Meyer weighs in on rehab from Tommy John

Marlins' No. 2 prospect ready to resume throwing soon

January 19th, 2023

Marlins No. 2 prospect will begin throwing soon.

Speaking for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery on Aug. 9, 2022, Meyer provided an update on his rehab to Kyle Sielaff during the Marlins' Hot Stove Show on Wednesday night.

"I think early February -- even Feb. 1 -- is when I'm going to start throwing," the 23-year-old right-hander said. "Been starting to get the elbow moving a little bit. ... Strength-wise has come a long way. I'm pretty much like the same if I'm lifting 90 to this side, I'm lifting to 90 in the other. So it's pretty much good strength right now, which is what you need when you're going to start throwing in two weeks or whatever it is. I'm pretty close. When Spring Training rolls around, I'll be throwing with all those guys -- I don't know with the team or not -- but I'll be throwing. It's coming up here pretty soon."

Meyer admitted that undergoing Tommy John surgery felt like an inevitability. Prior to his Major League debut, Meyer had been sidelined for a month while pitching at Triple-A Jacksonville. At the time, he wondered whether his right UCL might be torn, but the MRI exam came back showing just ulnar nerve irritation. He had never dealt with elbow pain before.

So on the 10th pitch of his second MLB start on July 23 in Pittsburgh, Meyer felt a pop and "knew that was it." After undergoing an MRI exam on July 25, which revealed a tear in the UCL, Meyer mulled over his decision following various opinions.

"Just hard when you pick up the ball in warmups and you start throwing [and] it's just a brutal pain," Meyer said. "I was kind of waiting for it, honestly, as nasty as that sounds. You kind of just wait on it, and felt it on a fastball outside."

Meyer, who turns 24 on March 12, has leaned on former University of Minnesota teammate and Phillies prospect Brett Schulze as well as Marlins No. 4 prospect Jake Eder and right-handers Anthony Bender, Cody Poteet and Paul Campbell. The latter three underwent the procedure in 2022.

The rehab time frame for Tommy John surgery typically ranges from 12-18 months. Eder, for example, had the surgery in August 2021 and began throwing off the mound for the first time on July 1, 2022. He expects to be full-go for Spring Training next month.

"We're all going through it at the same time, we're all together," said Meyer, who works out every day. "'What did you feel today? How's this? How's your extension going today?' So it's just been easier. Being able to talk to them, and sometimes you just need someone to talk to when you know you're going through arm pains again, but you know it's all going to be OK if you just stick with the process."

During the Winter Meetings in early December, general manager Kim Ng said Meyer will be on the injured list in 2023 and "hopefully ready to go in 2024."

"I just can't wait to start throwing again," said Meyer, who went on to tell that he will begin with long toss. "Just getting ready to pick the ball up again and having a little bit of competitiveness every day. it's just going to feel good when I get back into the swing of things."