The Tigers are planning to pull outfielder Austin Meadows off his rehab assignment due to soreness in both of his achilles tendons, reports Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press. “I think we’re going to have to stop his rehab and start over,” manager A.J. Hinch tells Petzold.
Acquired from the Rays in an offseason trade, the Tigers were hoping that Meadows would be an anchor in their lineup as they transitioned from rebuilders into competitors this year. Instead, it’s been a frustrating season defined by mounting injury woes, both for Meadows and the team at large.
Meadows first landed on the IL in May due to vertigo-like symptoms. He returned in June but then landed on the COVID list just over a week later. As he was about to go on a rehab assignment to get back into game shape, he was placed on the traditional injured list due to achilles strains. He attempted to start a rehab assignment last week but only got into two games before being sidelined once more. Due to these setbacks, he’s only been able to play in 36 games for the Tigers so far this year.
The frustrations with Meadows are just one piece of a frustrating puzzle in Detroit, as a host of injuries have dragged down the club this year. Many regular players and most of the starting rotation being sidelined for various ailments throughout the campaign, with the club limping to a 36-49 record thus far. Adding salt to the wound is the fact that Isaac Paredes, who went the other way in the trade, is having a breakout season for the Rays, hitting 13 home runs and slashing .240/.304/.548 for a 143 wRC+.
With the Tigers likely to do some deadline selling and stay out of the postseason race, there’s no reason to rush Meadows back until he has recuperated. Still, he and the club would surely like to get him some reps in the second half and get him into good form before the winter. He is still under club control via arbitration for two more seasons, though he likely won’t earn much of a raise on this year’s $4MM salary due to missing so much time.