Gregory Solo out for the year
It has been a long and difficult 2021 Major League Baseball season for the Detroit Tigers, who sit in the middle of the American League Central division. While they have not been abysmal, they have not been particularly good either, and find themselves six games below .500 late in September. However, they have had a few bright spots during the campaign, including left-handed reliever Gregory Solo who enjoyed a breakout season.
The 26-year-old participated in the MLB All-Star Game for the first time in his career in 2021, after an impressive first half of the year. At the time of his selection to the American League All-Star team, he was 4–1 with a 2.18 ERA. He also had 38 strikeouts in 33 innings, and was six-for-six in save opportunities.
Unfortunately for the youngster though, it looks as though his season is officially over due to a fractured finger. Solo fractured the ring finger on his pitching arm after getting hit by a ball in the ninth inning of the Tigers’ game Friday evening against the Tampa Bay Rays.
“Originally we looked at the hand, which is where he said he got hit,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said about Soto’s injury, via the Detroit Free Press. “You could see where the ball hit his hand, and there was no fracture. He came out the next day (Saturday), and when he played catch, he complained of some significant swelling in the tip of his finger. That led to more tests on the finger, not the hand, and revealed the fracture.”
Hinch did add that “it was not an alarming fracture”, but with the organization out of playoff contention it doesn’t make much sense to risk the youngster anymore this year.
“I don’t know why we would risk anything until that completely heals,” Hinch said. “I would expect that to be the end of the year for him.”
The Tigers expect for Solo’s finger to heal in the next 10-14 days, but with the season coming to a close on October 3rd they don’t seem to be in any hurry to rush him back.
Solo closes out his third MLB season with a decent 3.39 ERA. He had a total of 40 walks and 76 strikeouts over 63⅔ innings in 62 appearances, earning 18 saves in 19 opportunities. In his previous two campaigns with the Tigers, he had logged a 5.77 ERA over 33 games (seven starts) in 2019 and a 4.30 ERA across 27 relief outings in 2020.
The Tigers also announced that outfielder Derek Hill would be out for the remainder of the 2021 season. He sustained a left knee injury in the fifth inning of Detroit’s game on Saturday against Tampa Bay. Both Hill and Solo were placed on the 10-day injured list prior to Detroit’s final game against the Rays at Tropicana Field on Sunday afternoon.
Detroit get set to host the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park next, before the Kansas City Royals come to pay a visit on the weekend.