As many feared when Michael Fulmer was removed after just five pitches on Saturday, the big righthander’s season is over. He appears slated for arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus on Thursday, though Fulmer and the Tigers will seek a second opinion from renowned orthopedic surgeon, Dr. James Andrews. By most accounts, Fulmer should be rehabbed, rebuilt, and ready to go in time for spring camp, but complications could yet arise if the damage is worse than an MRI can reveal.
Fulmer injured his knee coming off the mound to field a Francisco Lindor bunt attempt on the very first pitch of Saturday’s blowout loss to the Cleveland Indians. As Lynn Henning wrote for The Detroit News, the injury continues a litany of minor issues that have dogged Fulmer for much of his pro career. He had surgery to repair the same meniscus back in the spring of 2013 as a New York Mets’ prospect, and then re-injured it later that summer, requiring a second surgical procedure. A year later, his minor league season ended in August with surgery to remove a bone spur and chips in his right elbow. Last year, nerve transposition surgery in his elbow was required. While his UCL and shoulder have been blessedly free from injury, there’s certainly a worrisome pattern at work.
Old boys network
Kirk Gibson was a keynote speaker for the annual Grand Rapids Economic club luncheon on Monday, and people packed into the venue to hear from him. As Lynn Henning of The Detroit News reports, Gibson was his usual compelling presence. He also joked obliquely that he had, “picked up a few games recently,” a reference to the disappearance of long-time broadcast team, Mario Impemba and Rod Allen, who were both suspended by FOX Sports Detroit last month for an off-air altercation in the broadcast booth.
While Gibson will still handle the majority of the season’s final games, it also sounds like another player from the Class of ‘84 will get a shot as an analyst on the television broadcast.
Glad to see @FOXSportsDet putting Dan Petry on some broadcasts in the upcoming days. Long overdue.— Tony Paul (@TonyPaul1984) September 18, 2018
This is pretty cool
Especially when you consider that Matt Boyd is making close to the major league minimum.
Matt Boyd and his wife Ashley are starting a foundation to support their girls' home in Africa. Story on their efforts and how to contribute to the cause coming later... pic.twitter.com/5FcXLRQT1l— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) September 18, 2018
Ashley Boyd has been a social-justice devotee since she and Matt met at Oregon State. They'll be traveling to Uganda in November to see their "36 children" and to inspect land, hoping to add more homes and a sustainable farm.— Lynn G. Henning (@Lynn_Henning) September 18, 2018
The Tigers have partnered with Kingdom Come, which is a non-profit organization. The Boyds have donated $100,000 and teammates Nick Castellanos, Shane Greene and James McCann have all pledged to sponsor children.— anthony fenech (@anthonyfenech) September 18, 2018
The Baltimore Orioles can still tie the 2003 Tigers
While predictions that the 2018 Tigers would be as bad as the horrendous 2003 version have proven wildly inaccurate (fortunately), another major league team still has a chance to match that level of futility. Should the Orioles lose their last 11 games, they will finish with the dreaded 43-119 record.
Either way, the Orioles are historically bad, with a miserable farm system to boot. R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports — and previous guest of the BYB Podcast — took at look at the 2003 Tigers earlier this year to see what lessons can be drawn from so much bad baseball, the many options open to a rebuilding team, and how the Tigers rebounded so quickly to reach the World Series in 2006. You may find this relevant, Baltimore.
Around the horn
Clayton Kershaw’s fastball is fading rapidly, though it doesn’t seem to be hurting his performance too much when healthy. This is how you curveball. Bucky Dent is still enjoying hero status more than 40 years after his legendary bomb against the Red Sox. It turns out, Trevor Story won’t need Tommy John surgery after all, despite reports to the contrary on Tuesday. Breathe a sigh of relief, Colorado. The Cubs are primed to take Terrence Gore into the postseason, solely as a pinch-runner, and Jonah Keri wonders if this will start a trend.
Baseball is hard
This plate appearance by the Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo ended in a lineout.