The Tigers have been plagued by pitching injuries, and manager A.J. Hinch told reporters (including Chris McCosky of The Detroit News) that the 2022 season is over for two of the club’s hurlers. Right-handers Alex Faedo and Kyle Funkhouser are both considering surgery — Faedo for a nagging hip problem, and Funkhouser for the shoulder strain that has kept him from pitching all season.
Faedo was one of several younger pitchers called up to help the rotation weather the injury storm, and he delivered a 5.53 ERA over his first 53 2/3 innings of Major League action. With a 2.92 ERA over the first 37 of those frames, it looked like Faedo was making a rookie breakout before the league started to get a book on him, and also before his hip injury began to impact his performance. The bad hip forced Faedo out of a July 4 start after only 3 2/3 innings, and he has been tagged for seven runs over his last two starts and 5 1/3 innings of action.
The 18th overall pick of the 2017 draft, Faedo was himself making a comeback from injury, as a forearm strain in 2020 resulted in Tommy John surgery at the end of that year that sidelined him for all of 2021. Unfortunately, he’ll now face another significant absence even if he ultimately decides against hip surgery, and if he does opt to go under the knife, the rehab process could impact Faedo’s readiness for Spring Training or Opening Day 2023.
Funkhouser is also facing an uncertain timeline, as a shoulder surgery could potentially threaten his entire 2023 campaign, depending on the severity of his injury and the specific nature of the procedure. He was initially set back by lat soreness during Spring Training, and will now miss a chance to follow up on a promising 2021 season.
Making his big league debut in 2020, Funkhouser posted a 7.27 ERA over his first 17 1/3 frames in the Show, but he had decidedly better results last year. Despite a mediocre 12.8% walk rate and a below-average 21.1% strikeout rate, Funkhouser rode a 53.2% grounder rate and a lot of soft contact to a 3.42 ERA over 68 1/3 innings. The Tigers frequently used Funkhouser for more than one inning, and he also made two “starts” (in opener fashion) in bullpen games.
Faedo and Funkhouser join Casey Mize (Tommy John surgery) as the Detroit pitchers whose injuries were season-ending, but the large majority of the pitching staff has spent time on the injured list with some type of issue. Just in today’s game, Michael Pineda had to leave early due to right tricep tightness, creating another possible hole in the rotation. Righty Rony Garcia was expected to be activated from the 15-day IL in time to start tomorrow’s game.