Key Tigers offseason acquisition hitting the injured list at the worst time

The Tigers infield took a hit on Friday as a key contributor is going to be out for a while.
Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers
Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers / Duane Burleson/GettyImages

The Detroit Tigers are in a somewhat tenuous spot at the moment. So far, they have defied expectations to put together an 11-9 record after their scrappy 5-4 win over the Twins on Friday, but it hasn't been easy. Several of the Tigers' young players have underperformed thus far this season and others are already banged up despite it being the third week of April.

One of the bright spots thus far in 2024 has been the play of Gio Urshela who the Tigers signed after his strong season was cut short due to a freak hip injury in 2023. Through 18 games this season, Urshela has slashed .298/.310/.333 and while his on-base and power numbers haven't been ideal, he has still been a reliable source of contact for a Tigers team that could really use it.

Unfortunately, Urshela suffered what appeared to be a hamstring injury in Friday's win and after the game, manager AJ Hinch didn't sound like he felt great about Urshela's chances of avoiding some downtime. His worries proved to be correct as Detroit placed Urshela on the 10 day injured list and recalled Buddy Kennedy.

Tigers News: Gio Urshela sent to the injured list, Buddy Kennedy recalled

Hamstring injuries are tricky, especially early in the season when teams are more likely to be cautious and try to let guys heal up completely before sending them back out again. Some hamstring injuries resolve themselves quickly and are no big deal, but there are others that can linger and take a long time to heal up.

With Urshela out, the Tigers are turning to Buddy Kennedy who does have 123 middling plate appearances worth of big league experience with the Diamondbacks at least. In 15 games down at Triple-A Toledo, Kennedy has slashed .288/.354/.509 with a couple homers. If he can remotely approach that level of production while Urshela is out, the Tigers will be thrilled even if that is a pretty big ask.

If not, then the Tigers will just need to hope that Andy Ibáñez's progress during his own injury rehab continues to go well and he returns soon to give Detroit some more roster flexibility while Urshela is out.

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