The Detroit Tigers roster received a boost in the final game of their series against the Baltimore Orioles, as outfielders Austin Meadows and Víctor Reyes returned to the roster. But that was short-lived, as both left the game in the second inning, and both appear to be heading to the 10-day injured list.
Meadows, who was put on Sunday’s lineup in right field and third at bat by manager AJ Hinch, missed the first two games of the series at Comerica Park with an inner ear problem and vertigo symptoms.
But Meadows’ comeback only lasted one inning and one at bat. After fouling the catcher to end the first inning, Meadows was replaced by Willi Castro on the field to start the second, with Castro playing left and Robbie Grossman moving left to right.
“Austin reported ongoing symptoms — dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea — just didn’t feel well,” Hinch said. “And we have to get to the bottom of it. So, I feel for him; he’s worked hard, he’s been patient, but you have to get to the bottom of something. So I expect that he is on the injured list while we sort through everything that’s going on with him.
Reyes was placed on the 10-day disabled list on April 23 with a pulled left quad before spending four rehabilitation games with Triple-A Toledo this week.
Reyes’ comeback only lasted a little longer; after doubling into the right-field corner on his first at-bat in the second inning, Reyes was called out in favor of pinch runner Derek Hill. Reyes’ departure was announced following a right quadriceps injury.
“Victor comes from the left quad, worked really hard, went through (Low-A) Lakeland, went through Toledo…” Hinch said Sunday. “Rounding the first one, I didn’t feel good in the right quad. So it’s almost a mirror of what happened, his left side, his right side. So he’s going to be out a bit .
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Meadows opened the season as one of the Tigers’ most consistent hitters, averaging .284, .747 OPS and 11 RBIs over his first 22 games. But he missed the Tigers’ final three games in Houston last weekend, then went 4-for-22 (.211) in five games against the Oakland Athletics in Detroit.
Although he missed the Tigers’ back-to-back wins over the O’s, Meadows worked on his hitting into the batting cages.
“I was in the cage yesterday, still doing baseball stuff,” Meadows said. “So yeah, I didn’t…miss a beat on that side.”
The injury is particularly disappointing for Reyes. After going hitless in his first game with the Mud Hens, Reyes had seven hits in 12 at bats against the Louisville Bats (the Cincinnati Reds affiliate), including a double and two homers.
“Thank God I never stopped hitting,” Reyes said through interpreter Carlos Guillen before the match. “I felt pretty good.”
After wrapping up Sunday’s game, the Tigers travel to St. Petersburg, Fla. for a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was to be Meadows’ first games against his former teammates since being traded to the Tigers in early April.
The deal, in which the Tigers sent 23-year-old infielder Isaac Paredes to the Rays, wasn’t the first time Meadows had been shipped between organizations. The Pirates’ first-round pick in 2013, Meadows was traded to the Rays in July 2018.
“It goes back a bit to when the Pirates traded me,” Meadows said. “I understand the business side and how it works. You know, being traded this year, I had a little trade experience in the past and I know how to handle it and stuff like that.
“I understand that they have a job to do. That job was to get rid of me to find someone else, and that’s how it goes. That’s how it goes in this job, there are no hard feelings. … A lot of good relations there, a lot of good friends there.
Meadows’ stint on the IL means he won’t play on the show, although he will travel with the team.
“Doc cleared him to fly, but he’s not cleared to play,” Hinch said after Sunday’s win.
Meadows said before the game that he was looking forward to seeing some of his friends on the Rays, including 2019 American League All-Star Brandon Lowe, 2021 AL Rookie of the Year Randy Arozarena, and outfielder Manuel Margot. .
“There’s a list of guys I have a lot of respect for, who I’ve developed a really good relationship with,” Meadows said. “It’s like a family there.”
Faedo returns to Florida
Another Tiger impatient to find the Trophy? Right-handed starter Alex Faedo.
The rookie is expected to start his third career Monday night against the Rays. The ailments of Meadows and Reyes opened up a spot for Faedo on the 26-man roster, though the Tigers planned to add him regardless.
Faedo has a 3.60 ERA with eight strikeouts and three walks in 10 innings with the Tigers, including Wednesday’s start in which he struck out seven A’s over five innings.
“Different team, different game plan,” Faedo said on Sunday. “But I think at the same time you can choose the good and the bad, that I had a much better execution the second time than the first time, and I think if you execute you obviously give yourself a better chance.”
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Despite his inexperience at the big league level, Faedo knows the Rays ballpark very well: the native of Tampa, Fla. grew up watching Rays games before heading to the University of Florida and becoming the Tigers first-round pick (#18 overall) in 2017.
“Yeah, I grew up a Rays fan, then I became a Tigers-only fan, then a baseball fan once I got here,” Faedo said.
“I liked it because there was never any rain and the weather was pretty good at (Tropicana Field). “You watch big league baseball, so it’s always cool no matter where it is.”
The 26-year-old is also navigating recovery from Tommy John surgery, which he underwent in December 2020. Recovery and rehabilitation have sidelined him for the entire 2021 season. Faedo is still working on his secondary locations; against the A’s, he managed 10 swings-and-misses with his slider.
“I think every day is a little different,” he said. “I think you still get that for a long time. Some days it’s like a normal pitch before surgery. When you’re out there it’s not always the same, so you just have to make adjustments. I I’ve thrown a lot of bullpen now, so I definitely have no excuse not to be sharp with those (secondary) throws.
Still, with Saturday’s hand injury to starter Michael Pineda, Faedo would appear to have a place in the Tigers’ rotation going forward. So what’s Faedo’s plan against the Rays?
“Consistency, execution,” Faedo said. “Just keep trying to understand my game and feel comfortable. Do what the scouting reports say and attack the batters and be able to throw in the zone.”
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