Marlins pitcher Eury Pérez to undergo Tommy John surgery, miss 2024 season

The Miami Marlins have gotten off to a tough start this season, and things are only getting worse.

The team announced on Thursday that starting pitcher Eury Pérez will be undergoing Tommy John surgery in the future, ending his 2024 season before it even got started.

Pérez had a fingernail injury in mid-March that was only supposed to slow him down for a few days, but during that break the team discovered that Pérez had been dealing with elbow inflammation. He didn't pitch again during spring training and was put on the injured list prior to the start of the season.

Near the end of March, it seemed like the 20-year-old Pérez was on the right track. He played catch pain-free on March 24, the last Saturday before Opening Day, and was scheduled to play catch again the next day. That was the last anyone heard about Pérez until Thursday when the Marlins announced he'd be having surgery to reconstruct his ulnar collateral ligament.

This is the last thing the Marlins needed. After a lackluster offseason that saw trailblazing general manager Kim Ng walk away from the team because they reportedly wanted to minimize her role, Miami began their 2024 season with a resounding thump. They haven't won a single game out of their first seven, which were against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Angels — teams that aren't even expected to have winning records this year.

JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 19: Eury Pérez #39 of the Miami Marlins looks on during spring training workouts at Roger Dean Stadium on February 19, 2024 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Rich Storry/Getty Images)
Young Marlins pitcher Eury Pérez will miss the entire 2024 season due to Tommy John surgery. (Photo by Rich Storry/Getty Images)

Pérez, who will be 21 on April 15, was supposed to be one of the bright spots. He made his major league debut for the Marlins in May 2023, one month after his 20th birthday. A native of the Dominican Republic, Pérez was signed by the Marlins as an international free agent in 2019, when he was just 16 years old.

After Pérez made his debut for the Marlins, he spent the next two months mowing down hitters. In May and June — nine starts in all — Pérez had a 1.34 ERA with 54 strikeouts over 47 innings. But then on July 1, he had the worst outing of his short career. Against the Atlanta Braves, he lasted just 1/3 of an inning while allowing six runs on seven hits.

It was all downhill from there. Over his final 10 starts of the season — from July through September — Pérez had a 5.08 ERA over 44 1/3 innings. He was shut down after his Sept. 20 start with an injury and didn't pitch in the NL Wild Card series against the Philadelphia Phillies, which the Marlins lost 2-0.

The 2024 season was supposed to be a clean slate for Pérez, a chance for him to recapture his form from the first half of 2023. Now, unfortunately, he'll have to wait until 2025.