Tigers lineup takes a massive hit as biggest bat goes onto the IL

Toronto Blue Jays v Detroit Tigers
Toronto Blue Jays v Detroit Tigers / Duane Burleson/GettyImages

The first of just two games for the Tigers and Pirates at Comerica Park, scheduled for Tuesday, was delayed due to inclement weather, and both teams got some extra sleep before having to head into a makeup doubleheader.

Despite the Tigers' and Pirates' losing records, fans in attendance at the back-to-back games are in for a treat — Game 1 will feature Tarik Skubal on the bump for the Tigers, and Paul Skenes will make his fourth start for the Pirates in Game 2. Detroit also has some momentum, thanks to a series win against the Blue Jays; the Tigers took three of four games and won the last thanks to a three-run walk off homer by Matt Vierling.

However, the dreariness in Detroit on Tuesday might've been a bit of an omen. Although Kerry Carpenter was listed in the original Game 1 lineup, he was scratched with the reschedule, and the Tigers announced a few hours later that he was going onto the 10-day IL with lumbar spine inflammation, with Quadruple-A standby Akil Baddoo recalled to take his place on the roster.

Tigers' Kerry Carpenter goes to 10-day IL, Akil Baddoo recalled from Triple-A

To say that this is a blow to the Tigers' lineup is a gross understatement. Before he got hurt, Carpenter led Tigers hitters (after 40+ appearances) in almost every offensive category, only notably bested by Riley Greene in home runs (Carpenter has eight, Greene has nine). Carpenter was hitting .283 with a .914 OPS and led Greene in RBI by a nine-run margin.

Baddoo has already been up in the majors once this season, for a short three-day stint during which time he only got one at-bat against the Astros and hit a triple. He was once on the verge of becoming a mainstay for the Tigers lineup, but he flamed out quickly and has never seemed to be able to recapture that original glory in the majors.

If you were dissatisfied with the lack of power in Detroit before, Carpenter's absence makes space for things getting even worse. Greene continues to look pretty good and Torkelson has found some life, but Carpenter has been, by far, the biggest contributor to run-scoring at the Tigers' disposal.

The Pirates aren't in great shape either heading into the doubleheader, but Carpenter's injury could spell rough times soon if his injury ends up warranting more time on the IL.