After long road, Detroit Tigers’ Alex Faedo finally makes the show
It’s been a tumultuous five years for Alex Faedo, but he’s finally in the big leagues.
Detroit Tigers’ pitching prospect Alex Faedo finally made his major league debut Wednesday night. The 2017 first-round pick pitched five innings, gave up two earned runs, eight hits, one walk and one strikeout. Nothing spectacular, but he gave the team a chance to win.
The concern with Faedo has always been his velocity. Everyone remembers him hitting 97 mph on his fastball for Florida in the 2017 College World Series, but has consistently been 92-94 in the pros. The best explanation for that seems to be adrenaline in the CWS.
In his first start for Detroit, Faedo was consistently 91-93, and struggled with his command at times, which led to the eight hits. But his offspeed pitches looked fine, particularly his changeup, which he spotted very well at times. His lone strikeout came on his slider.
The longball was also an issue for Faedo, including a whopping 2.3 HR/9 for Double-A Erie in 2018. His command did improve in 2019, which led to fewer home runs and more strikeouts.
He gave up one homer on a center cut fastball to Roberto Perez in the fourth inning. The average exit velocity against Faedo was 91.7 mph, according to The Athletic’s Cody Stavenhagen.
Unfortunately, at the end of 2020, it was announced that Faedo needed Tommy John surgery. This came after he spent most of the 2020 season in COVID protocols and had to be shut down in September of that year because of a forearm strain.
After spending the entire 2021 season recovering from surgery, Faedo made his return to the mound in 2022, starting in Single-A Lakeland, where he had a 2.53 ERA in 10.2 innings pitched before being promoted to Triple-A Toledo. He made one sensational start there, pitching five shutout innings with eight strikeouts before the Tigers decided to give him the call.
It’s really nice to see Faedo at the big league level considering all that he’s been through. It’s been five years since he was drafted, and he’s now 26 years old, so many Tigers fans may have forgotten about him.
But in this first start, he did what he needed to do. He didn’t completely implode, he minimized damage, and kept his team in the game, and that’s what matters. There’s a chance he gets another start this weekend in Houston with Tyler Alexander now on the Injured List, which would be a real test for him against a much more potent Astros’ lineup.
Bur frankly, I hope he gets that chance. He deserves it.