May 15: The Tigers announced they had placed Pineda on the IL, as planned, with Victor Reyes heading the other way as a matching move.
May 14: Right-handed Tigers Michael Pineda had to leave today’s game in the second inning after being hit in the throwing hand by a Ramon Urias line reader. After the match, the manager AJ Hinch told reporters (including MLB.com’s Jason Beck) that Pineda had suffered a fractured right middle finger. A trip to the injured list is inevitable, and Hinch said Pineda will visit specialists to determine the next course of action in recovery.
It’s a tough result for Pineda and the Tigers, who are already missing several members of their ideal starting rotation. Matt Manning (shoulder discomfort) may be within a week or two after returning to action, but Casey Mize (sprained elbow) did not last long when he first started rehabilitation, and his rehabilitation mission has now on hiatus. Tyler Alexander also made a few spot starts earlier this season, before a sprained left elbow put the southpaw on the shelf.
Pineda himself ran out of time at the start of the year as visa issues delayed his arrival for spring training and therefore his pre-season preparation was delayed. Although five starts and 22 1/3 innings, Pineda has a 3.22 ERA, but with only a 13.63 percent strikeout rate. While that K% is particularly low, Pineda’s history over the past four seasons has provided solid numbers (3.77 ERA over 303 innings) despite generally unimpressive peripherals. Pineda signed a one-year, $5.5 million deal that contains up to $2.5 million in bonuses based on total innings, but he will struggle to hit either of those thresholds. innings if he misses a lot of time on the IL.
The Tigers signed Pineda to add veteran experience to their young staff, and just five weeks into the season that throwing depth has already been put to the test. Tarik Skubal was excellent and Eduardo Rodriguez started to turn things around after a rocky start, but Detroit turned to Beautiful Brieske, Alex Fedoand Joey Wentz to all make their first Major League starts.
Faedo was already scheduled to be recalled from Triple-A to start Monday’s game, and Brieske will likely remain in the rotation after posting decent results to date. Wentz could also get another look for a start or two until the Tigers feel Manning is ready to be activated from the injured list.