Detroit Tigers losing Austin Meadows is a real problem

The Detroit Tigers are trudging on with their 2022 season, which has been rough for the team to this point. While things have improved and been better, more bad news has come up. Outfielder Austin Meadows once again continues his stretch of bad luck after being placed on the Injured List (IL).

It’s been a season of aches and pains for Meadows, and the Detroit Tigers have seen him get unlucky time and time again. Meadows has spent time away from the field with an ear infection, COVID-19, vertigo issues, and now is dealing with an Achilles injury that is limiting him from continuing his rehab stint.

Meadows had just cleared COVID-19 protocols and was getting into his rehab stint en route to a return. However, the recent move back to the IL is just another unlucky stint for the left-handed bat. After the Tigers traded for Meadows, it seemed like the team was adding a significant piece to the team’s outfield; now, not so much.

The Tigers flipped Isaac Paredes back to the Tampa Bay Rays as a part of this trade, and now Meadows heads back to the IL while Paredes earns Player of the Week (POTW) honors while slugging home runs left and right. It’s a tough thing to stomach, especially with how bad Paredes looked in his big league looks with the Tigers organization.

Detroit Tigers outfielder Austin Meadows cannot catch a break in 2022.

The initial trade looked incredible for the Tigers and made it seem like the team fleeced the Rays; however, maybe they saw something we all did not. Perhaps they knew about the injury issues. In reality, it’s been a string of unfortunate injuries, so chalk it up to that rather than thinking the Rays could have predicted this.

It still is tough to sit here and watch Paredes perform that well while Meadows struggles even to find his way into the lineup with his injuries. The left-handed-hitting outfielder has logged just 36 games for the Tigers this season. He’s managed 147 at-bats, producing a .250/.347/.328 slash line with eight extra-base hits and 11 RBI to show for it.

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He’s barreled up the ball when he’s been healthy and looked good in the batters’ box. He saw the ball well before things took a turn, and since then, it’s been a consistent flow of bad luck for the newly acquired outfielder. Meadows is in his fifth year in the big leagues and should be able to provide value for the Tigers, but things have to improve health-wise.

Things are not entirely his fault, but Meadows has to get healthy. He will miss time again with the Achilles strains and likely will not return for a while. There’s no timeline for his return, providing even more adversity for Meadows when he returns to the field.

In a recent article about Paredes and his POTW honors, I mentioned that “winning” this trade gets harder and harder with Paredes performing well. Now, with Meadows out injured again, Paredes can make this one continue to sting by continuing his surge of success.

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It still feels like Meadows will bounce back and be the player the Tigers know he can be down the line, but that is yet to happen. Best of luck to Meadows as he aims to get back on track quickly and stay healthy for an extended period.

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