Franklin Perez, the Detroit Tigers’ top prospect, suffered a lat injury during play in a minor league game. While surgery will not be needed, the minimum recovery time for this particular injury is 12 weeks.
This is the second injury to delay Perez’s regular season pitching debut in the Tigers’ organization since being acquired in the Verlander trade. The first was a blister that was deemed too tender to risk pitching from.
Signed from Venezuela for $1 million as a 16-year-old, Perez displays a plus fastball and curve that he throws from an unusual up-and-down delivery. He augments those with an above average changeup that separates nicely from his heater. Adding control that borders on plus and an average slider, it is obvious why Perez is so highly valued.
The timeline for his return will likely fall sometime in the middle of the season. At the very least, Detroit’s faithful will have to wait until June 11 — twelve weeks from the injury. Setbacks could delay that time, though, and it’s possible that he could be off the field until late July. Either way, this represents a disheartening blow to a farm system in the nascent stages of its upswing, even though it won’t impact Perez’s development all too much.