Tarik Skubal done for season with elbow injury. 'Significant concern' for Tigers.


Tarik Skubal wanted to pitch through it. The Tigers wouldn't let him.

The ace of Detroit's rotation was moved to the 60-day injured list and shelved for the season Friday due to recurring pain and inflammation in his left elbow. It's the latest and potentially most devastating blow to a pitching staff that's been decimated by injuries.

"We’re concerned about Tarik," A.J. Hinch told reporters before Friday's game against the White Sox. "He’s not going to pitch for the rest of the season, that much we know."

Skubal landed on the 15-day IL earlier this month when he reported soreness in his elbow. The Tigers hoped some rest would do him some good. It didn't. When Skubal tried to resume throwing this week, "the inflammation and pain that he's felt continued," said Hinch.

The Tigers aren't sure what's next. Skubal has met with two separate doctors and is getting a third opinion from an arm specialist Monday in Los Angeles. The fear is obviously that the 25-year-old will need Tommy John. Or rather, that he'll need it again. He first had the surgery in 2016 when he was at the University of Seattle.

Hinch said the injury is "more in the elbow area than the shoulder, and that obviously brings significant concern for us. We'll wait for the doctors' word and have a more detailed response when we get more feedback."

Skubal was in the midst of a breakout year, posting a 3.52 ERA -- and a 2.97 FIP -- over 21 starts. He was averaging a strikeout per inning with the lowest walk rate of his career. Now his career might be put on hold.

Asked how Skubal took the news, Hinch said, "He’s very resolute about finding a solution to make him better."

"He prides himself in taking the ball and really, to be honest with you, wanted to pitch through anything. We did take it out of his hands and continued the evaluation process," said Hinch. "He became more honest with us about his true discomfort and here we are.

"When he told me in his last start that he needed to come out, that obviously is concerning because that rarely, if ever, happens. It’s probably a peak into exactly what he was feeling."

The Tigers already lost 25-year-old Casey Mize to Tommy John this season, and recently moved 24-year-old Beau Brieske to the 60-day IL with a forearm injury. Every single member of the club's projected Opening Day rotation has now spent significant time on the IL, including 24-year-old Matt Manning who missed nearly four months with a shoulder injury. The Tigers also lost Spencer Turnbull to Tommy John last season.

"We’ve had our fair share, actually more than our fair share of issues, and this is yet another one," said Hinch.

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