When the Detroit Tigers acquired RHP Franklin Perez from the Houston Astros in the Justin Verlander deal 11 months ago, they shut the talented young pitcher down quickly. That wasn’t a huge surprise. Perez was just 19 years of age, and didn’t have much mileage on his arm as of yet. Perez quickly seized the top spot in prospect rankings of the Tigers’ system due to his advanced command and deep repertoire of pitches. Taking it slow with a teenager who was the centerpiece of the trade made a lot of sense as he was already well ahead of the game for a pitcher his age. It was assumed that in this, his age 20 season, he’d be stretched out to a full workload.
Unfortunately for Tigers fans who looked forward to seeing him in 2018, they’ll have to wait even longer. After missing the first half of the season with a lat strain, Perez returned to make several rehab appearances in rookie ball and with the Lakeland Flying Tigers. Those appearances didn’t go particularly well, and on Monday, Chris McCosky of the Detroit News reported that Perez has now been shut down for the rest of the 2018 season.
David Littlefield, Tigers director of player development, confirms that Tigers No. 1 prospect RHP Franklin Perez is back on the DL and out for the rest of the season. He's got capsular inflammation in his right shoulder.— Chris McCosky (@cmccosky) July 31, 2018
Perez is still very young for a guy who handled the Double-A level with little trouble in 2017. He’ll still be young for the level if he can return healthy in 2019. However, this is definitely some sobering news in his development. Hopefully Perez can take the opportunity to heal and rebuild his overall strength and conditioning level, perhaps adjust his mechanics and arm slot a bit, and pick up not too far from where he left off next season.