The Tigers announced this afternoon that right-hander Freddy Pacheco had a UCL procedure yesterday. While the club didn’t provide further specifics, Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free-Press writes that he underwent Tommy John surgery.
It’s a brutal development for a pitcher trying to establish himself at the major league level. Pacheco, 25, has yet to make his MLB debut. Originally a Cardinals prospect, he was added to St. Louis’ 40-man roster over the 2021-22 offseason. Detroit grabbed him off waivers in Spring Training but placed him on the 60-day injured list within two weeks.
Pacheco will spend the entire 2023 campaign on the IL. The injured list disappears over the offseason, so the Tigers will either have to reinstate him onto the 40-man roster or put him on waivers in November. With the likelihood that he’ll miss the majority of the ’24 campaign as well, the latter option is possible.
Last season, Pacheco split the season between the top two minor league levels. The reliever combined for a 3.05 ERA with a huge 33.6% strikeout rate over 62 innings. Baseball America ranked him 23rd among St. Louis prospects last winter, calling him a potential middle innings arm.