With Eduardo Rodriguez heading to the 15-day IL, where does that leave the Detroit Tigers in terms of their pitching staff?
Detroit Tigers’ starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez has been placed on the 15-day injured list with a left ribcage sprain, the team announced Sunday morning.
In an effort to replace him in the short term, the team swapped one E-rod for another. The Tigers recalled RHP Elvin Rodriguez from Triple-A Toledo and he will start Monday’s game at Minnesota.
Rodriguez left his last start on Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays after allowing three runs and only recording one out. His velocity was down for the duration of his outing. After walking the last batter he faced, he motioned to the dugout and A.J. Hinch and head athletic trainer Doug Teter didn’t hesitate to take him out of the game.
The Tigers’ pitching staff was already in shambles, and it just got even worse. Rodriguez joins Casey Mize, Matt Manning, Michael Pineda, Tyler Alexander, and Spencer Turnbull as starting pitchers who are currently serving stints on the IL for the Detroit Tigers. That’s enough starters to fill an entire rotation. As ridiculous as that sounds, that’s what they are currently dealing with.
Thankfully, the team also received some good news Sunday morning. Tarik Skubal said he feels good and should be able to make his next start after taking a comebacker off his leg Friday night. What was already a disaster avoids becoming a catastrophe, at least for now.
It’s hard to remember a time when a team racked up this many injuries this early in the season, not just to the pitching staff. When you take position players into account, the Detroit Tigers currently have 12 different players on the IL. It’s not even Memorial Day.
With all that being said, here’s how the Tigers pitching rotation currently shakes out (order is not official):
- Tarik Skubal
- Alex Faedo
- Elvin Rodriguez
- Beau Brieske
The fifth spot was probably going to be Matt Manning’s return from his shoulder injury, but he was pulled early from his rehab start on Thursday after showing signs of dehydration. Now the options for that fifth spot are probably down to Rony Garcia, Wily Peralta, or a bullpen day.
Considering the fact that the team has had to do several bullpen days already this season, they could potentially have Garcia and Peralta piggyback off each other since they can both pitch multiple innings and have both pitched well so far this season.
There isn’t a ton of help in Toledo. Other than Elvin Rodriguez, the only other options were veteran Chase Anderson, who did not have a good spring training and has been rather pedestrian for the Mud Hens, and Joey Wentz, who got rocked in his big league debut a couple weeks ago.
There aren’t many good free agent options left either. The best options are probably either 39-year-old J.A. Happ or Mike Foltynewicz. Al Avila could always swing a trade, but that seems unlikely.
Given all of this, the Detroit Tigers are probably going to have to wait all these injuries out and hope nobody else gets hurt. This team has had horrible injury luck so far this season, but it has to stop at some point, right?