The St. Louis Cardinals' big three pitching prospects took a 33 percent hit on Friday, when Tyrell Jenkins, making his 19th start of the season with the low-A Quad Cities River Bandits, suffered an as-yet-undetermined shoulder injury—one that's guaranteed to end this season and sounds like something that could persist into the next. After striking out the first two batters he faced, Jenkins "felt something pop in the back of his shoulder"—reports Steve Batterson of the Quad-City Times—which is never something you want to hear about a 19-year-old top pitching prospect.
Jenkins carried a 5.18 ERA into his final start, but for a 19-year-old in the Midwest League there was a lot to be excited about; he abruptly finishes his season with 80 strikeouts in 82 innings against 36 walks. For his part, Jenkins is taking the injury pretty well.
Thanx for the tweets, txt and calls!! Everything is ok... I'll be back next year!!— Brotha Jenkins (@TyrellJenkins14) August 25, 2012
The top starter in the Cardinals' pile, Shelby Miller, has had his own struggles this year; the only member of the Big Three to improve his stock in 2012 has been Carlos Martinez, who at 20 has held his ERA under 3.00 in AA Springfield.