LAS VEGAS – As much as the Cubs’ farm system has improved in recent years, it has also sustained its share of injuries to top prospects.
On Monday, at MLB’s GM meetings in Las Vegas, Cubs vice president of player development Jared Banner provided updates on outfielders Alexander Canario and Brennen Davis, shortstop Ed Howard and catcher Miguel Amaya.
Canario, who broke his left ankle and dislocated his left shoulder a couple weeks ago in the Dominican Winter League, underwent surgery on his ankle last week and is scheduled for shoulder surgery this week. It will be Canario’s second left shoulder surgery in about two years. In November of 2020, he had his labrum repaired, following shoulder dislocation.
“He had a really amazing season in many respects, and to see him go down like that, it hurt us all.” Banner said of Canario, who led the farm system with 37 home runs this season, the second-most in the minors. “I know it is devastating to him as well. But at this point, we have some of the world’s best doctors and rehab people, and we’ll get him back to where he was in due time.”
Banner did not have a specific timeline for Canario’s return but said the outfielder wouldn’t be ready to start next season.
Canario was the second Cubs prospect to sustain a freak injury running through first base this year. Howard, the first, underwent season-ending hip surgery in May and is rehabbing in Arizona. Banner said the Cubs hope Howard will progress to light baseball activities after Thanksgiving.
Both Davis and Amaya were originally scheduled to play in the Arizona Fall League, but Amaya sustained a Lisfranc fracture in his left foot in September, and Davis was sidelined after five AFL games with what Banner called “general soreness.” According to Banner, the Cubs don’t believe it was connected to the sciatic pain for which Davis underwent back surgery in June and missed much of the season.
“Brennen’s pretty close to 100% now,” Banner said, adding that Davis is expected to be fully cleared by spring training.
Amaya, who hit in 40 games this year but has not played catcher since before undergoing Tommy John surgery a year ago, is also on schedule for a normal spring training.
In lighter AFL news, Cubs first base prospect Matt Mervis and pitcher Bailey Horn were selected to the Fall Stars Game. Mervis, who also was invited to the home run derby, hit a two-run homer and was named the Fall Stars Game MVP.
“There’s the consistency no matter where he goes, what level he’s at with what state he’s, Banner said of Mervis, “if it’s an All-Star game, regular season game or Fall League game, he’s finding a way to hit and do damage.”