The Detroit Tigers lost Victor Reyes and Austin Meadows to the injured list after Sunday’s game
The Detroit Tigers’ pitching staff has needed all of their depth already this season; with Casey Mize, Matt Manning, Tyler Alexander, Andrew Chafin, Kyle Funkhouser, Jose Cisnero, and now Michael Pineda all finding their way to the injured list through the first six weeks of the season. That same plague, unfortunately, has now found the outfield.
Austin Meadows had been in and out of the lineup due to a severe ear infection, which the radio broadcast detailed extensively–citing Meadows was experiencing nausea and felt as if his hotel room was spinning. Meadows only had one at-bat Sunday before he exited and was subsequently placed on the 10-day IL with vertigo symptoms.
Likewise, Victor Reyes, in his first game back from a left quad injury, left the game after hitting a double and was relieved for fellow outfielder Derek Hill. Like Meadows, it was announced that Reyes would also be making a trip to the injured list–this time for a right quad strain.
These injuries, of course, are compounded by Riley Greene’s injury before the season. Greene was supposed to make the big league club out of spring training before fracturing his foot on a hit by pitch in one of the final games before the season began. Greene has recently resumed baseball activities and is expected to be the everyday centerfielder upon his return to make his MLB debut.
Losing Greene already meant that the Detroit Tigers would be out a middle-of-the-order bat to begin their season; but losing Meadows means losing much of the same–a left-handed, power stick that has been a middle-order mainstay since arriving in the trade with Tampa.
Victor Reyes has been a cliche stand-up bit among the Detroit Tigers fanbase, but as someone who has taken their fair share of snarky jabs, he is a big-league player even if he’s not in the lineup every day. In Reyes, they lose a switch-hitter that can play all three outfield positions and was hitting .292/.346/.458 in his limited time (though he’s only had one barrel on the season, which could suggest some good luck). Nevertheless, his injury shouldn’t be understated when considering their alternatives.
The injuries mean more repetitions for Derek Hill and Eric Haase in the outfield, but Willi Castro has also continued to get some time in the grass. Kody Clemens has gotten some recent praise among the fanbase as a call-up candidate, but fans shouldn’t sleep on Daz Cameron just yet, either, who is hitting .340/.347/.532 in May for Toledo.
If the Tigers can weather the next couple of weeks, the outfield will quickly go from Willi Castro, Derek Hill, and Robbie Grossman to Austin Meadows, Riley Greene, and Robbie Grossman in short order.