Top Red Sox prospect suffers injury setback during offseason rehab

Former first-round pick will be re-evaluated after Thanksgiving
New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

While the Boston Red Sox are preparing for an aggressive offseason on the MLB side of operations, it’s important to keep an eye on the farm system.

Alex Speier discussed a key minor league development Saturday morning, reporting that talented infield prospect Marcelo Mayer suffered an apparent setback in his recovery from a shoulder injury.

"Marcelo Mayer, who resumed swinging this fall in Fort Myers while rehabbing from a left shoulder impingement, is now home in California on a strength program and will be reevaluated after Thanksgiving. The Sox still expect Mayer’s injury won’t require surgery, and that he’ll be a full-go for spring training."

Alex Speier

The tone of Speier’s report implies that the Red Sox aren’t overly concerned with Mayer’s status, and the fact that he should be a “full-go” for spring training is a great sign. Nevertheless, a setback of any type is cause for concern. Shoulder injuries, depending obviously on their exactly nature, can linger and/or worsen and are especially spooky for "twitchy" positions like the middle infield.

Mayer hasn’t played in a game since Aug. 3 with Double-A Portland. He was ultimately shut down for the remainder of the season, finishing 2023 with a .236/.306/.433 slash line and 13 homers. It wasn’t a particularly inspiring season for the former No. 4 overall pick as he had trouble adjusting to opposing pitchers’ advanced repertoires at the Double-A level.

Nevertheless, there’s no denying Mayer’s raw talent. He has previously demonstrated his impressive bat speed and ability to hit to all parts of the field. The 20-year-old is even flashier on defense, showcasing his smooth fielding actions, high-quality glove work, and big arm strength.

The Red Sox certainly hope that Mayer returns from his injury stronger and better than ever. 2024 could be a make-or-break season for the star prospect.