The Miami Marlins scratched left-handed pitcher Jesus Luzardo from his Friday start after he experienced elbow discomfort on Thursday, the team announced. He will undergo further testing to determine the extent of the injury.

Luzardo, 26, is in his sixth MLB season and fourth with the Marlins after Miami acquired him via trade during the 2021 season. In five starts this season, Luzardo posted a 6.58 ERA while striking out 27 batters compared to 13 walks. He is 0-2 with the Marlins posting a 1-4 record in games he started.

Luzardo's last outing was his best of the season as he registered his first quality start of 2024. He allowed two runs on three hits across six innings against the Chicago Cubs on April 20, striking out six while walking three. He was on the hook for a loss but did not factor into the decision after the Marlins scored two runs in the top of the ninth to secure a 3-2 victory.

After struggling in 2021, Luzardo broke out over the last two seasons and established himself in the Marlins rotation. He made 50 combined starts in 2022 and 2023, posting a 14-17 record with a 3.48 ERA. In 2023, Luzardo was one of 17 pitchers to strike out at least 200 batters. His 208 punchies ranked seventh in the National League.

Luzardo has been on the injured list twice since making his MLB debut in September 2019. He missed four weeks with a left hand fracture in 2021 then missed two and a half months in 2022 with a left forearm strain.

Marlins spiraling less than a month into 2024 season

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jesus Luzardo (44) pitches in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at loanDepot Park.
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

After reaching the playoffs for only the fourth time in franchise history last year, the Marlins have plenty of work to do to get back in 2024. Miami sports the worst record in the National League at 6-20 and Luzardo's injury is just the latest in a string of pitching ailments for the Marlins.

2022 NL Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara and promising young righty Eury Perez are both expected to be lost for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Braxton Garrett continues to battle a shoulder injury and is slated to make his third rehab start in the minors on Friday.

On top of that, reliever turned starter AJ Puk is on the injured list with shoulder fatigue after recording a 9.22 ERA in four starts, taking the loss in each one. The Marlins are likely to move him back to the bullpen when he returns.

Miami's lineup hasn’t done the team any favors either. Only four teams have scored fewer runs than the Marlins and their .593 team OPS is second-worst in the league behind the 3-22 Chicago White Sox.

It's still early in the season, but it's hard to see a way the Marlins can climb out of this and make some noise in 2024. Even if completely healthy Miami would’ve had a hard time clinching consecutive postseason berths for the first time in franchise history in a top-heavy NL.

Any team would have a hard time navigating through a full season with the amount of pitching injuries the Marlins have dealt with. If Jesus Luzardo is on the shelf for a significant amount of time, it could end up being the final nail in the coffin for Miami's season.