Apr 13, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers pitcher Joe Jimenez pitches in the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

A week or so ago, Joe Jimenez went to the disabled list with a back injury. Initially, the reports were that it wasn’t as serious as it could have been and that the right-handed flamethrower would only miss a few days. Now, the injury seems to be a much bigger issue than first expected.

According to Anthony Fenech,

The Detroit Tigers’ top prospect reliever will be sent to the team’s spring training facilities in Lakeland, Fla. to rehabilitate a lower back strain which is more serious than initially thought.

For a while now, Jimenez has been lauded as the Tigers top relief pitching prospect, as he had dominated the minor leagues with ease. In 22 Triple-A innings, Jimenez boasts a 1.64 ERA, 29 strikeouts, and has scattered a few hits. Which, given that performance, made people call for his debut, maybe a touch prematurely.

In five games with the big club this season, Jimenez has pitched 4.1 innings, struck out five, and holds a 12.46 ERA. At the time of his call-up it seemed as though the Tigers bullpen was the place where pitchers came to die, and since then it has gotten a touch better — especially after removing Francisco Rodriguez from the closer’s role. There is no doubt that Jimenez is most likely the closer of the future, but that time is not right now.

Mar 14, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; Puerto Rico pitcher Joe Jimenez (43) delivers a pitch during the sixth inning against the Dominican Republic during the 2017 World Baseball Classic at Petco Park. Puerto Rico won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

No more information on Jimenez has presented itself at this point; however, one must ask if his appearances in the World Baseball Classic, where he fared quite well, has anything to do with this injury?Of course, the time down in Lakeland could serve the young righty well, giving his a little break from the everyday grind of a major league season and allowing him to get his mind right for a future call-up to the bigs — whenever that may be. In the meantime, we wish you a speedy recovery Joe.