Detroit Tigers: Michael Fulmer joins MLB injury plague

Detroit Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer (32) delivers a pitch against Cleveland during the eighth inning at Comerica Park in Detroit on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer (32) delivers a pitch against Cleveland during the eighth inning at Comerica Park in Detroit on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. /

The Detroit Tigers sent Michael Fulmer to the IL with a right shoulder strain and called up Jason Foley. With Jose Urena set to return today, Detroit has designated JaCoby Jones for assignment.

The Detroit Tigers, who have seen injuries to the pitching staff already to Julio Teheran, Urena, and Spencer Turnbull over the weekend, took another blow with Michael Fulmer heading to the IL with a right shoulder strain.

Fulmer has not pitched since May 30 against the Yankees and Manager A.J.Hinch as a precaution has rested Fulmer during the road trip. Jose Cisnero, Rony Garcia, and Kyle Funkhouser have been holding the fort down from a right-hander’s perspective since.

While injuries throughout a 162 game schedule are common, this year seems to be a bigger rash than normal across the league. According to an article released in USA Today on June 3rd, the percentage is quite an eye-raising number.

"“Through May, there were 104 soft tissue injuries that resulted in stints on the IL, a 160% increase over the 48 after two months in 2019, according to Stan Conte, the former trainer for the Dodgers and Giants who now operates Conte Sport Performance Therapy in Arizona and consults for multiple MLB franchises and the league office.Hamstrings are going haywire – already the most common injury in baseball, they are up 193% since 2019, with 47 IL stints compared to 16 through May 2021.Adductors are in disarray – there have been 16 groin-related IL trips, compared to two in 2019’s first two months.And oblique strains and tears are up 83% – from 12 after two months of 2019 to 22 in 2021”."

The simplest explanation for all the injuries could be due to the short season of 2020 since conditioning routines have been thrown off.  But this is a big blow to the Detroit Tigers bullpen, which has gotten significantly better since the beginning of the season.

Who is Jason Foley?

Foley was an unsigned free agent out of Sacred Heart College in New York in 2016.  He stands at 6’4 215 lbs.  He quickly made his way through the minor league system with a wipeout fastball and splitter before missing time on the IL due to Tommy John surgery in 2018.

As James Chipman, the director of scouting at Prospects Live points out, he now throws a slider versus a splitter because it is less of a strain on the arm. His fastball can up to 100 MPH and also throws a slider. In Toledo so far this season, Foley has thrown 10 innings, allowed four runs over 10 hits, two home runs, four walks, and has struck out 10.

As far as JaCoby Jones is concerned, the Tigers seem to be ready to move on. As Evan Woodbery of pointed out, here is a perspective to look at when it comes to the Tigers.

For now, we wait on bated breath on a Spencer Turnbull injury update, which according to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News, no structure damage to his shoulder.  He hit the IL this weekend and Bryan Garcia was called up from Toledo to take his place.

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