duane underwood pelicansI just keep telling myself to wait for the results, and that “these things happen.”

Yesterday, arguably top Cubs pitching prospect Duane Underwood, Jr. tweeted out his own nervousness, which yielded extreme nervousness among Cubs fans:

Underwood was removed early from his last start after getting knocked around badly, and that always makes you concerned about a latent injury. Sure enough, Underwood was promptly put on the disabled list. Underwood’s age – he’s 20 – also puts him in the early window where elbow issues seem to pop up.

And, indeed, the MRI is on Underwood’s pitching elbow (CSN), and all we can do is await the results.

A second round pick in 2012 (he was one of the youngest players in the draft), Underwood has been developed carefully by the Cubs’ organization over the past three years, because it was quickly apparent that his ceiling as a starting pitcher was higher than almost anyone else in the organization. He’s a clear top ten prospect in the Cubs’ system at this point, and was going to find his way onto a number of midseason top 100 lists this year.

Through 12 starts at High-A this year, Underwood had a 2.66 ERA (though a 4.12 FIP thanks to a modest 16.7% K rate and a so-so 8.0% walk rate). The results are less what excites you about Underwood as opposed to the stuff and the big fastball, and the projectable body.

Hopefully there is just minor inflammation and nothing structural at play.

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