Akil Baddoo left Friday’s game after injuring his right quad while running out a grounder. The quad strain ended up sending Baddoo to the 10-day injured list, as the Tigers placed the outfielder on the IL Saturday, and the newly-acquired Nick Solak was called up from Triple-A.
It isn’t clear how much time Baddoo could miss, since while Tigers manager A.J. Hinch told reporters (including Rainer Sabin of the Detroit Free Press) that Baddoo will be “out for the foreseeable future,” the quad strain is on the “mild side.” It’s at least good news that Baddoo has apparently avoided a higher degree of strain, even if the IL stint is a setback for the 24-year-old outfielder.
A Rule 5 pick in December 2020, Baddoo had a very impressive rookie season and seemed to be a surprise building block for a Tigers club that appeared to be turning a corner in 2021. However, like virtually every other Detroit hitter, Baddoo took a big step backwards in 2022, hitting only .204/.289/.269 over 225 plate appearances. The 2023 campaign has continued this inconsistency for Baddoo, but he has taken a step forward from last year, hitting .231/.341/.343 over 168 PA.
The surprising Zach McKinstry has moved into everyday duty in the Tigers’ outfield, which has been a bit of a revolving door due to injuries. Austin Meadows has been sidelined since April because of anxiety issues, while Riley Greene is facing an extended absence due to a stress reaction in his left fibula. On the plus side, Kerry Carpenter was activated off the IL earlier this week, and Matt Vierling may also soon be returning for Monday’s game with the Braves.
Lower-back soreness sent Vierling to the injured list on May 29, but it looks like he could miss only slightly beyond the minimum 10 days. Vierling has already played two minor league rehab games and was in Detroit today being evaluated by team doctors. Acquired from the Phillies as part of the Gregory Soto trade in January, Vierling has hit .241/.297/.352 over 175 PA while playing mostly in right field, but he has also gotten some work at the other two outfield slots and even at second and third base.
In other injury news, the Tigers announced that Matt Manning will start an injury rehab assignment today at Triple-A Toledo. It was exactly two months ago today that Manning suffered a fracture in his right foot, and he has since been transferred to the 60-day IL (though that roster move doesn’t impact his potential return date). Manning will certainly need at least a couple of rehab starts after missing so much time, but it seems plausible that he can return to Detroit’s rotation before the end of June.