Chicago Cubs Star Rookie Gets Brutal Injury Diagnosis

One of the Chicago Cubs star pitchers could be out longer than expected after a tough injury diagnosis.
May 28, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA;  Chicago Cubs pitcher Ben Brown (32) throws a pitch during the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field
May 28, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Chicago Cubs pitcher Ben Brown (32) throws a pitch during the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field / Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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It has not been an easy year for the Chicago Cubs by any means.

Many of their issues have largely been out of their control due to injuries that have hit some of their star players, but they also have not performed well recently and are causing there to be real doubts if they'll be playing postseason baseball.

Things started early for the Cubs when Jameson Taillon was placed on the injured list in Spring Training and Justin Steele joined him right after Opening Day.

This forced Chicago to scramble and move multiple pitchers in and out of their rotation.

One player who was called upon was Ben Brown, their former Top 10 prospect who was ranked No. 8 within their pipeline in 2023.

The 24-year-old righty was a major bright spot for the Cubs as he shined as both a starting pitcher and reliever, posting a 3.58 ERA across 15 appearances and eight starts with 64 strikeouts in 55.1 innings pitched.

He looks like he will be a future start of this rotation for seasons to come.

Unfortunately, both parties got some bad news when a neck strain caused him to be placed on the 15-day injured list that was retroactive to June 9.

Certainly not ideal, but also not the end of the world.

However, there was an updated diagnosis on the state of Brown's neck, and it seems like he could miss much more time than the initial projected.

According to Patrick Mooney of The Athletic, he has been diagnosed with a stress reaction in his neck, sparking real concern about how long he'll be sidelined.

"We're still trying to figure out how long and what it means and what he can do. It's a unique injury for a pitcher, so we're trying to just get some more opinions," manager Craig Counsell said.

If the terminology "unique injury for a pitcher" sounds familiar to Chicago fans, that's because similar things were said about Marcus Stroman's rib cartilage fracture last year that caused him to miss time and completely regress after he looked like a legitimate NL Cy Young candidate in the first half of the season.

This will certainly be something to continue monitoring as Brown has been an important piece of this pitching unit so far this year and it's unknown if this might be something that sidelines him for the rest of 2024.


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Brad Wakai

BRAD WAKAI

Brad Wakai graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Journalism. While an undergrad, he did work at the student radio station covering different Penn State athletic programs like football, basketball, volleyball, soccer and other sports. Brad currently is the Lead Contributor for Nittany Lions Wire of Gannett Media where he continues to cover Penn State athletics. He is also a contributor at FanSided, writing about the Philadelphia 76ers for The Sixers Sense. Brad is the host of the sports podcast I Said What I Said, discussing topics across the NFL, College Football, the NBA and other sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @bwakai