Detroit Tigers: Alex Faedo UCL surgery could lead to reliever role

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers could likely have Alex Faedo end up as a reliever.

Earlier this week, it was announced that Detroit Tigers prospect pitcher Alex Faedo was undergoing UCL reconstructive surgery, otherwise known as Tommy John surgery. It is something no pitcher wants to hear, and no organization wants to lose a pitcher to this.

He will be able to return to the mound once again, but the odds of him returning to his prior form are what could be hard to gauge. Faedo will be on the sidelines for 14-16 months while he undergoes surgery and gets through all of the rehabbing that needs to be done.

Currently, Faedo is the tenth-ranked prospect on the Tigers organization’s top-30 list on  He is the fifth-ranked starter on this list, which includes Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, Matt Manning, and Joey Wentz as being ahead of him.

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Wentz is another exciting arm the Tigers have, but he is also currently on the shelf and going through rehabbing for Tommy John surgery that he underwent back in March of 2020.

The Tigers will be without Faedo for the 2021 season, not that he would finish spring ball with a spot in the rotation, but it still sucks nonetheless.

No one wants to see a prospect pitcher have to undergo Tommy John Surgery. Faedo was on track to get a crack at the big leagues in 2021, but that will have to be pushed back since he will be rehabbing.

Could the Detroit Tigers have to shift Alex Faedo’s trajectory due to this injury?

Faedo is a starting pitcher, but this injury could set him back slightly, calling for a possible switch-up. There may be a better spot for him to become a reliever for the Tigers and settle in nicely there.

The Tigers could shift Faedo onto a relief track where he winds up being a relief pitcher, similar to Buck Farmer, hopefully even better. Faedo features a great offspeed pitch with his slider that dominates his repertoire.

Another reason that a move to the bullpen might be more likely is that his fastball has not exactly been the pitch the Tigers are hoping for. After some work, he was able to get his fastball back to the mid-90s range after the velocity took a dip during the 2018 season that plagued him.

He could get shifted to the bullpen and focus on honing in his different offerings. The slider is good, and that’s no secret, but if he can make sure his fastball is a reliable pitch as well, he could be a reliable relief arm.

It should be noted, he does have a changeup but does not use it often. After re-working his throwing motion and doing some work to get a better spin rate, he was able to fix his fastball; maybe he could do some work on the changeup.

However, his bigger obstacle will be getting back to a consistent level once more after his surgery when he goes through his rehab. It will be an uphill battle for Faedo, but the Tigers may be better off shifting Faedo to a bullpen role on his journey to the big leagues.

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Best of luck to Alex Faedo as he undergoes surgery! Wishing him a quick and speedy recovery!