7 injured Detroit Tigers players whose returns could save Detroit's season

May 22, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Riley Greene (31) on base
May 22, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Riley Greene (31) on base / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
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Tarik Skubal

When he is healthy, Tarik Skubal has some of the more exciting stuff in the entire Tigers' organization. Unfortunately, he hasn't had the best luck when it comes to injuries as he had Tommy John surgery while in college and then had flexor tendon surgery last August that has kept him out this season as well.

The good news here is that Skubal has been making rehab starts and appears to be making some real progress in building up innings. There are some that think he could return by the end of June, but even if he has to wait until July to make his return to the big leagues, Detroit is going to love having his ability to miss bats back in the rotation. The hope, of course, is that he isn't too rusty as he has been out for a while.

Casey Mize

You may have figured out that we are getting more and more speculative here as the list goes on and that brings us to Casey Mize. Mize's 2021 season where he posted a 3.71 ERA in 30 starts gave Tigers fans som real hope that he could be a core part of their rotation for years to come. Unfortunately, elbow trouble knocked him out of action after two starts in 2022 and he had Tommy John surgery a couple months after that. It was later revealed that he also had to have back surgery after his Tommy John procedure.

It is currently unclear as to whether or not Mize will for sure return in 2023, but there are some good signs. He is doing some measure of bullpen work and while it is very clear that a rehab assignment is not imminent, a late season return seems possible at the moment. Whether or not to push things with Mize may be dictated by how Detroit's playoff odds look later in the season, but he should be a big help whenever he returns.

Austin Meadows

This is the player on the list with the least amount of clarity because, well, it isn't a physical injury we are dealing with here. Austin Meadows has some tantalizing offensive potential as we saw during his time with the Rays. Unfortunately, his playing time with the Tigers has been very limited and he had to step away from baseball due to some mental health challenges that he is needing to work through.

We did get an update on Austin Meadows recently that was positive regarding his treatment and it is worth noting that he is working out while he works through his troubles with anxiety and his mental health. The hope, of course, is that he is able to take the field again in 2023 and help the Tigers' offense, but the more important thing here is that he gets all of the help and support he needs.

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