With 2 weeks left in the season, contending teams are fighting for their playoff lives. But if there has been any kind of race when it comes to the most injuries in a month, the Tigers have eclipsed their magic number, popped the champagne and won the title going away.
Unfortunately, the injury bug is still on our minds; and at the top of the heap sits a starting pitcher who has had his fair share of ailments.
As always, our writers have not shared their responses in the interests of offering a range of perspective. So what will readers get today as Holly and Kurt address a question about Michael Fulmer?
It’s been a challenging year for Michael Fulmer. How much hope do you have about him going forward?
It was only revealed on Saturday by the tv broadcasters that Fulmer has been having knee problems most of the year – and that it was well-known in the clubhouse. They further commented that when you are ailing elsewhere, especially your lower body, that you change your mechanics and delivery as a way to compensate for the other injury.
It is somewhat comforting that this is probably not fully attributable to his arm but to being thrown off by another injury. What is troubling is the season-long knee injury and the attempt to continue pitching him while he had it. Was it Michael insisting on playing or was it a desperate attempt by the Tigers to showcase him for the purpose of trading?
And when you are favoring part of your body, your alignment gets thrown out of whack and you can suffer an injury elsewhere – like an oblique that puts you on the DL. It is wholly disturbing that the Tigers never mentioned the knee problem at all this year nor publicly admitted that the oblique injury could be the result of ignoring his knee pain. This really smacks of either gross negligence or a team just trying to hide what is really going on because their priority was trying to unload a player for prospects.
Equally troubling is the fact that, yet once again, a player has an injury that goes on forever and never gets resolved. I hope he has several long chats with his continued mentor, Justin Verlander, who will guide him to seeking better medical care and training advice because Fulmer’s biggest obstacle to his success is the Tigers’ medical/training/conditioning staff – and not for a lack of talent.
Is there anything more maddening about the Tigers’ starting pitching than Michael Fulmer – other than Jordan Zimmermann of course.
Let me begin my answering the question about how much hope I have about Fulmer going forward. I have no hope. How much have I pleaded to people to understand how important it was to unload Fulmer while he still had value – more times than I can count.
He had been a ticking time bomb of a pitcher since before the Tigers even traded for him. Elbow issues and meniscus tears were part of his injury history before he came to Detroit.
The injury bug continues to find Michael Fulmer, and after he heals and comes back, it isn’t for very long. When he hasn’t been hurt, he has been good, but who knows how truly healthy he has been this season, as he has suffered from both oblique and now meniscus problems again, which may require surgery, again.
This whole Fulmer train is heading in a worrisome direction, and has been since he was an All-Star. There has been more than an inkling that it may be wise to deal him before things got worse, but too late, they have and he is still here.
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