Meyer showed signs of discomfort almost immediately after taking the mound Saturday night.
Max Meyer’s rise to the majors was slowed by an arm injury that he suffered earlier this season. Only a week after entering the Marlins starting rotation, his career has been interrupted by another one. Meyer lasted 10 pitches into his start against the Pirates on Saturday before departing with right elbow discomfort.
Meyer reluctantly called to the Marlins dugout for assistance after issuing a two-out walk to Ke’Bryan Hayes in the bottom of the first inning. Even before that, the 23-year-old right-hander recognized that there was a physical issue. He deliberately walked around in between each of his final three pitches instead of staying on the mound.
While with Triple-A Jacksonville, Meyer was diagnosed with ulnar nerve irritation. He went more than one month between Triple-A appearances—from May 17 to June 22—and needed even longer to get fully stretched out for a starter’s workload. Further tests will be required to determine the severity of this new issue, but he’s likely on his way to the 15-day injured list.
Rehabbing from his own elbow injury, Jesús Luzardo would be on five days’ rest when Meyer’s rotation spot comes up again on Thursday in Cincinnati. But he is tentatively scheduled to make one more start with Jacksonville after only throwing 51 pitches in his previous outing.
The most likely Meyer fill-in is Daniel Castano. He threw 86 pitches in a quality start for the Jumbo Shrimp on Saturday (6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR). Castano has posted a 3.86 ERA and 4.69 FIP in 35.0 IP (9 G/6 GS) with the Fish this season.
What began as a celebratory day with the well-deserved call-up of JJ Bleday now has Marlins fans holding their breath about the status of a special young arm.