HomeMLB RumorsEury Perez To Undergo Imaging Due To Elbow Soreness

Eury Perez To Undergo Imaging Due To Elbow Soreness

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The Marlins announced this afternoon that right-hander Eury Perez is experiencing elbow soreness and is set to undergo imaging and testing over the course of the coming days. Jon Heyman of the New York Post adds that part of the club’s diagnostic process will be a trip to Texas, where Perez will meet with noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. Keith Meister. Earlier this week, Perez was pulled from a Spring Training start after just 14 pitches due to discomfort caused by a broken fingernail.

It’s a brutal blow for the Marlins, who have been ravaged by rotation injuries this offseason. Sandy Alcantara underwent Tommy John surgery back in the fall and is set to miss the entire 2024 campaign, and since then both Braxton Garrett and Edward Cabrera have dealt with shoulder issues that could relegate them to the injured list to begin the season. Now Perez appears all but certain to open the regular season on the shelf as well. While the severity of the 20-year-old phenom’s specific issue is uncertain, concerns regarding the elbow are particularly ominous due to the possibility of a lengthy absence.

Elbow surgeries can often wipe out a pitcher’s entire season, as is the case with Alcantara, and even non-surgical rehab can take a pitcher away from game action for months at a time, as was recently demonstrated by Yankees ace Gerrit Cole. Even in the best case scenario, the time spent determining the extent of Perez’s injury figures to set him back as he looks to build up his pitch count for the regular season. Perez’s aforementioned fingernail issue has limited his ability to prepare for the coming season this spring, and with just two weeks until Opening Day and the right-hander likely to be sidelined for at least a few more days, it’s hard to imagine him being able to avoid at least a brief stint on the injured list.

With Perez, Cabrera, and Garrett all at least at risk of joining Alcantara on the injured list to open the season, that leaves southpaw Jesus Luzardo as the only member of the club’s on-paper starting rotation who is currently expected to be available on Opening Day. Southpaw A.J. Puk was already widely expected to begin the season in the club’s rotation after the club made the decision to stretch the lefty out despite his success as a high-leverage arm in the club’s bullpen last year, and the injuries also seem likely to open the door for the likes of Trevor Rogers and Ryan Weathers to step into rotation roles as the season begins. That would still leave the fifth spot in the club’s rotation vacant, however, though right-hander Bryan Hoeing represents one option already on the 40-man roster and the club has plenty of potential non-roster options at its disposal including Yonny Chirinos, Vladimir Gutierrez, and Devin Smeltzer.

Of course, none of those potential depth options can be reasonably expected to deliver the sort of impact that Perez offers. The righty, 21 next month, was a consensus top-15 prospect in all of baseball when he made his debut for Miami last year, and he immediately flashed the front-of-the-rotation potential that his prospect pedigree suggested as he dazzled with a microscopic 1.34 ERA and a solid 3.02 FIP in his first nine starts in the majors. He struck out 29.2% of batters faced during that stretch, and while midsummer struggles led the club to limit his workload down the stretch the youngster nonetheless features prominently in the club’s plans for the 2024 season and beyond. So much so, in fact, that Perez was generally regarded as the club’s sole untouchable as they fielded trade offers on the likes of Garrett, Luzardo, and Cabrera during the offseason.

The rotation injuries have been a major blow to a Marlins club that is looking to build upon a surprising postseason appearance in 2023. The club’s starting pitchers ranked top ten in the majors last year in ERA, FIP, and fWAR while striking out the fourth-most batters in all of baseball. That dominant run prevention apparatus was key to the club’s success last year as the lineup lagged behind, ranking just 20th in the majors with a collective wRC+ of 94. With so many injuries impacting the club’s rotation already this year, the team will need strong performance from the likes of Luis Arraez, Josh Bell, Jake Burger, and Jazz Chisholm Jr. if the club hopes to return to postseason contention in 2024.


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