.

                    2. RizzoCastro

                      I didn’t know I said back to back bad years. I said he is trending down the last couple years. But that said this only means anything if Baez stays at SS and the FO feels that something has to be done so I feel like this is all a mute point at this time. Lets just see how the winter and ST pan out.

                    3. Cubbie Blues

                      “RizzoCastro
                      August 23, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink | Reply
                      1 bad season? He didn’t hit that well last year.”
                      Goalposts returned to original position.

                    4. RizzoCastro

                      Ok then I just wont type them out at all. Sorry

                    5. On The Farm

                      No need to over react, but I am just saying its really hard to try and have a debate if what you type clearly contridicts itself. Just for future reference.

                  2. RizzoCastro

                    Towards the end of the season last year he didn’t hit that well. But I never said it was a bad season. This year has been a bad season. Continuing the trend downward.

                    1. On The Farm

                      You make absolutley no sense whatsoever. Earlier I said he had one bad year. To which you replied to me saying “one bad year? he didn’t hit well last year”. Do you understand how confusing you are being? No one can understand you if you don’t type your thoughts out coherently.

          2. RizzoCastro

            Bad season really isn’t the word I would use. But Baez could be ready in July. I am not apposed to trading Castro next summer if Baez is ready but that just doesn’t look as good to me as this winter when any team thinks they have a chance and is maybe willing to overpay on him.

        2. C. Steadman

          dont agree…keep Castro…he needs a good offseason rest and come back next year rejuvenated..that’s the fresh start he needs

    2. chirogerg

      His D is about average in RF (about the same as Shierholtz), probably above average in LF. His arm plays really nicely in RF

      1. RizzoCastro

        8 errors this year is avg.? He hasn’t even played 80% of Miami’s games. I like his arm as well in RF, but I would think a better fit at Wrigley would be in LF.

        1. chirogerg

          according to fangraphs, he costs a team 2.5 runs per 150 games. Schierholtz is at 0 runs per 150 games. 2.5 runs over the course of a season is basically nothing

    3. Chad

      Stanton’s biggest issues are his injuries. His knees are already falling apart and he’s still very young.

      1. mjhurdle

        ^^ THIS
        Stanton scares me. He is an amazing talent, when healthy, but he has already had hamstring, knee, and shoulder issues in his very young career.
        As much as i would like him on the Cubs, i would not want to risk too much given his injury history at such a young age.

      2. Mr. B. Patient

        Yes, at his age, the injuries are a concern.
        I also think, if Miami puts Stanton on the trade block, that Boston or Texas will be willing to offer more than the Cubs.

        1. BWA

          texas doesn’t have much to offer unless they include profar or andrus.

          1. Jon

            And Andrus isn’t really valuable with that awful contract.

          2. Mr. B. Patient

            Yes. Profar. They also have a few decent MiLB players left. I think it was on this site that someone said Baez was never going to be as good as Profar. So Texas offering Profar is better than any one player we can offer.

  12. Good Captain

    Somehow I suspect the picture of Almora was before and not after the injury. On a more serious note, while concern end about Almora’s string of injuries, I don’t believe this yet amounts to a concerning pattern.

  13. Justin

    I know it’s pretty early to judge a player’s durability, but I don’t think Cal Ripken has to ever worry about Almora breaking his consecutive game streak. Big Al seems to be banged up constantly with something. Very annoying…

  14. cubbie Forever

    Sports illustrated reporting Cal Ripken interested in managing.

  15. santos toupe

    hamstring, bruised crotch and hemoroids, i hope he hits like george brett.

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