The Detroit tigers waiting to hear from absent left-hander Eduardo Rodriguezwho signed a $77 million five-year contract in November and hasn’t pitched in the majors since May 18.
Rodriguez has been on the limited list – and unpaid – since June 13when he informed the Tigers that he would not be joining the team after a dominant start in rehab on June 9 for Triple-A Toledo.
“As far as I know, there has been no movement and no communication,” manager AJ Hinch said Friday. “It’s been pretty quiet. We respected his privacy and just tried to wait for his camp to give us some direction as to what lies ahead. So we don’t know.’
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Rodriguez has to do with a marital issue†
The Tigers don’t know if Rodriguez is throwing or training.
“We know he’s safe,” Hinch said. “We know he’s home with his kids. We know he’s back in Florida. But it’s been pretty quiet. All we can do is carry on with what we know, and right now it’s the group that we to have.”
Rodriguez started eight games for the Tigers this season and posted a 4.38 ERA with 17 walks and 34 strikeouts in 39 innings.
He ended up on the injured list on May 22, retroactive to May 19, due to an injury to the left side and started a rehab game for the Mud Hens. In that appearance, Rodriguez fired four scoreless innings with nine strikeouts.
“We want him to be well,” Hinch said. “We want him to be in a good place. We want everything around him to settle down. We can’t really make a decision until we know exactly what’s going on. We’re waiting for him to open up when he wants to.” .”
For Friday’s series opener against the Kansas City Royals, the Tigers activated right-hander Michael Pineda off the injured list. He broke his right middle finger on May 14.
The 33-year-old started the game on Friday.
To make room for Pineda’s return, the Tigers chose right-handed Alex Faedo to Triple-A Toledo. The 26-year-old will serve as the 27th player for doubleheaders Monday (Cleveland Guardians) in Detroit and July 11 (Royals) in KC
Faedo has a 4.84 ERA with 17 walks and 39 strikeouts in 48⅓ innings in 10 starts since May 4, his MLB debut. He is pitching in his first season since having Tommy John surgery in January 2021.
“We’re trying to extend Alex’s season, with Tommy John,” said Hinch. “We ask a lot of him, so the more we can give him extra rest, the better.”
The Tigers have four pitchers in the starting rotation, despite Friday starting a run of 19 games in 17 days prior to the All-Star break: Pineda (Friday), Beau Brieske (Saturday), Tarik Skubal (Sunday) and Rony García ( Monday).
“We’re going to have to expand our rotation to get five starters,” Hinch said. “We’ll talk about Tuesday later.”
Timetable for Austin Meadows
On Tuesday, the Tigers placed outfielder Austin Meadows on the 10-day injured list of right and left Achilles strains. Those injuries delayed his plan to begin a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Toledo this week.
The 27-year-old had been on the injured list since June 17 because he tested positive for COVID-19. Meadows has not been on the field for the Tigers since June 15.
“I think it just came from going back to baseball stuff, with shoes, spikes and running,” Hinch said. “He said it wasn’t bad. … I don’t know how all this stuff creeps up. It wasn’t major injuries per se. I think it was just inflammation that we would have if we started a running program after a been out for a while. It wasn’t alarming, except it stopped progression from coming back.”
Meadows will be treated by Tigers medical staff in the coming days in hopes of resuming baseball activities. If all goes well, he can start a drug addiction assignment at Triple-A Toledo on Tuesday.
The organizers expect Meadows to rejoin the Tigers at some point during the upcoming road trip, with series against the Chicago White Sox (July 7-10), Royals (July 11-13) and Guardians (July 14-17).
“We want to make sure he is physically capable, but I expect he will play at some point during the trip,” Hinch said. “Probably not this homestand, but maybe early in the journey.”
Meadows also went to the injured list on May 16 with symptoms of vertigo and didn’t return until June 7. He hits .250 this season with 16 walks and 17 strikeouts in 36 games.
Injury updates in Lakeland
† right-handed Matt Manning, based in Lakeland, Florida, has played catch at 50 feet as part of his pitching program. The 24-year-old will soon be knocking off the mound. He has been on the injured list with a right shoulder inflammation since April 17.
† righteous savior Jose Cisnero, also at Lakeland, has not pitched for the Tigers this season, but that should change in July. The 33-year-old began his rehabilitation assignment at Low-A Lakeland on Thursday, conceding four runs (three earned). He needed 27 pitches to pick up two outs.
Cisnero will pitch with Triple-A Toledo next weekend. He needs at least five or six rehab games before the Tigers consider activating him. Along with a right shoulder strain, the high-lever reliever recovers from a swollen Achilles tendon.
† righteous savior Kyle Funkhouser, another high-leverage reliever from last season who was healed in Lakeland, has been catching up to 50 feet. The Tigers think the 28-year-old will throw off the mound in the coming week, but are cautious about his pitching schedule. He missed the entire season with a right shoulder strain, which he first sustained before the MLB ban ended in March.
“It’s been super slow on purpose because we can’t afford another setback,” Hinch said. “If we have another setback, he’ll be out for the whole year. We’ve steadily built up his tolerance for long toss and if all goes well with the mound, we’ll set up a spring training program for him.† I certainly don’t see that in the month of July, so we’re still a month away, even if everything were perfect, given all the bullpens, live BPs and rehabilitation orders. We are still a long way from him as an option but I love that he is fighting his way through rehab and responding well†
Drew Hutchison returns
The Tigers signed right-handed Drew Hutchison to a minor-league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Toledo. It is the third time since March that the Tigers and Hutchison have signed a deal for minors.
The 31-year-old has been designated for assignment twice this season, most recently on June 20. He has a 4.81 ERA with 16 walks and 17 strikeouts in 12 games (two starts) for the Tigers.
“He’s a very likely candidate to come back here,” Hinch said. “I’m glad he came back. He had other opportunities that he could have chosen in different ways. He stayed loyal and came back knowing this is a good place for him. We laid out our plans for what we think this is way back here, and he’s clearly bought in.”
Contact Evan Petzold at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold† Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers Newsletter†
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers, Eduardo Rodriguez have had ‘no communication’