Detroit Tigers' Matthew Boyd diagnosed with elbow strain, to visit Tommy John specialist

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Detroit Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd has scheduled a visit with Dr. Keith Meister in Texas, one day after he was scratched from Friday's start against the Tampa Bay Rays with "recurring elbow soreness."

Boyd, 30, landed on the injured list Saturday with a left elbow strain.

"He'll see the doctors early next week," Hinch said. "We'll get further evaluations and optioning and see what's next for him."

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When Tigers catcher Jake Rogers was searching for medical opinions, Meister recommended and performed Tommy John surgery, a procedure to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his damaged elbow. Rogers underwent elbow surgery Wednesday.

Detroit Tigers' Matthew Boyd pitches in the second inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park, August 29, 2021.
Detroit Tigers' Matthew Boyd pitches in the second inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park, August 29, 2021.

Meister is the head team physician for the Texas Rangers and an orthopedic surgeon.

In March 2017, Meister handled reliever Michael Fulmer's Tommy Johns surgery.

Right-handed pitcher Spencer Turnbull underwent Tommy John surgery July 29, but his was performed by Dr. Jeffrey Kugas in Birmingham, Alabama.

Hinch does not know the severity of Boyd's injury.

"I'm not a doctor," Hinch said. "I'm a manager. I have no idea."

Boyd is unlikely to pitch again in 2021. He has a 3.89 ERA with 23 walks and 67 strikeouts over 78⅔ innings over 15 starts this season. The seven-year MLB veteran first went to the injured list June 15 with left arm discomfort and wasn't activated until Aug. 29.

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To fill Boyd's void on the roster, the Tigers called up lefty reliever Ian Krol from Triple-A Toledo.

Tigers pitcher Ian Krol delivers a pitch in the sixth inning of the Tigers' 4-2 loss to the Twins on Friday, July 9, 2021.
Tigers pitcher Ian Krol delivers a pitch in the sixth inning of the Tigers' 4-2 loss to the Twins on Friday, July 9, 2021.

The 30-year-old has made 12 appearances in the big leagues this season, with a 5.11 ERA, five walks and 10 strikeouts over 12⅓ innings.

But the Tigers have also designated Krol for assignment twice — July 27 and Aug. 28. Both times, Krol opted to stay with the organization rather than becoming a free agent. He posted a 2.45 ERA, 12 walks and 31 strikeouts over 25⅔ innings for Toledo.

"With (Tyler) Alexander most likely moving back into the rotation, we're one short lefty," Hinch said. "(Gregory) Soto doesn't really count as a lefty because he's towards the back end of the game, almost a closer. (Derek) Holland being the only other lefty there and some of the matchups we like over the next couple of weeks, Krol deserves the opportunity to pitch a little more.

"I didn't do a good job of pitching him the last time he was here. He kind of turned into the last man. I would hold him for the perfect situation. We need to challenge him and see if he's part of something we want to build towards next year with the left-on-left matchup. This team across the way that we're going to see a lot of has a ton of opportunity for him to matchup."

Reyes 'deserves to play'

In Friday's 10-4 win over the Rays, outfielder Victor Reyes applied the finishes touches with a three-run home run in the eighth inning. He hit a slider from Shawn Armstrong 429 feet over the right-field wall.

Tigers center fielder Victor Reyes celebrates his home run during the eighth inning of the Tigers' 10-4 win over the Rays on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, at Comerica Park.
Tigers center fielder Victor Reyes celebrates his home run during the eighth inning of the Tigers' 10-4 win over the Rays on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, at Comerica Park.

Since July 17, Reyes is hitting .326 with four doubles, three triples, four home runs, 13 RBIs, three walks and 21 strikeouts over 38 games (24 starts). That date — July 17 — is when the Tigers recalled Reyes from Toledo.

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"Just as the roster was starting to get squeezed and people thought he was going to be the odd man out, he has stepped up and played very well," Hinch said. "He's had some really big hits while we were making decisions on what to do. I love that about him. He's done it with great confidence and a team-first attitude. When he steps up and does things, it gets him in the lineup.

"He's a good hitter who has established himself as a contributor. How much can we get out of him? I don't know. But he's avoided going back down to the minor leagues because of how he's gone about it and performed. Last night's wing got him into tonight's lineup. I wasn't firmly entrenched on what I wanted to do, but the way he's contributing — both offensively and some of the diving catches — he deserves to play."

Evan Petzold is a sports reporter at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers LHP Matthew Boyd to visit Tommy John surgeon