PHOENIX – Detroit Tigers feeding right-handed Michael Fulmer almost my entire career, from deal in July 2015 that sent him from New York Mets to the Tigers before his MLB debut in April 2016.
Seven years later, the Tigers are poised to sell Fulmer to postseason contenders, leading to an August 2 trade deadline. At the end of the season, the 29-year-old will become a free agent.
“I’m pitching here until I don’t, whenever that day,” Fulmer said Saturday. “It doesn’t really bother me. I’m not very focused on this. I’m just trying to get up and put in the best numbers I can, just trying to win.”
The Tigers (27-43) are 11 games behind the No.
This means the Tigers – winners of three of the last 12 games – will be on sale until 2022.
“It’s not over yet,” Fulmer said. “We are still a great team. We are finally starting to play better as a team collectively. We hold the lead when we need to in the bullpen and the offense heats up.”
Along with Fulmer, four other Tigers have contracts expiring: starting right-hander Michael Pineda ($5.5 million), outfielder Robbie Grossman ($5 million), catcher Tucker Barnhart ($7.5 million), and reliever right-hander Willy Peralta ($2.5 million).
Fulmer, who feeds with high leverage, is earning $4.95 million in 2022. He has a 2.08 ERA with 12 walks and 27 strikeouts in 26 innings in 26 games, a career-best .923 WHIP.
“It’s one of those things, whether it’s a trade deadline, the end of the year, or future seasons,” Fulmer said. “Obviously I just try to go there and keep putting zeros and focusing on the present. I’ve talked to people about it and that’s all you can do. Don’t worry about what the future holds. Do what you need to do right now, and right now we’re trying to win games.”
One of the players, Fulmer, received a recommendation from him about the timing of the exchange. Chicago Cubs lefty pitcher Daniel Norris, Tiger 2015-21 Tigers traded Norris for Milwaukee Brewers at trade deadline in 2021 for prospect pitching Reese Olson.
Teams showed interest in Fulmer at last year’s deadline, but he came off the injured list in a row: June 6-14 with right shoulder deformity and June 27-July 27 from deformity of the right cervical spine. He also underwent right knee surgery in September 2018 as well as Tommy John surgery in March 2019.
Norris played for the Brewers at the end of the regular season, but due to poor results, he did not receive a place in the National League division list in the playoffs. Nevertheless, Norris continued to participate in significant games.
Fulmer could have had the same opportunity, just not with the Tigers.
“He had a chance to apply for the playoffs,” Fulmer said. “He said it was very important to him. I think everyone’s goal is to eventually make the playoffs.”
Austin Meadows close to rehab appointment
outfielder Austin Meadows has been on the COVID-19 hit list since June 17, cleared the sheets and joined Triple-A Toledo for a couple of days of training before the first game of his rehab assignment on Tuesday.
Hinch expects Meadows to play a few games for Mud Hens. He hopes the 27-year-old will be back with the Tigers for Friday’s clash with Kansas City Members of the royal family who start a seven-game homestead.
“That would be the most logical schedule,” Hinch said.
Meadows is hitting .250 with 16 walks and 17 strikeouts in 36 games this season, but he’s still looking for his first home run. He missed three weeks earlier this year, from late May to early June, due to symptoms of dizziness.
The Tigers traded for Meadows on April 5, acquiring him from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Isaac Paredes and the 71st overall pick in the 2022 draft. Paredes has a .232 batting average with 10 home runs, seven walks, and 15 strikeouts in 33 games for the Rays.
When Meadows returns, the Tigers must create a roster spot by selecting a player in Toledo. Players on the bench are candidates for relegation: Cody Clemens, Willy Castro and Harold Castro.
Clemens will most likely return to the Dirty Hens.
Matt Manning Update
right-handed Matt Manningon the injured list since April 17, despite starting four rehab events for Triple-A Toledo in May, he is in Lakeland, Florida and is throwing up to 90 feet on flat ground.
The 24-year-old is being followed by Tigers pitching director Gabe Ribas.
“One of the problems was that he was very defensive about his shot,” Hinch said. “Some of it is psychological, he has to get over it to know it won’t increase the inflammation. We sent Gabe there to make sure his mechanics were in order. Now that he’s throwing correctly, he can pick up speed relatively quickly.”
After Manning’s fourth rehab start for the Mud Hens, the Tigers shut him out because he was injured. He made two starts for the Tigers before developing an inflammation in his right shoulder.
Kerry Carpenter promotion
Tigers promote outfielder Kerry Carpenter at Triple-A Toledo. He started his first game on Saturday as a Mud Hens right fielder, hitting an RBI double in the second inning and a two-run home run in the third inning.
The 24-year-old Carpenter hit .304 while hitting 16 doubles, 22 home runs, 16 walks, and 72 strikeouts in 63 games for the Double-A Erie, starting 29 games from right field, 24 games from left field, and nine games as a designated hitter.
In 2019, the Tigers selected Carpenter in the 19th round out of Virginia Tech.
This article originally appeared in the Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers reliever Michael Fulmer not focused on trade deadline