2. Detroit Tigers starter Tarik Skubal misses the entire 2023 season
Tarik Skubal was on his way to establishing himself as the workhorse starter many thought his frame and stuff could make him before getting shut down. His team-leading 21 starts would still produce 1.3 bWAR and many count on Skubal being a vital part of the club’s success next season.
Many felt Skubal’s shutdown could be more of a product of the team’s competitiveness or lack thereof, but AJ Hinch’s comments shortly after the roster move paint a future grimmer than fans hoped:
"“We’re concerned about Tarik. He’s not going to pitch for the rest of the season, that much we know, which is why we put him on the 60-day injured list. The inflammation, the pain that he’s felt continued when he started throwing again.”"
Skubal has already undergone flexor tendon surgery, and while it isn’t the Tommy John type of comeback, it is worth noting that former Detroit Tigers starter Matthew Boyd underwent the same surgery last September and did not appear in MLB action until September 1, 2022.
The Tigers have not been public with Skubal’s timetable, but it appears the margin for error with his recovery could be fairly minimal, and an additional surgery could end his ambitions of pitching next year altogether.
It would be a devastating blow to a Detroit Tigers staff that will already be without Casey Mize for the majority of the season and could potentially be without fellow starter Matt Manning, too, who was shut down with a right forearm strain.