Detroit Tigers RHP Julio Teheran to miss 'quite a few starts' on 10-day injured list

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Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press
·3 min read
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The Detroit Tigers have placed right-hander Julio Teheran on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to April 7, with a right shoulder strain, the team announced Saturday.

Right-hander Alex Lange — the team's No. 29 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline — got called up from the taxi squad. The 25-year-old has yet to make his MLB debut but should be slated for his first appearance in the coming days.

On Friday, Teheran was scratched from his start against Cleveland for precautionary reasons. During warmups, the 30-year-old felt tightness in his triceps.

"He's going to miss quite a few starts," Tigers manager AJ Hinch said Saturday. "For the foreseeable future, he's not going to be throwing. Shoulder strain, those are very difficult to manage while throwing, so he's going to be shut down for a period of time here."

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Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Julio Teheran pitches in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park, Saturday, April 3, 2021.
Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Julio Teheran pitches in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park, Saturday, April 3, 2021.

Without Teheran in the starting rotation, the Tigers will turn to Michael Fulmer to make a spot start Wednesday against the Houston Astros. It's expected Fulmer is going to continue to pitch in the starting rotation until Teheran returns.

Fulmer pitched out of the bullpen Friday, as he has since the midway point of spring training, and fired four innings of one-run ball. His fastball reached 95 mph in his final inning.

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Because Fulmer is showcasing aspects of his old self — before knee surgery and Tommy John surgery derailed the early stages of his career — the Tigers are willing to use him as a starter again, even for a brief stint.

"We feel like he's made a step forward in the bullpen," Hinch said. "I'm not sure that being in the bullpen is the only reason why he's made 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. He's ready for anything and willing to do anything. ... When the opportunity came up, it was an obvious spot to put him in.

This season, Fulmer has a 2.57 ERA, zero walks and 10 strikeouts across seven innings. He has appeared in three games. Teheran gave up one run through five innings in his first start of the year, a 5-2 win April 3 against Cleveland.

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Detroit Tigers right-hander Alex Lange throws in an intrasquad scrimmage July 20, 2020, during summer camp at Comerica Park.
Detroit Tigers right-hander Alex Lange throws in an intrasquad scrimmage July 20, 2020, during summer camp at Comerica Park.

The Tigers acquired Lange from the Chicago Cubs in the 2019 Nicholas Castellanos trade, and protected him from the Rule 5 draft this offseason by placing him on the 40-man roster.

Lange appeared in five games for the Tigers in spring training. He gave up three runs on four hits and five walks across four innings. He registered four strikeouts. After the Castellanos trade, he pitched for Double-A Erie in 2019, logging a 3.45 ERA, eight walks and 15 strikeouts in 15⅔ innings.

"It's hard to put into words," Lange said Saturday about getting called up. "It's something you dream about from the time you pick up a plastic bat in the backyard as a kid. Every day, every workout, every lesson, every practice, every 6 a.m. It's just incredible."

Evan Petzold is a sports reporter at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers place Julio Teheran on 10-day IL, call up Alex Lange