Marcelo Mayer

Marcelo Mayer opens up about season-ending shoulder injury

“It’s a good learning lesson on my end."

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The 2023 season was bittersweet for Boston Red Sox prospect Marcelo Mayer.

Mayer, the No. 1 prospect in Boston's system, earned a promotion to Double-A Portland in late May. But last month, the 20-year-old shortstop was placed on the injured list with what turned out to be a season-ending shoulder injury. The Red Sox officially shut Mayer down for the remainder of the campaign on Wednesday.

Apparently, Mayer could have been healthy enough to finish the season had he addressed the injury sooner. He took the blame for the injury while explaining how and when it occurred during a recent appearance on the "Baseball Isn't Boring" podcast.

“I’ll go back to the day it happened,” Mayer said. “It was May 7, we were playing in High-A in Asheville. I was 3-for-3 and I needed a triple for the cycle. I ended up hitting a ball in the gap. I tried to leg it out for the triple. I ended up stumbling past second base and fell. I didn’t really feel it on impact and then the next day I wake up and can’t lift my shoulder at all. I ended up taking that week off, come back playing a little too soon because the competitor in me wanted to play and didn’t want to rest. So I got used to playing hurt and ever since then it became a cycle and never really got better.

“It’s a good learning lesson on my end. Looking back at it, I should have definitely taken care of it. You’re here to play and obviously it didn’t work out for me because I thought it was going to get better over time, but it just kept getting worse and worse and worse so I decided to say something to the trainers.”

Mayer's splits before and after May 7, as pointed out by's Ian Cundall, show he was significantly impacted by the shoulder ailment:

April 6 - May 7: 111 plate appearances, .337/.414/.582, 15 extra-base hits, 21.6 strikeout percentage.
May 14 - August 2: 243 plate appearances, .190/.256/.366, 19 extra-base hits, 25.5 strikeout percentage.

"My swing was just giving out every single time,” Mayer added. “The littlest thing can impact your swing and you start compensating somewhere else, which is not a good thing, which is why I think I learned a lot from this experience. But as a player there is one place you want to be and it’s on the field.”

The expectation is Mayer will be ready to take the field when the Red Sox open spring training in 2024. If he can pick up where he left off before the injury, the No. 11 ranked MLB prospect should earn a promotion to Triple-A Worcester and perhaps even Boston by the end of next season.

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