Detroit Tigers: Austin Meadows to miss the remainder of the 2022 season

Detroit Tigers left fielder Austin Meadows rounds first base with a RBI triple during the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Comerica Park. (Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)
Detroit Tigers left fielder Austin Meadows rounds first base with a RBI triple during the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Comerica Park. (Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) /

Detroit Tigers outfielder Austin Meadows missing the rest of 2022 is an unfortunate loss.

The Detroit Tigers made a splash in the trade market ahead of the 2022 season. Al Avila pulled off what looked like a highway robbery with the Tampa Bay Rays. The team acquired Austin Meadows for a competitive balance second-round draft pick, and infielder Isaac Paredes.

At the time, the upside for Meadows was high, with a ton of reason to think he might be headed for a breakout. Instead, it was a series of unfortunate injuries that led to a horrible season for the Detroit Tigers outfielder.

The most recent update was a somber announcement that Meadows will miss the remainder of the season. In a statement from Meadows himself on Twitter, he noted that he has been battling mental health struggles amid all of the injury trouble.

Here’s the statement from Meadows.

It takes courage to be able to admit something like that, especially for a professional athlete with that much pressure and spotlight on him. Meadows will be on the sidelines for the rest of the season as he feels unfit to rejoin the big league club.

The Detroit Tigers are supporting Austin Meadows’s decision, which matters most.

The year started with vertigo for Meadows, who had to spend time recovering and getting treatment to work through this. After rehabbing and returning to the field, he tested positive for COVID-19. It was yet another hoop to jump through.

Testing positive kept him off the field once again, which was a setback. After resting up and getting healthy, he was able to test negative and get back on the field. During his rehab stint to get big-league ready, things took another turn for the worse.

He injured both of his Achilles’ tendons, causing yet another setback. It was later determined he had bilateral tendinitis in both of his Achilles’ which further pushed back the recovery process. Another injury pushed him further in reverse.

That was the story of the season for Meadows. Every injury update seemed to be a setback and a step in the wrong direction. Every rehab stint was paired with a setback. It takes its toll on someone, that type of adversity would be draining on anyone.

Now, the 2022 season will be the lost season for Meadows. He played in 36 games with a .250/.347/.328 with eight extra-base hits and 11 RBI. He was an on-base machine, and it would have been exciting to see how things panned out throughout an entire season.

It’s a tough loss on both ends. It cannot be easy for Meadows to give up on the season and have to spend the remainder of it on the sideline. He could be a huge benefit to this team, and getting back on the field with his teammates is likely what he wants to do, but it’s unfortunately not an option for him at the time.

For the Tigers, the team watched Paredes win a Player of the Week award in July and perform much better than he did in a Tigers uniform. They also had to spend the summer without Meadows, which was obviously not the plan.

Missing out on Meadows’ presence in the lineup had to be a blow to the team’s plans, especially in a summer where the boost of a strong return might have added some momentum.

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As the 2022 season comes to a close, both sides have to be hoping it can be a restful offseason for Meadows, getting him back on the field and back into the swing of things. It’s great to see the Tigers organization handling this situation well, fully supporting their outfielder.