Tigers’ Alex Faedo is a left-hander — in almost everything but pitching
Detroit — Breaking news: Alex Faedo is a left-hander.
"I write with my left hand, eat with my left hand, kick with my left foot," said Faedo, one of the Tigers' highly acclaimed pitching prospects. "I don't really do much with my right arm. Maybe I should be a lefty."
Faedo, of course, does one thing with his right arm — he pitches.
Nor has he ever really tried throwing left-handed, even though his dad was his coach growing up, and as the old adage goes, "Teach your kids to grow up to be left-handed."
Major-league teams sure love them some left-handers.
"I've never really tried," Faedo said with a boyish smirk the other day, in town for an autograph signing at Comerica Park. "But, I mean, we're welcome to try to make me a double-arm (thrower)."
Faedo, a former University of Florida standout who got his first taste of pro ball in 2017 — first at Single-A Lakeland, then at Double-A Erie, making 24 starts combined — actually does some more things right-handed, including golfing and batting.
Although, on that latter front, he actually started out left-handed.
His dad, who coaches high school baseball, even once remarked he had the "perfect" left-handed swing. Then, when Faedo's mother went back to work, Faedo went to daycare, and that changed that.
"The lady didn't want me to hit the baseball off her tee into her fence, so she switched my hand to hit toward the field," Faedo said. "After that, I refused to hit lefty for (my dad) anymore."
No big deal there.
Hitting never was going to be his future, he discovered early on.
"I'm OK hitting BP, but I'm not a great game hitter," Faedo said. "I wasn't a great game hitter. That's why I ended up pitching.
"I love pitching now. I certainly wouldn't want to hit."
Faedo isn't sure if he'd consider himself ambidextrous, like Pat Venditte, the switch-pitcher who debuted for the Oakland A's in 2015.
Faedo even had to ask a Tigers public relations official, standing nearby, if he'd qualify on that front.
There are other athletes who do one thing right-handed, and another left-handed. Most notably, baseball players who switch-hit, or baseball players who throw right-handed and bat left-handed (throwing left-handed and batting right-handed, for whatever reason, is much more rare). There are pitchers who throw long toss left-handed, and pitch right-handed, like Yu Darvish. There have been golfers who do everything right-handed, and putt left-handed. Then there's Michigan basketball freshman sensation Ignas Brazdeikis, who is right-handed in just about everything, but shoots left-handed.
"Which one is he?" Faedo said. "Is that the guy with the tattoo? Oh, I saw him shoot with his left hand the other day, and he played really well."
Faedo, 23, is a fan of a lot of sports, not just baseball. He watches his fair share of basketball, and plenty of football. He's eager for the Peach Bowl matchup between Florida, his alma mater, and Michigan, though he would've preferred Florida to draw undefeated UCF.
He said he actually was rooting for Michigan to beat Ohio State in the regular-season finale — because, let's just say he's no fan of Urban Meyer anymore.
He also likes to snowboard, though he's not allowed to do that anymore, because of the risk of injury, and given the Tigers' substantial $3.5-million investment in him. It's an investment made in a right-hander. For now, anyway.
"I mean, I'm in," Faedo joked, when asked what if he suddenly, one day, learned he could throw 100 mph left-handed. "Let's see if I get the call."