Jimenez, Cubs' top prospect, shut down with shoulder issue

by
Joe Camporeale / USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

Though a battery of tests revealed no structural damage to his rotator cuff or labrum, Eloy Jimenez - widely regarded as the Chicago Cubs' top prospect - will be shut down for three weeks due to a bruise on his right shoulder, general manager manager Jed Hoyer said Monday.

"He'll be a little late starting into the season," Hoyer told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. "But all in all, we feel like it's pretty good news.

Invited to his first career big-league camp this spring, Jimenez, a 20-year-old outfielder from Santo Domingo, opened eyes by going 9-for-28 (.321) with two homers and two doubles through 16 Cactus League games, but hasn't played since hurting his shoulder March 14 while uncorking an errant throw.

"Once he's over the soreness, he’ll start the progression and come back," said Hoyer. "But he obviously opened a lot of eyes this spring. He’s played great. He’s carried himself so well. And we’ll get this right and get him back out there."

Jimenez, who hit .329/.369/.532 with 14 homers and 40 doubles in the Low-A Midwest League last year, is expected to stay at extended spring training while his shoulder heals, and the Cubs haven't announced which minor-league affiliate he'll be assigned to afterwards.

"I thought he had a great camp for a 20-year-old kid," Hoyer said. "It wasn’t just that he opened eyes at batting practice. With the power, he opened eyes in games. Some balls were hit unbelievably hard, and he had some good at-bats. I thought he played great. It’s a shame he’s going to start the season late, but that’s when you have to remember it’s a five-month season.