If you are like me and you’ve been obsessing about pitching prospect Brailyn Marquez’s absence from camp, then I have some good news: the big lefty has finally arrived.
The reason for his extended absence, however, is less great:
Brailyn Márquez has arrived and was in the clubhouse this morning. He said the delay was due to another COVID-19 infection and quarantine, and he did have some symptoms. He’s vaccinated and tested positive about 2 1/2 weeks ago.
He said he’s feeling “very good” now.
— Maddie Lee (@maddie_m_lee) March 21, 2022
That’s the second straight Spring Training where Marquez was slowed by a symptomatic case of COVID-19. Statistically, that’s really bad luck, to say nothing of the fact that he’s vaccinated. Last year’s case was reportedly bad enough that it really slowed down the start to his year (and you wonder if that had any impact on the shoulder strain that came soon after). Hopefully this year’s – coming after a natural infection and vaccination – was merely the kind of symptomatic that makes you have to quarantine in a professional sports situation, rather than the kind that leaves you really run down.
Marquez says he feels good now, and he’s hopeful he can contribute to the team in any way, regardless of role:
Lefty Brailyn Marquez has arrived to Cubs camp. He said his delayed arrival was due to a positive COVID test, but he’s good now and feeling fine. pic.twitter.com/Yz0KA449lV
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) March 21, 2022
Of note, while not wanting to place any big league expectations on Marquez this season, he does have minor league options available and is already on the 40-man roster. In a season like this, the Cubs may have to move up and down as many arms as they possibly can. So it’s worth keeping that in mind.
That said, development – and health – are going to be the uppermost priorities for Marquez this season. If he chips in at the big league level, great. But that’s absolutely gravy. Honestly I just want to see him get, what, 100-ish innings at Double-A and maybe Triple-A this year? Your most realistic dream scenario after the last two years is that Marquez puts himself in a position in 2022 where we can be talking next year at this time about how he fits on the big league roster. Remember, Marquez has effectively not pitched in two years, and then he was locked out from working with the Cubs all offseason. Extreme caution is advised when it comes to your expectations.