Off to slow start, top Cubs prospect Brennen Davis hits the IL


Time is cyclical – and after years of focusing almost solely on the big league team, Cubs fans are, once again, shifting their focus to the organizational ranks and top prospects with an eye toward the future.

Unanimous top prospect Brennen Davis headlines an impressive mix of young talent on the rise throughout the team’s affiliates, but after getting off to a slow start at Triple-A Iowa, he’s now headed to the injured list with a lingering lower back issue.

It’s important to note: in MiLB, an IL stint is just seven days, instead of the 10-day variety we’re all accustomed to seeing at the big league level. So, assuming all goes well, it won’t be long before Davis is back on the field with the I-Cubs.

He’s been dealing with this issue for a bit now, and with his struggles, you can’t help but hope that getting this taken care of might help him find his rhythm and get rolling offensively. To this point, he’s batting just .195/.286/.299 and has struck out in 34 percent of his 91 plate appearances.

Now, there was never any chance Davis was going to break camp with the big league team this spring, but it seemed like there was a decent chance for him to potentially make his MLB debut late this summer. That still may prove to be the case, but it’ll take him being fully healthy and performing at Triple-A for that to come to fruition.

The Cubs’ outfield picture hasn’t panned out as planned. Seiya Suzuki will be a fixture out there for the next five years, but has run into some real struggles after a hot start and is now working through an ankle injury. Jason Heyward has been, well, exactly what you’d expect performance-wise and Ian Happ has cooled a bit of late.

The depth options out there have been pretty not great, to boot. Clint Frazier remains on the IL after undergoing an emergency appendectomy, Michael Hermosillo has a .364 OPS and Rafael Ortega has a sub-.650 OPS. Alfonso Rivas is capable of taking up a corner spot, but he’s best suited at first, allowing Frank Schwindel to DH.

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All that to say – if and when Davis turns it on at Iowa, if he can show it’s sustainable and not just a hot stretch, there are regular reps to be had in Chicago. For now, though, it’s going to be a wait-and-see scenario as he gets treatment for this back injury.