clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Left lat strain a potential season-ending injury for standout rookie Caleb Smith

KKKKKKaleb is likely facing months on the sidelines after an encouraging half-season in the Marlins rotation.

Miami Marlins v Colorado Rockies Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

It looked bad in the moment, and on Monday, an MRI confirmed that Caleb Smith has a Grade 3 left lat strain. Yup, that’s his throwing arm. The Marlins placed Smith on the 10-day disabled list and may eventually move him to the 60-day DL when a roster move forces the issue—this is a long-term injury.

An uninspiring choice for the 2018 Opening Day rotation, the rookie southpaw proved the skeptics wrong (myself included). He authored several of the team’s most dominant single-game performances and pitched at an approximately league-average level overall (4.19 ERA, 3.91 FIP, 33 BB, 88 K in 77.1 IP).

José Ureña landed on the DL just a few days before Smith, but fortunately, his path back to the mound is expected to be much quicker. Ureña already began a throwing program for his shoulder impingement and eyes a return in early July.

Even so, the Marlins must seriously consider recalling a starter from Triple-A New Orleans, somebody who they’d be comfortable keeping in that role for an indefinite period. Fans naturally will be clamoring to see Sandy Alcántara, Zac Gallen or Pablo López get the opportunity. Jarlin García and Dillon Peters, who are also at Triple-A, haven’t produced at the same level as those three others.

For the time being, right-hander Ben Meyer took Smith’s place on the active roster while management contemplates its next move.

So...who do you want to see promoted?