Well it’s been quiet on the Detroit Tigers injury front this spring. Too quiet, as it turns out. On Thursday, the club announced that 2021 first round pick Jackson Jobe has been diagnosed with lumbar spine inflammation and will be shut down from three to six months before beginning a rehabilitation program. There’s a good chance based on that estimate, that the 20-year-old right-hander misses the entire season.
Jobe was selected third overall in 2021. He was rumored to be the Tigers selection all along, but it still came as a surprise with top shortstop prospect Marcelo Mayer still on the board. That decision was already controversial. This news won’t help. Jobe’s rookie season was unimpressive for a top pick, but there was every reason to think his fastball and overall command would improve this season. The stuff wasn’t really in much question. Now he’ll be on the shelf most if not all of his second season in pro ball. Not good. Hopefully he recovers fully and can address this with better strength and conditioning.
The Tigers had more bad news today as well. Top catching prospect Dillon Dingler is now out of action as well after undergoing a right knee meniscectomy on March 14. He is expected to need four weeks before beginning his progression back to baseball activity. Probably, since the Tigers have no reason to be hasty, particularly with a catcher’s knees, that puts Dingler on the shelf as well until sometime in June.
Finally, it was reported that minor league slugging first baseman Quincy Nieporte had UCL reconstruction on his right elbow back on March 1. The 28-year-old is a career minor league journeyman, but did crush 31 home runs for the Erie SeaWolves in 2022 and was a big part of their playoff push.
The only good news as far as injuries go, was a report that infield prospect Wenceel Perez, returning from his own lumbar spine inflammation issue, is now rehabbed and building up to return to baseball action. Minor league outfielder Steele Walker is also close to returning to action after a hand fracture.
The saving grace in this is that none of the injured players is on the 40-man roster yet, other than Perez. For the time being this doesn’t affect the club’s outlook this season. We’ll see about the longer term picture as these situations resolve.