The Tigers announced on Thursday that they have placed starting pitcher Michael Fulmer on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to August 1, with right elbow ulnar neuritis. This is considered an inflammation of the ulnar nerve, which can result in numbness or weak feeling in the hands. It’s important to know this injury has nothing to do with Tommy John surgery.
Arm injuries are always a concern for pitchers, so naturally the team will be keeping a close eye on Fulmer and reassessing him closer to the end of the 10 days.
The 2016 American League Rookie of the Year was scheduled to start on Saturday against the Orioles. At this time, the Tigers’ probable pitching lineups have not been adjusted to reflect the change.
In a corresponding move, the Tigers recalled pitcher Edward Mujica from Triple-A Toledo. The Mujica announcement came earlier in the day, leading some to speculate a relief pitcher — either Joe Jimenez or Bruce Rondon — might be sent back to the minors. That now seems unlikely.
Mujica, it should be noted, is not a starting pitcher. With Daniel Norris still on the disabled list and Buck Farmer having pitched on Wednesday, Drew VerHagen seems to be the most likely candidate to take Fulmer’s scheduled start on Saturday. VerHagen is currently on the Tigers’ roster as a reliever, but made 19 starts for the Mud Hens this year, posting a 5.46 ERA. After Saturday’s game, the Tigers could turn to a number of young pitchers to fill in during Fulmer’s absence.
No decision on who will replace Fulmer in next start. Could be VerHagen, Bell, Saupold or combination of the three.— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) August 3, 2017
The seriousness of Fulmer’s injury remains to be seen, but when asked about surgery being a concern, manager Brad Ausmus said, “It could be if you couldn't get the symptoms to subside, but that’s not on the table right now.”
We will update this story with any additional information as it is released.