Another lost year: Tigers prospect Franklin Perez to undergo shoulder surgery
Detroit — Tigers manager AJ Hinch didn’t even wait for the questions to be asked before the game Tuesday. He delivered the news right out of the gate.
► Right-handed pitcher Franklin Perez, one of three prospects the Tigers got back from Houston for Justin Verlander in 2017, is scheduled to have season-ending shoulder surgery in Los Angeles. He has not had a full season at any level since he was acquired.
“All the symptoms developed during minor league spring training,” Hinch said. “But he didn’t look good from a health standpoint all spring. When you go from being a guy (who throws) in the upper-90s to a guy who is having to reinvent himself, that’s a little bit of a red flag.”
Perez has appeared in just nine games and pitched 27 innings since the trade.
“He’s going to be out a while,” Hinch said.
► Third baseman Jeimer Candelario was pulled from the lineup before the game because he wasn’t feeling well after getting his second COVID-19 vaccination shot.
“He’s available for tonight,” Hinch said. “Initially he was going to be in the DH slot, just to ease his workload. But after talking to him, he’s not feeling 100 percent, so I removed him from the lineup.”
Harold Castro got the start at third base Tuesday night.
► Reliever Buck Farmer, who was designated for assignment Friday, cleared waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Toledo.
“He absolutely has an opportunity to get back up here,” Hinch said. “He’s been a reliable reliever before.”
Farmer, 30 and the longest-tenured member of the Tigers’ pitching staff, got off to a dreadful start. He’d allowed 15 runs in 10⅔ innings, yielding six home runs and nine walks.
“We have to get a reset with him and get him back to executing pitches from pitch one,” Hinch said. “And just give him a breather. Give him a different setting and a different look. …We are fortunate from an organizational standpoint that he stayed with us and we get a chance to get him squared away so he can come back and help us.”
From 2018-2020, Farmer appeared in 162 games and posted a 3.92 ERA and 1.3 WHIP.
► Catcher Wilson Ramos (lumbar spine strain) is on track to come off the injured list on Monday.
Patience pays for Mazara
Tigers outfielder Nomar Mazara admits it was making him antsy, being in Lakeland rehabbing an abdominal strain while his teammates were mired in a month-long slump through April.
“I was like, ‘I’ve got to go, I’ve got to get back,’” he said. “But at the same time, I was being smart about it. You don’t want to rush the process and not come back 100 percent. You do that and then you’ve got to go back to Lakeland.
“Because if you really pull it, then you are out a couple of months. It was playing with my head a little, but now we’re here.”
Mazara learned that lesson last season with the White Sox when he rushed back too quickly from COVID-19 protocols and never got untracked in the pandemic-shortened season. He wasn’t going to make that mistake again.
“I’ve been there,” he said.
Mazara, who homered in his first rehab start in Toledo and tripled in his first game back with the Tigers on Saturday, says the injury is behind him, both physically and mentally.
“I didn’t pull (the oblique), thank God,” he said. “I just stretched it out. It was mild. I worked on it in Lakeland, just making it stronger. I do treatment every day. These kind of injuries don’t go away right away so you’ve got to stay on top of it.
“I’m not concerned about it now. I’ve been swinging and letting go in the cage and in the games and everything feels good. But you’ve got to stay on top of it. One day you take off and you don’t do treatment, the next day you are going to be sore for sure.”
Around the horn
The Tigers presently have three young pitchers with long-term injuries on the 40-man roster. Perez, Alex Faedo (Tommy John surgery) and Joey Wentz (Tommy John surgery).
The Tigers could put any of them on the 60-day IL if they wanted to clear roster space. They wouldn’t likely do that with Faedo or Wentz, because it would start their major league service time clock. Perez, though, who is in his last option year and isn’t likely to make the active big-league roster next year, could be a candidate.
Royals at Tigers
► First pitch: 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Comerica Park, Detroit
► TV/radio: BSD/97.1
► Danny Duffy (4-2, 1.26), Royals: He beat the Tigers at Comerica, throwing five shutout innings on April 25. His 1.26 ERA is the third best in Royals history after six starts, but he’s coming off his only rough start of the season, giving up three runs in 5⅔ innings to the Indians.
► Casey Mize (1-3, 4.41), Tigers: The last thing he wanted or needed was a seven-day break between starts. He’s coming off back-to-back quality road starts at Chicago and Boston. Oddly, he still hasn’t earned a win at Comerica Park. He’s 0-3 in five home starts with a 7.23 ERA.