Marlins outfielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. underwent surgery to correct his lingering turf toe issue on his right foot, as Chisholm revealed on his Instagram page. MLB.com’s Christina De Nicola reports that Chisholm won’t be able to run or wear a shoe on his right foot for the next 12 weeks, thus costing him a good portion of his offseason work. While Chisholm should be ready for Spring Training, it is possible he might need some extra ramp-up time at the start of camp.
Unfortunately for Chisholm, he has yet to enjoy a truly normal offseason during his four MLB seasons, due to the pandemic, the lockout, and now two winters of injury rehab. Chisholm underwent right meniscus surgery in September 2022, though that procedure was relatively minor and he was able to proceed as normal by the start of Spring Training.
Chisholm injured his toe while trying to make a catch during Miami’s 6-5 loss to the Reds back on May 13. Chisholm ran into the outfield wall, with his toe making hard contact with the cement base under the electronic scoreboard. As a result, he spent about six weeks on the injured list recovering, opting to rehab rather than undergo a surgery that would’ve cost him a bigger chunk of the 2023 campaign. A later oblique strain ended up costing Chisholm almost all of July’s games anyway, and he ended up appearing in 97 total games with 383 plate appearances last season.
Between the injuries and the difficulty of trying to learn center field for the first time, Chisholm still managed slightly above-average offense at the plate, with a 103 wRC+ from a .250/.304/.457 slash line and 19 homers, plus 22 steals in 25 chances. Chisholm went 8-for-9 on steal attempts after returning from his first IL stint, so he was still a pretty effective baserunner even while dealing with the nagging effects of turf toe.
Public defensive metrics were mixed on Chisholm’s work in center field, as he was a +4 in Outs Above Average, but a negative in the view of UZR/150 (-6.6) and Defensive Runs Saved (-9). There isn’t any indication that the Marlins are considering a move back to the infield for Chisholm, and it seems logical to guess that he could improve in center field now that he has more experience, plus hopefully better health.
Injuries have plagued Chisholm throughout his career, as he played in only 281 of a possible 486 games from 2021-23. Chisholm still doesn’t turn 26 until February, and he has shown such intriguing promise when healthy that stardom certainly seems within reach if he can just stay on the field. A full breakout season for Chisholm would be enormous for the Marlins, who already reached the playoffs this year and are looking to step forward as true contenders.