When the 2015 MLB season rolls around, Chicago Cubs faithful are hoping that most of the organization’s top prospects are about ready to contribute to the big-league roster. Some fans see it as the season when this team can start contending for National League pennants. Jorge Soler, Dan Vogelbach and Albert Almora are all projected to join this team sometime during that season.
At age 18, Almora was the one who would’ve had the hardest time fulfilling that deadline. It won’t get any easier now that he suffered a broken hamate bone during minor-league camp on Mar. 14. This injury will keep him out of action until mid-May, possibly a bit longer.
This injury has no impact on the 2013 Cubs team. Almora was scheduled to start the season at low single-A ball. There’s no chance that he reaches the 25-man roster before 2015. In the short term, all this injury does is it postpones his start date.
In the long term, Almora has less time to reach the MLB roster before mid-2015. If management remains true to their word, Almora will get a full season of at-bats at Triple A. He probably won’t reach the 25-man roster before Opening Day 2016, possibly closer to June 1. That would make him 22 years old.
What’s more important is that this injury shouldn’t have any lingering effects. Pablo Sandoval and Nick Markakis are examples of players who made full recoveries from this type of injury. Once the bone has been surgically removed, the hand needs time to heal. It won’t damage his swing.
It’s just a minor nuisance that sets him back approximately 8-10 weeks.