According to 97.1 The Ticket, Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer was placed on the 10-day DL on Friday. This indicates he’ll come off just one day before the July 31 trade deadline. Fulmer’s most recent start Saturday against the Astros earned him two disappointing season highs as he gave up seven runs on 10 hits, and he raised his WHIP to 1.32 on the season.
The Detroit Free Press said a few close calls could have turned the tide for the beleaguered pitcher Friday, but by the end of the game, his trade value had not increased. Fulmer’s “command was poor, his slider worse, and he turned in a season-worst performance at perhaps the worse time for his trade value,” the publication stated.
Fulmer didn’t seem to think his performance was that bad, according to the Detroit News, saying,
“It may not have looked like it, but I thought I had some of the best stuff of the year. My first half was terrible. It took a while for me to find a groove, but my last nine or 10 starts, I felt like were productive. My stuff was getting better and I was happy with the way I was throwing.”
Fulmer seemed to come off the game with no pain, but the Detroit News says he threw only 19 pitches in the bullpen Friday before the Tigers met the Red Sox.
“He was about 19 pitches into a light bullpen session,” manager Ron Gardenhire said after Friday’s 1-0 loss to Boston.
“He got a left oblique strain and it’s going to put him out for a while. It’s one of those unexpected things. He worked out over the break and he went out today, not that he wasn’t loose or anything. It was just a normal pen. It happens. It’s unfortunate.”
MLB Trade Rumors reports that they rated Fulmer as one of several “quality, controllable starters,” saying he was among their 75 top trade deadline candidates, and that he is still “throwing the same upper-nineties heat and getting the same range of swinging strikes (10.5%) as before.”
However, it is noted that his “sterling rookie campaign” was followed by deteriorating results. Fulmer’s 112 innings in 2018 have yielded a 4.50 ERA with 7.5 K/9 against 3.1 BB/9 and a 45.6% groundball rate. He’s 3-9 and has walked 93 and struck out 38.
Rumors had circulated that the Yankees might be interested in Fulmer.
M Live reported, “Fulmer is considered one of the Tigers’ most appealing trade chips, although it was unclear if any team would be willing to meet the high price the Tigers were asking for him.”
However, Fulmer remains affordable and controlling him may allow the Tigers to capitalize on him this winter if the pitcher rallies and gets back on his game.