Last week, top Chicago Cubs prospect Eloy Jimenez uncorked a wild throw in the outfield, and then didn’t play thereafter. Nervousness was warranted. This weekend, he had tests done on his throwing shoulder to determine whether there was a serious injury lurking in there.
All things considered, the news is good:
#Cubs GM Jed Hoyer says tests on Eloy Jimenez showed a bone bruise but no structural damage with top prospect's right shoulder.
— Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) March 20, 2017
#Cubs Jimenez has bone bruise in right shoulder. Will rest 3 weeks.
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) March 20, 2017
Shoulder structurally fine. No word on where he starts season, but extended spring likely.
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) March 20, 2017
It’s not entirely clear how the injury happened – was it the throw, itself? or was that simply the moment that the bone bruise reared its head in a way that Jimenez could no longer ignore? GM Jed Hoyer suggested it was probably the latter – but a bone bruise is infinitely better than a structural problem with the shoulder, even for a positional player.
Jimenez, 20, will now rest for three weeks, which will cut into his regular season no matter how quickly he returns. Playing it safe is generally the Cubs’ approach in these matters, so you can expect that Jimenez will stick around Arizona even after he begins baseball activities again. He will eventually play in Extended Spring Training games with other young Cubs prospects, before most likely being assigned to High-A Myrtle Beach. Hopefully he doesn’t miss too much time, but, again, having to sit out three weeks or a month right now is much better than having to miss half a season or more following surgery.
As far as Cubs-related implications here, there aren’t too many. Jimenez was not a threat to make the big league team at this point, or even later this year. Further, given his standing in the organization, he’s not a clear trade candidate right now, either.
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