It has been a brutal year for injuries up and down the Cubs organization. The latest is a huge bummer, as right-handed reliever Ethan Roberts will have Tommy John surgery, ending his 2022 season.
Right-hander Ethan Roberts needs Tommy John surgery.
The surgery has not yet been scheduled. Roberts had been on rehab assignment for right shoulder inflammation.
An unfortunate end to the season for Roberts, who showed good stuff before his shoulder injury in late April. #Cubs
— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) June 23, 2022
Roberts, 24, turned heads during spring training and quickly became a fan favorite, as he showed off his nasty stuff on the mound wore his emotions on his sleeve. He was taken in the fourth round of the 2018 draft out of Tennessee Tech and following an impressive performance down in Arizona this past spring, Roberts made the Cubs Opening Day roster.
Here’s David Ross telling Ethan Roberts that he’s made the Opening Day roster for the Cubs! pic.twitter.com/MIIUzHEXrx
— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) April 4, 2022
Roberts made nine appearances for the Cubs before he landed on the injured list on May 2, (retroactive to April 30) with right-shoulder inflammation. He was sidelined for a few weeks and then started a throwing program in the middle of May. However, the injury was obviously more serious and by the end of the month Roberts was moved to the 60-day injured list, meaning he would not be eligible to return to the Cubs until the very end of June at the earliest.
Roberts was back on the mound for the Iowa Cubs at Triple-A, beginning his rehab stint on June 19. Unfortunately, Roberts left the game in pain after only throwing a few pitches.
Oh boy. A handful of pitches into his first MLB rehab appearance with the @IowaCubs, Ethan Roberts calls for training staff and leaves the game.
One of the best people in the organization. Hope he's alright.
— Alex Cohen (@voiceofcohen) June 19, 2022
Now, we obviously know the extent of his injury was much more serious than first thought.
Again, it sucks for any player, but just from following Roberts for a couple months going back to spring training he really does seem like someone you love to root for. And everyone you ask who covers the Cubs minor leagues closely raves about not only Roberts as a pitcher, but as a person too.
Nasty strikeout from Ethan Roberts! pic.twitter.com/uWoarn7tDZ
— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) April 12, 2022
Hopefully Roberts will recover and come back even better following his Tommy John surgery. This is purely speculating, but Roberts is going to miss the rest of this season and maybe best-case scenario he returns in the final month of the 2023 season.