The Tigers placed right-hander Alex Faedo on the 15-day injured list this afternoon (retroactive to May 31) with right middle finger discomfort, the club announced. No corresponding move to replace Faedo on the roster has been announced. Earlier today, the club described the issue as tenderness in his right middle fingernail, noting that the young righty was receiving daily treatment for the issue. The move will keep Faedo out of the rotation for at least two weeks, though no timetable for his return has been announced.
The club’s first round pick in the 2018 draft, Faedo made his MLB debut last season, posting a 5.53 ERA and 4.62 FIP over twelve starts. With a strikeout rate of just 18% against a 10.2% walk rate, Faedo’s first foray into the big leagues left much to be desired, leaving him to start the 2023 campaign in Triple-A. Over five starts at the level, he impressed with a 2.50 ERA in 18 innings of work with a 27.9% strikeout rate and a 5.9% walk rate, earning himself a promotion back into the big league rotation at the beginning of May.
Through five starts in 2023, the results appeared to be more of the same on a surface level, with a 5.52 ERA and a 4.51 FIP in 26 innings of work. With that being said, underlying metrics indicate that Faedo may have taken a step forward prior to his injury. While his .232 BABIP this season is surely due for regression, the massive 17.6% rate at which Faedo’s fly balls leave the yard for home runs is likely due for regression of its own, as is his unbelievably low 44.9% strand rate. What’s more, Faedo’s strikeout and walk issues from 2022 seem to have been corrected so far in 2023, as Faedo has struck out a respectable 25.2% of batters faced while allowing just two walks total in his 26 innings of work.
Given the signs that better days may be ahead for Faedo, the Tigers are sure to miss his presence in a rotation that currently sports Matthew Boyd, Michael Lorenzen, Joey Wentz, and Reese Olson. Faedo joins Eduardo Rodriguez and Spencer Turnbull as starts who have gone on the IL in the past month for Detroit, leaving the club in need of another starter before Tuesday’s game against the Phillies. Garrett Hill is an option on the 40-man roster, but the 27-year-old righty has been used mostly out of the bullpen in 2023, having pitched more than three innings just once all season.
While both left-hander Tarik Skubal and right-hander Matt Manning are making progress rehabbing from their own injuries, neither seems particularly close to a return. Skubal is set to begin a rehab assignment with High-A West Michigan tomorrow, as noted by Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press, but after undergoing surgery last August that has kept him from pitching competitively to this point, figures to need a relatively lengthy rehab start in order to prepare for his return to the major league mound. Manning, meanwhile, is not yet scheduled for a rehab assignment, indicating he could be behind Skubal in his rehab process.
One positive piece of injury news for Tigers fans comes from Riley Greene, who Chris McCosky of The Detroit News notes had his left fibula injury downgraded from a stress fracture to a stress reaction in Detroit’s recent medical report. While the news doesn’t change Greene’s expected timetable for return, it’s nonetheless a reassuring sign that his injury is less severe than originally thought.
A former consensus top-5 prospect in the entire sport, Greene has broken out in his sophomore campaign with a .296/.362/.443 slash line, excellent center field defense, and a perfect six-for-six record in stolen base attempts. The Tigers are relying on the recently-acquired Jake Marisnick in center field while Greene is on the shelf.