An already disappointing Marlins season got worse on Thursday, as MLB.com’s Christina De Nicola tweet that an MRI revealed a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament in a high-level perspective Max Meyerthe right elbow. He will undergo Tommy John surgery in the near future and will miss the remainder of the 2022 campaign as well as most of the 2023 season.
Meyer, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 draft, has rocketed through the Marlins’ system and made his debut earlier this month, driving in five runs in 5 1/3 innings of work. His next outing lasted only two-thirds of an inning before going out due to elbow discomfort that sent him to the injured list. He will now spend the rest of the season and the majority of the 2023 campaign on the Major League injured list, racking up MLB duty time and paying for the time spent rehabilitating.
Before that rocky big league debut and the resulting injuries, Meyer was universally considered one of the sport’s brightest pitching prospects. The former University of Minnesota ace came through Double-A last season and was even better in 10 innings against Triple-A last year, recording a combined 2.27 ERA with strikeout rate at bat of 28.6 percent against a walk rate of 9.2 percent in 111 innings. .
Meyer, 23, roared out of the gates in 2022, recording a 1.72 ERA and 39-9 K/BB ratio in his first 31 1/3 innings, overpowering his opponents with superior 90s heating and a devastating slider along. the path. He struggled through a pair of terrible outings in late May with Triple-A Jacksonville, however, ultimately on the minor league injured reserve due to what the team called ulnar nerve irritation in his right forearm. He came back strong – 2.11 ERA over his next five starts – and looked to be back on track for his big league debut this month.
Whether Meyer had a tear before his promotion to the big league or didn’t sustain the tear until one of his two MLB outings, he will now be sidelined for the next year and more. A return at the end of the 2023 season remains plausible, but it is hardly certain. Every recovery is different, of course, but pitchers often take longer than 13 or 14 months to come back from Tommy John surgery. For example, we are about a year to the day away from the Tigers Spencer Turnbull undergoing his own Tommy John procedure, and the organization recently announced that Turnbull will not be returning this season. If the Marlins are in contention in 2023, they might push the envelope and take some risk to reclaim Meyer as a bullpen option towards the end of the year, but they have every reason to be cautious. with the right-handed flamethrower, given the significance of a role he could play in their future.
Meyer joins other top prospects Edward Cabrera (tendinitis of the elbow), Sixto Sanchez (2021 surgery for torn anterior shoulder capsule) and Jake Eder (Operation Tommy John 2021) on the injured list. Miami also saw the 2021 Rookie of the Year nominee Trevor Rogers take a huge step back in its second season. This is all a good reminder – especially at a time of year when fans and teams are wary of minor league pitcher trades – that as easy as it is to dream about vaunted young arms, the Attrition rate of pitching prospects is an inflexible obstacle that teams constantly struggle to navigate.