Phillies' rival can’t catch a break with brutal Jesús Luzardo news

The Marlins’ pitching situation has gone from bad to worse.
Los Angeles Angels v Miami Marlins
Los Angeles Angels v Miami Marlins / Rich Storry/GettyImages

The Philadelphia Phillies rotation is now back to full strength. The return of Taijuan Walker to a rotation that currently ranks among the best in baseball has not been without controversy, as Spencer Turnbull has more than held his own on the mound in Walker's absence.

There are certainly worse problems than having six healthy starting pitchers for five spots. Just ask the NL East division rival Miami Marlins. At the beginning of the offseason, the Marlins got the devastating news that 2022 Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara required Tommy John surgery and would miss the entire 2024 season.

The loss of Alcantara was certainly going to hurt, but the Marlins and their fan base had no idea what bad fortunes were ahead.

Three weeks ago, top pitching prospect Eury Pérez became the second Marlins pitcher to require Tommy John after feeling discomfort in his elbow after his fourth start of the season. In addition to Alcantara and Pérez, left-handed pitcher Braxton Garrett has yet to pitch an inning this season due to a shoulder injury.

Marlins get even more bad news with brutal Jesús Luzardo news

That left the Marlins with only one established starting pitcher until news broke on Friday that lefty Jesús Luzardo would be scratched from his most recent start and be sent to have his elbow examined.

Luzardo was placed on the IL and for now it sounds like it's just precautionary, as he told reporters.

"I wouldn't call it pain, just felt a little tight yesterday ... and just felt something, just a little tight, more than normal ... tightness that normally I don't feel before a start," Luzardo said in the clubhouse. "It was more precautionary, I think, wanting to get ahead of it before something worse happened."

It's clearly a brutal time to be a Marlins fan, and any hopes of making their second postseason appearance in as many years are likely on hold as the team is off to a 6-23 start and find themselves 14.5 games behind the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves.

The Marlins are currently 2-8 over their last 10 games, and adding Luzardo to the list of Miami pitchers requiring elbow surgery would not only dash hopes for a turnaround this season but will most likely carry over to next season with all three starters rehabbing their way back from Tommy John.

NL East decimated by injuries to starting pitchers

In addition to the brutal injuries that have struck the Marlins rotation, Braves ace Spencer Strider was recently lost for the remainder of the season after undergoing an internal bracing procedure to fix an elbow issue that affected him during his start against the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 5.

The Braves have continued to play great baseball in Strider's absence and are currently 19-7 and 1.5 games ahead of the Phillies at the top of the division.

The rival New York Mets are off to a 14-13 start and have two starting pitchers currently on the IL. Mets ace Kodai Senga has yet to appear in a game this season after suffering a shoulder capsule strain at the start of spring training.

Right-handed pitcher Tyler Megill suffered a shoulder injury of his own during his lone start of the season on March 31 and was placed on the IL. Both Senga and Megill are currently on rehab assignments and could return to the mound sometime next month, per Danny Abriano of SNY.

While the Marlins, Braves and Mets deal with early-season injuries to key starting pitchers, the Phillies will hope to stay healthy and capitalize on the losses faced by their banged-up rivals.

The discussion of a six-man rotation in Philadelphia has been at the center of controversy since the end of spring training, but right now, the Phillies have an advantage that few teams in MLB currently have. Let's hope it stays that way.