Marlon Byrd Out For 6 Weeks


Even though the injury transpired over a week ago, no one will soon forget the images of Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd being hit in the face with a pitch. All of last week, Byrd went through extensive testing to make sure that there was no brain damage, and that his vision was in tact. Though, heading into this week it was still uncertain on how long Byrd would be sideline with multiple facial fractures. Considering the circumstances, Byrd was not expected back any time soon. After being re-evaluated by doctors this week, Byrd now has a potential timeline for when he can return from his injury.

Byrd told reporters today that doctors suggested that he slow down. Byrd did take part in some field exercises prior to Tuesday’s game against the Houston Astros. Until the fractures on Byrd’s face completely heal, it is suggested that he avoid any baseball activity. For that reason, Byrd is expected to miss the next 6 weeks. Setting up for a return from the disabled list when the Cubs resume play after the all star break.

Even though this is far less superior when it comes to Byrd’s overall health, it still has to be mentioned that the injury will put to rest any chance the Cubs had at trading Byrd. The Cubs are already in a difficult position when it comes to being sellers for this year’s trading deadline, Byrd figured to be one the most movable players on the Cubs’ roster. With teams looking for outfield help this season, many would have approached the Cubs about Byrd’s availability. For instance, the Washington Nationals had prior interest in Byrd but will probably look at other options to fill their outfield need. Though, if Byrd is productful upon his return, that would open the door for the Cubs to trade him this winter.

The reason the Cubs would want to trade Byrd would be to create an opening for top prospect Brett Jackson. Prior to a hand injury that sidelined Jackson for the past two weeks before returning this week, many believed the Cubs top prospect would make his debut in June or July. Though, having just returned from being sidelined with the hand injury, Jackson will likely spend most of June with the Tennessee Smokies. Meaning July would be the earliest that we could see Jackson at the Major League level.

For the time being, Tony Campana–and eventually, Reed Johnson–will get majority of the starts in center field in place of Byrd. However, there have been whispers that the Cubs could eventually call up Jackson to start in center field while Byrd is on the disabled list. The Cubs have not really clarified how they plan on handling their prospects this season. Unlikelast season where Starlin Castro and Andrew Cashner were immediately thrown into the fire, young players have spent most of their time on the bench instead of on the playing field this season. Meaning if Jackson is called up, there is no gurrantee that manager Mike Quade would insert him into the starting lineup.