JUNE 29: Smith will go under the knife next month, Frisaro reports on Twitter. It seems likely, then, that he’ll be targeting a return next year.
JUNE 25, 10:01pm: Smith says he’s considering surgery and is likely going to miss the rest of the year, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro tweets.
7:49pm: Marlins lefty Caleb Smith, who had already been placed on the DL, has been diagnosed with a grade 3 lat strain, per a club announcement. Unfortunately, that’s the most severe designation for a muscle injury.
The Miami organization has not yet given an indication of how long Smith may be down. Given the general diagnosis, though, a lengthy absence seems all but certain. Last year, Noah Syndergaard missed nearly five months with a broadly similar injury.
There are obviously any number of details to the injury that could impact the time Smith spends away. One of them is the simple fact that the Marlins have no reason to rush him back. After all, this was a rebuilding season from the outset.
Smith, who’ll turn 27 this summer, has been perhaps the most notable success story to date for the new Marlins’ leadership in its first year in office. After coming over in an offseason swap with the Yankees, Smith blossomed into the Marlins’ most effective starter and a potential long-term asset. Through 77 1/3 innings on the season, Smith worked to a 4.19 ERA with an impressive 10.2 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9.