Marlins left-hander Trevor Rogers tells Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald that he will be shut down for the remainder of the season. The southpaw left Saturday’s start due to an injury that has now been diagnosed as a lat strain. Although it’s only a Grade 1 strain and thus minor, there’s not enough time left in the season to heal up and return to action.
Rogers, 24, made a brief MLB debut in 2020 and followed that up with an excellent 2021 campaign. He threw 133 innings last year with a 2.64 ERA, 28.5% strikeout rate, 8.4% walk rate and 40.1% ground ball rate. He finished second in the National League Rookie of the Year voting, behind only Jonathan India.
It seemed like the Marlins had yet another talented young starting pitcher in their stable but it’s been a very disappointing season here in 2022, with just about every element of his game taking a downturn. Through 107 innings, he has a 5.47 ERA, 22.2% strikeout rate, 9.4% walk rate and 42% ground ball rate. It’s possible that health has been a factor, as he spent about a month on the injured list earlier this year due to back spasms and now has this lat strain. Regardless, it’s surely not the campaign that he or the Marlins would have hoped for.
In the short-term, the Marlins can survive for a few weeks with a four-man rotation of Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez, Edward Cabrera and Jesus Luzardo. They have an off-day on Thursday and another on Monday, meaning they won’t strictly need a fifth starter until the start of October.
In the long run, the club will have to decide how much they want to pencil Rogers into their plans. The Marlins are reportedly thinking about trading from their rotation surplus this offseason as a way to give a boost to next year’s lineup. Rogers is a potential candidate himself, though his stock is surely at a low point right now relative to a year ago. It might be worthwhile for the club to hope for better results next year and allow his trade value to rebound, though it’s also possible they consider him the most expendable of its current group. Each of the four aforementioned hurlers are sporting an ERA under 4.00 this year and none of them will reach free agency this winter. Despite his down season, Rogers has four years of club control remaining after this one and has yet to reach arbitration. That would make him an intriguing trade target for any club who believes 2022 was a blip and that 2021 was closer to his true form.
Rogers hasn’t yet been formally placed on the injured list but surely will be as soon as the club needs his roster spot. Since he won’t be returning this year, they could place him on the 60-day IL and use his 40-man roster spot for a waiver claim or to promote someone within the system for a cup of coffee down the stretch.