Cubs Rookie Pitcher Expected To Miss Significant Time With ‘Rare’ Neck Injury

The Chicago Cubs are navigating rough waters yet again, with Friday bringing more setbacks following their recent series loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. The team received unwelcome news as rookie right-hander Ben Brown, who departed his start against the Cincinnati Reds due to discomfort, has been diagnosed with a stress reaction in his neck. Manager Craig Counsell described it as a rare and unusual injury, underlining the uncertainty surrounding Brown’s recovery timeline.

“We don’t have all the answers yet on Ben,” Counsell admitted. “He’s on the injured list, and we’re still trying to figure out exactly how long.”


Speculation among team reporters suggests a prolonged absence for Brown. Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune hinted on Twitter that it “sounds like it will be longer than a 15-day IL stint.”

Brown had been a standout surprise for the Cubs in 2024, boasting a solid 3.58 ERA across 55.1 innings pitched with a notable performance of seven no-hit innings against the Milwaukee Brewers in a recent outing. His injury comes at a critical juncture for the struggling Cubs, who have dropped eight of their last nine series, sliding to fourth place in the NL Central and chasing the St. Louis Cardinals for the final NL Wild Card spot.

With Brown sidelined, the Cubs turn to Jordan Wicks to fill his spot in the rotation. Wicks, who last started on April 23, will take the mound against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Despite limited starts this season, Wicks aims to step up in Brown’s absence and contribute to the Cubs’ efforts to regain momentum in the competitive NL race.

As the Cubs navigate these challenges, the spotlight remains on how they will adapt without one of their promising young pitchers and whether Wicks can help stabilize their pitching rotation during this pivotal stretch of the season.