Well, this sucks.
Although he was a fourth-round pick by the Cubs in 2022, Nazier Mulé was probably the most exciting player taken by the team in last year’s draft. The two-way player was going to be given the shot at continuing to pursue his baseball career in the field and on the mound pitching, but according to the Chicago Tribune, Mulé will undergo Tommy John surgery, delaying his pro debut for at least another year.
Via the Chicago Tribune.
Mulé is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery next week to repair his ulnar collateral ligament, sources told the Tribune.
A roughly 14-month rehab timeline sets up Mulé for a midseason return in 2024.
Yeah, that’s a bummer no doubt for Mulé.
Just to give you an idea of how much the Cubs wanted him, they agreed to pay Mulé a $1 million signing bonus, which was well above the slot number for a fourth-round pick.
However, it’s not like Tommy John surgery is the end of the world either. It obviously sucks for Mulé right now, but as much as it is derailing early on in his development, he should come back stronger than ever. Elbow surgery is just so common nowadays that although this blows, it isn’t all that much surprising to see a young pitcher need it.
In his senior year at Passaic Tech, New Jersey, Mulé was shut down from pitching halfway through the spring because of arm fatigue.
The right-hander has hit 100mph on the radar gun off the mound while his raw power and athletic skills at shortstop made him even more desirable in the draft for the Cubs.
And this may mean little to nothing at all, but listening to him talk, you kind of get that feel of a guy who has that it factor. Again, maybe it means nothing, but even at 18-years-old, Mulé’s maturity is off the charts.
We won’t know for a while what exactly the Cubs plans will be for Mulé after he has Tommy John surgery. We have seen in the past hitters get back to game action as a designated hitter much sooner than the typical recovery time for a pitcher. Does this make the Cubs pivot to making Mulé only focus on pitching moving forward or does he focus in at the plate?
That’ll be a question for later, but as for now here’s to a full recovery for Nazier Mulé.