CLEVELAND — Tigers starter Julio Teheran could miss significant time with a strained shoulder suffered while warming up for a start on Friday night.
The team placed the right-hander on the 10-day injured list Saturday, but Detroit manager A.J. Hinch indicated Teheran may need a lot longer to recover.
“He's going to miss quite a few starts,” Hinch said. “He's not going to be throwing. A shoulder strain is very difficult to manage. He's going to be shut down for a period of time.”
Teheran earned a spot in Detroit's rotation after signing a minor league contract with a non-roster invitation to spring training.
On Friday, he was warming up for his second start when he felt tightness in his triceps. The 30-year-old had beaten the Indians last week in his debut for the Tigers.
Teheran told pitching coach Chris Fetter and Hinch he could pitch, but the team scratched him to avoid further injury and reliever Derek Holland made an emergency start.
Hinch felt bad for Teheran, who went 77-73 over nine seasons for Atlanta. He went 0-4 for the Los Angeles Angels during the shortened 2020 season.
“I feel for him because he had worked really hard to earn a spot on our team,” Hinch said. “It looks like it's an injury that's going to keep him out for a little bit, so I do feel for him. He's a veteran guy that was trying to get back on the right side of the evaluation process and the injury sets him back a little bit.”
With Teheran likely to miss multiple turn in the rotation, Michael Fulmer is expected to take his spot. Fulmer pitched four innings against the Indians, allowing a solo homer to Reyes and an infield single while striking out five.
Fulmer, the AL Rookie of the Year in 2016 and an All-Star in 2017, has been working his way back after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2019 and knee surgery.
“We do feel like he's made a step forward in the bullpen," Hinch said. "I'm not sure being in the bullpen is the only reason for that step forward. He's got a starter's mindset. He's also got a tremendous positive mindset when it came to being in the bullpen with the role that he started.
“He's ready for anything and willing to do anything. ... He's a very good pitcher we feel like we can use in multiple roles and when the opportunity came up, it's an obvious spot to put him in.”
The 28-year-old Fulmer was excited about the possibility of starting again.
“If need be, yeah. Obviously, it’s not my call,” he said following Friday's outing — his longest since 2018. "I’ll do whatever A.J. needs. But I feel like I’m good. I feel like I’ve learned a lot of stuff if I have to take that position.”
The Tigers recalled right-hander Alex Lange from their taxi squad to take Fulmer’s bullpen spot. Hinch said Lange has a chance to move into a number of roles.
“He's earned the right to give himself a shot,” Hinch said.
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