No. 9 prospect Canario has ankle surgery

November 8th, 2022

LAS VEGAS -- developed into one of the best power hitters in the Minor Leagues this season. A setback in winter ball has since made the timing of the Cubs prospect's return to the field unclear.

On Monday at the General Managers Meetings, Cubs vice president of player development Jared Banner noted that Canario recently underwent surgery to repair a fractured left ankle. A second surgery to address a dislocated left shoulder is upcoming for MLB Pipeline's No. 9-ranked Cubs prospect.

Both injuries were sustained on a fluke play on Oct. 27, when Canario rolled his ankle severely and landed hard while running to first base in a game for Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League. Banner said Canario will miss the start of the 2023 season, adding that there is no specific timetable for his return at this early stage.

"These guys put a lot of work in, and especially in Canario's case," Banner said. "He had a really amazing season in many respects, and to see him go down like that, it hurt us all. I know it was devastating to him as well. But at this point, we have we have some of the world's best doctors and rehab people. And we'll get them back to where it was in due time."

The left shoulder is the same one Canario had a previous surgery to repair a torn labrum (following a shoulder dislocation) in November 2020.

In 125 games this season, the 22-year-old Canario slashed .252/.343/.556 in stops with High-A South Bend, Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa. The outfielder's 37 home runs led the Cubs' system and ranked second to only Cardinals prospect Moises Gómez (39).

Canario's three-homer outburst on Sept. 20 for the Iowa Cubs gave him 34 on the year, pulling him into a tie with slugging Cubs prospect for the organizational lead. Down the stretch, Mervis launched two more blasts, finishing one behind his teammate.

"We were pushing each other," Mervis said at the end of the season. "He came off [the injured list] and had a three-home run game, so I was like, 'Well, here we go. We're back in the race.' It was a lot of fun."

Acquired from the Giants as part of the Kris Bryant trade in 2021, Canario could have put himself on the map for a big league job with the Cubs in '23, or been a potential trade chip for this important offseason. The focus now shifts to getting the promising prospect back to full strength.

"We expect him back at some point next year, back to his normal self," Banner said. "We expect a full recovery."

Here are some more updates from Banner's meeting with the media at the Conrad Las Vegas at Resorts World:

• Outfielder Brennen Davis (MLB Pipeline's No. 2 Cubs prospect) was limited to five games in the Arizona Fall League after dealing with "general soreness." Banner would not go into more specifics, though it is worth noting that Davis has been building up since undergoing a back procedure in early June.

Banner added that Davis is "pretty close to 100 percent now" and should be ready for a normal Spring Training. The 23-year-old Davis is expected to be added to the 40-man roster on Nov. 15, which is the deadline to protect Rule 5 Draft-eligible players.

• Catcher Miguel Amaya (No. 16), who sustained a Lisfranc fracture in his left foot in September, is on target for Spring Training. The foot setback came as Amaya was in the latter stages of a comeback from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

"It hasn't really affected the timeline much at all," Banner said. "Obviously, if he had been able to play in the Fall League, he would have caught, and he hasn't had a chance to do that yet. That'll probably take place for the first time in Spring Training. But physically, he'll be he'll be ready to go."

• Shortstop Ed Howard (No. 20) could be cleared to resume "light baseball activity" after Thanksgiving, according to Banner. Howard, who was the Cubs' first-round pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, sustained a season-ending left hip injury (necessitating surgery) in May.