The sequence was eerily familiar.

Chicago Cubs prospect Alexander Canario awkwardly hit first base and went down hard during a Dominican Winter League game two weeks ago. The subsequent injury to the 22-year-old outfielder — a fractured left ankle and separated left shoulder — was reminiscent of how infield prospect Ed Howard’s season ended in mid-May.

Howard awkwardly tried to avoid a tag on an errant throw to first base and landed in a heap beyond the bag. The Cubs’ 2020 first-round pick fractured his left hip on the play.

Howard is rehabbing at the team’s complex in Mesa, Ariz., and the Cubs hope he will begin light baseball activities after Thanksgiving, vice president of player development Jared Banner said Monday at the general manager meetings.

Canario also faces a lengthy recovery from his freak injury. He had surgery last week in Chicago on his ankle and will undergo another surgery this week on his shoulder. The procedure will be the second on Canario’s left shoulder; a torn labrum was repaired in November 2020 after he dislocated the shoulder while in the San Francisco Giants organization.

Canario won’t be ready for the start of the 2023 season. There is no timetable beyond that for his return.

“These guys put a lot of work in, especially in Canario’s case,” Banner said. “He had a really amazing season in many respects, and to see him go down like that, it hurt us all. It was devastating to him as well.”

The Arizona Fall League presented an opportunity for outfielder Brennen Davis to gain valuable at-bats after missing more than three months because of back pain and ensuing surgery to cauterize a vascular malformation that pushed against a nerve.

Davis’ AFL experience ended after five games and 21 plate appearances because of what Banner described as “general soreness.” He added that the Cubs don’t believe the issue relates to Davis’ previous sciatic pain.

Davis is close to 100%, and Banner expects him to be full go by the start of spring training.

“I don’t want to speculate, but whenever you have to take that much time off from physical activity, it can make returning a little bit bumpy and nonlinear,” Banner said.

Canario’s injuries and lengthy recovery along with Davis’ lost season are a blow to the Cubs’ options in center field and, by extension, the offseason avenues they could pursue to upgrade the roster.

Although they anticipate Canario will be back in games sometime …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


How Alexander Canario’s freak injury further complicates the Chicago Cubs’ center-field options and offseason approach

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