December 2, 2022

Cubs reliever will need Tommy John surgery

There’s bad news for Chicago Cubs fans. Ethan Roberts, the 24-year-old reliever who made an MLB Opening Day roster for the first time this season, has suffered a shoulder injury since late April and has been closed since early May. Roberts (seen above with receiver Willson Contreras after a win on April 9) made his first rehab start for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs on Sunday, but left in pain. It has now emerged that he will need season-ending surgery in Tommy John, Cubs manager David Ross discussing this Thursday:

Here is more about it and the impact for Bleacher Nation’s Brett Taylor fanbase:

Crushing. Just crushing news. Not only because of the need for surgery and the recovery timeline and the impact on the player and the organization, but also because Ethan Roberts was such an impressive story. Remember how significant it was when he made the opening day list? I’m just as emotional now as I was then, but for completely different reasons.

…Roberts, 24, will miss the rest of the season and much of next season as well. Hope the operation goes well and rehabilitation goes well. Relievers can sometimes come back as early as 12 months, but I wouldn’t meet your expectations until the second half of 2023.

… One of the biggest relief prospects on the farm last year, Ethan Roberts was added to the 40-man roster last November. Then he looked so capable in spring training that the Chicago Cubs had him on the Opening Day roster. It wasn’t just a great story, it was a guy with a late-inning advantage. Wicked slider and terrific four-seam natural fit.

Our thoughts are with Roberts as he works through this surgery and rehabilitation process.

[Bleacher Nation; image from Quinn Harris/USA Today Sports]