Cleveland Guardians pitching prospect Daniel Espino is being shut down “for at least eight weeks” according to The Athletic’s Zack Meisel.
Guardians morning briefing:— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) February 20, 2023
*Top pitching prospect Daniel Espino is being shut down for at least eight weeks with a strain/year in his shoulder
*2022 first-round pick Chase Delauter will miss 4-5 months with a fracture in his foot (same injury he had last year)
Further context has since been provided by the Guardians’ official insider account on Twitter, which clarifies that it’s eight weeks since his injury in mid-January. The smallest of small silver linings here may be that he could be evaluated and cleared to start working towards throwing again at the end of spring training and potentially not miss a big chunk of the season.
That’s if everything is OK with his shoulder when he’s re-evaluated, which itself is a massive “if”.
Some Player Development news this morning pic.twitter.com/YHRYPJr062— GuardsInsider (@GuardsInsider) February 20, 2023
Espino pitched in only 18.1 innings last year with patellar tendinitis and a sore shoulder limiting him to four starts. He was expected to be healthy going into 2023, but that clearly isn’t going to be the case as he’s being shut down for upwards of two months before he even throws his first official pitch.
Espino was the No. 1 Guardians prospect in our community list, and Baseball America ranked him as the No. 19 overall prospect in MLB. All the potential in the world is there, with an 80-grade fastball that can touch triple-digits and a wicked slider, but health is a growing concern.
Chase DeLauter’s injury might be easy to gloss over as he’s still a few years away from the majors, but he ranked as our No. 10 Guardians prospect and his foot will be something to keep an eye on moving forward. The 2022 first-round draft pick (No. 16 overall) has yet to play in the minors.