Cubs News

Cubs prospect Ed Howard dealt tough blow with season-ending injury

2 years agoAndy Martinez

Ed Howard suffered a tough break in his early professional career. Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer announced Thursday afternoon that the 20-year-old shortstop would be undergoing season-ending hip surgery.

“Obviously a really serious injury,” Hoyer said. “I know he’s in good spirits.”

Howard suffered the injury on May 10, when he hit a groundball to short. He tried to wrap around the first baseman who was applying the tag and landed on his side. The Cubs are bullish that they can have the Mount Carmel graduate back in time for spring training 2023, but it’s not going to be straightforward.

“The early prognosis is really good as far as a comeback, but that’s gonna be a comeback after a lot of rehab and a lot of time,” Hoyer said. “He’s got a real road ahead of him and you feel for him.”

It’s a sour note for Howard, who was just starting to hit a groove with High-A South Bend. The righty was hitting .333 over his last 9 games, from April 26 to May 10 when he suffered the injury.

He had jumped his batting average up from .184 to .244 in that time, his on-base percentage went from .281 to .323 and his slugging percentage leaped from .245 to .317. That doesn’t take into account the other numbers and data the Cubs have — information that had gone up for them, too.

“I think he gained the most strength of anyone we had in that rookie camp this winter,” Hoyer said. “His exit velocity was way up; his contact rate was up. He was playing really good defense and it’s exciting to see him have that kind of year early on.”

That adversity, though, is something that Hoyer believes could help Howard, or any prospect who deals with it for that matter, in the long run.

“You’re gonna face some real challenges up here and I personally think that it’s better to face some of that adversity in the minors than dealing with it up here with all you [media] guys around,” Hoyer said.

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