Detroit Tigers' Michael Fulmer returns from injured list, Ian Krol designated for assignment

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The Detroit Tigers activated right-handed reliever Michael Fulmer from the injured list Tuesday, following his recovery from a right cervical spine strain.

The 28-year-old returned after throwing a pair of scoreless innings for Triple-A Toledo in a rehab assignment. He joined the Tigers in Minnesota on Monday to pitch in front of pitching coach Chris Fetter, assistant pitching coach Juan Nieves and athletic trainer Doug Teter.

The team decided Fulmer was ready to return for the remainder of the series with the Twins at Target Field.

To make room for Fulmer's reinstatement, left-handed reliever Ian Krol was designated for assignment. He appeared in his first outing July 9 and last pitched in Sunday's 6-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

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Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Michael Fulmer throws to a Kansas City batter during the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, on Wednesday, June 16, 2021.
Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Michael Fulmer throws to a Kansas City batter during the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, on Wednesday, June 16, 2021.

Fulmer has not pitched in the majors since June 26 — and just six times the sixth time since May 30. He went to the 10-day injured list June 6 with a right shoulder strain, returned for five games and then returned the injured list June 27 with a right cervical spine strain.

Fulmer has a 4.05 ERA, 11 walks and 42 strikeouts over 40 innings in 25 games (four starts). Only as a reliever, he boasts a 3.62 ERA, six walks and 35 strikeouts across 27⅓ of his 40 innings this season.

Hinch previously said the Tigers won't consider making Fulmer a starting pitcher again.

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To activate Fulmer, however, the Tigers needed to part ways with Krol, who returned to MLB in 2021 for the first time since 2018. He pitched five games, owning a 3.86 ERA, two walks and four strikeouts over 4⅔ innings.

If Krol clears waivers, he could stick with the organization and return to Triple-A Toledo.

This story will be updated.

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' Michael Fulmer returns from injured list