Cubs top prospect Brennen Davis had surgery on his back Thursday and will possibly miss the rest of the 2022 baseball season.
Brennen Davis Back Surgery
According to Meghan Montemurro of the Chicago Tribune, the surgery took place in Los Angeles. Davis had been sidelined with his back injury since May 3.
Cubs top prospect Brennen Davis had back surgery yesterday, sources tell @chicagotribune. His timeline to return is unknown.
Details on it all here: https://t.co/ysoy6ayeIz
— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) June 3, 2022
Via the Chicago Tribune.
Davis had back surgery in Los Angeles Thursday, sources told the Chicago Tribune. The 22-year-old outfielder went on the Triple-A Iowa injured list May 12 after he had been bothered by low back stiffness that traces back to spring training. The surgery revealed a cluster of blood vessels that caused back and leg pain. The vascular malformation pushed against a nerve, not dissimilar to sciatica.
The blood vessels were cauterized during the surgery, and Davis has a follow-up appointment with the surgeon next week.
Obviously terrible news for Davis and the Cubs, but if you can find a silver lining it’s that there is no structural issues and no disc damage to Davis’ back.
While Davis hasn’t been ruled out to return some time this year, there are doubts from the organization that he will be able to come back in time to play at Triple-A. According to Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic, Davis may be able to play during the Arizona Fall League, which occurs following the minor league season.
So yeah, this sucks but it looks like the Cubs are at least avoiding the worst-case scenario from this surgery and no long-term issues are expected to surface from the back surgery.
Of course, the back surgery does rule out Davis making his MLB debut with the Cubs in 2022, as he’ll continue to rest and recover for the next several months before he gets back into baseball activities.
Davis was a second-round draft pick by the Cubs in 2018, and after his breakout season in 2021 Davis entered 2022 as the consensus top prospect in the Cubs’ minor league system. Davis was ranked 16th, 15th and 27th by Baseball America, MLB Pipleine and Baseball Prospectus, respectively, in their top-100 prospects lists.
Prior to landing on the injured list with what was first described as lower back tightness, Davis struggled at Triple-A, slashing .195/.286/.299, with two runs and a strikeout rate approaching 35% in 22 games. That was after he posted a .933 OPS in the final 15 games he played in at Triple-A in 2021.
Top Prospects Going Down With Major Injuries
This has been a brutal stretch for Cubs top prospects. Right now it appears as though the best-case scenario for Davis is that he comes back and plays in the Arizona Fall League. Earlier this season, Cubs first rounder from 2020, Ed Howard, underwent hip surgery and he will miss all of the 2022 season. Back in November 2021, news came out that catching prospect Miguel Amaya needed Tommy John surgery. Amaya had the surgery and in April MLB.com’s Jim Callis reported that Amaya would not catch at all in 2022, but that he could return by the summer and DH in games.
There’s also left-handed pitching prospect Brailyn Marquez, who Cubs fans haven’t seen in action since he made his MLB debut at the very end of the 2020 season. He’s been shut down due to shoulder issues and COVID-19 infections. The team still has not established a timetable for Marquez’s return, as the lefty continues to build up arm strength.
Caleb Kilian Could Be Called Up Saturday
Although the Cubs didn’t call up right-handed pitching prospect Caleb Kilian to pitch against the Brewers in Monday’s doubleheader, Michael Cerami of Bleacher Nation is hearing there is a chance Kilian could be called up to pitch Saturday against the Cardinals in one of the doubleheader games.
Per a source: There is a “Strong chance” that Caleb Kilian gets a start on Saturday.
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) June 3, 2022
Kilian was acquired from the Giants last summer in the Kris Bryant trade and he’s been impressive in the Cubs minor league system ever since. This year at Triple-A Kilian has recorded a 2.06 ER, with 41 strikeouts in 39.1 innings through nine starts. The 25-year-old pitcher was taken in the eighth round of the 2017 draft out of Texas Tech.
The Cubs are calling up Caleb Kilian to start against the Cardinals Saturday.
Some big news: The Cubs are planning to promote top pitching prospect Caleb Kilian from Triple-A.https://t.co/6FSjDStsEv
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) June 3, 2022