Detroit Tigers prospect Alex Faedo had probably heard the whispers in college from those worried that his herky-jerky three-quarter slot may end up leading to injury. Despite some efforts by the team and Faedo to clean things up with his motion, that forecast by the draft and college baseball gurus, unfortunately, became a reality in 2020.
Both Faedo and Manning were shut down in the alternate site in 2020 with forearm strains, but while Manning was able to make a recovery, Faedo would end up undergoing Tommy John surgery about five months after the announcement about his shut down was made. It remains a bit unclear when their respective injuries actually occurred, however, considering the media and public access to the alternate site was zero.
Alex Faedo’s Contract Status With the Detroit Tigers
Faedo has yet to begin his big league service clock but is on the 40-man roster, which protects him from the Rule 5 draft. Considering the rehab timeline and the requisite starts in the minors to build up a starter’s stamina, I would not expect to see Faedo in Detroit until the end of 2022, at the soonest.
Alex Faedo’s Game
Faedo shows mostly a three-pitch mix: a fastball, slider, and changeup with an occasional curveball depending on the arm slot. The biggest adjustment with Faedo has been his delivery, though, which had gone from an abstract three-quarter deceptive motion to a cleaner high three-quarter.
Here is a good look at Faedo’s Florida mechanics prior to joining the Detroit Tigers:
Here is what it looks like now:
As you can tell, it is a higher slot and certainly more upright with his motion. Faedo has had some back-and-forth in terms of his velocity in the minors. At Florida, Faedo was a mid-90’s guy that could scrape the 96-range at his best. He had gone more 90-92 for some time before eventually getting back to the 92-94 range.
The change in mechanics has also raised some concern about the slider’s effectiveness; a once-devastating offering that has lost some of its bite as of late. There was some thought that even if Faedo couldn’t stick in the rotation, he might be a nice high-leverage piece in the bullpen–but as we have witnessed, sometimes the stuff can change post-surgery for better or worse. For that reason, this idea will likely get tabled until we see him back and pitching again.
There really is not much of a take to be had with Faedo in 2021. Obviously, he will underperform the ZiPS numbers by a mammoth margin considering he will not be pitching at all. It is not entirely uncommon to have pitchers coming back throwing harder than pre-surgery, so the only hope is for Faedo to realize that outcome.