Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Promising Cubs Reliever Out for Rest of 2024

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The bullpen has been a disaster for most of the season and one of the reasons for the many failures has been key pitchers being injured and unavailable. One promising reliever will now miss the rest of the 2024 season as right-hander Yency Almonte will undergo shoulder surgery.

Almonte, 30, was acquired this past offseason along with Michael Busch in a trade that sent two Cubs prospects to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Although Almonte had a few shaky outings at the beginning of the year, he quickly turned it around and was becoming an effective high-leverage reliever for Craig Counsell.

From April 6 through May 7, Almonte posted a 1.32 ERA in 13.2 IP, striking out 19 batters in 13 relief appearances. The righty picked up five holds and a save out of the bullpen during that stretch, but then his shoulder pain become a problem and on May 11, Almonte was placed on the injured list with a right shoulder strain.

Unfortunately for Almonte, his recovery wasn’t progressing and on June 27, he was moved to the 60-day injured list. The pitcher went for a second opinion and ultimately Almonte opted for surgery. Robert Murray first reported that Almonte was done for the 2024 season.

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It turns out that Almonte has been pitching with a tear in his labrum since 2014, the pitcher’s first season in the minor leagues.

Via Marquee Sports Network.

“The tear got bigger than what it was like before,” Almonte said. “I’ve had it for years in the minor leagues. I was able to pitch through it and then it finally just went.”

“It’s upsetting,” he said. “I came in here with a positive mindset from the trade, ready to go dominante. And I felt like I started off really well and I was in a good place mentally. Being in a new organization just trying to fit in and just be that source for younger guys and then come down with some injury that you think you can come back from.”

Almonte broke into the majors with the Colorado Rockies in 2018, and since then he’s had an up and down career. His best season came in 2021 with the Dodgers Almonte recorded a 1.02 ERA and 0.79 WHIP in 35.1 IP, with a strikeout to walk ratio of 33/10.

Overall in his career, Almonte has posted a 4.44 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 223 innings.

Almonte will miss the rest of 2024 and given the timing of the shoulder surgery there’s no guarantee that he’ll be ready by the start of the 2025 season. One of the promising Cubs relievers from this year is done and it kinda encapsulates the type of year it’s been for this team.

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