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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Franklin Perez, whom Tigers acquired for Justin Verlander, still isn’t throwing after six months

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Michael Whitaker
Always at the front lines of Detroit Sports.

This isn’t how the Detroit Tigers brass envisioned things going once they decided to deal ace Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros.

Pitcher Franklin Perez was the key piece the Tigers gained from Houston in exchange for Verlander in 2017. But he’s been battling shoulder issues since the start of 2018 Spring Training and has only suited up for the team nine times in the two years.

Prior to 2018, Perez was regarded as the Tigers top prospect and one of the top prospects overall in the minors, and he’s still listed as the No. 6 overall prospect for them.

But after being shut down on June 23, Perez still has yet to pitch again.

“I get reports on him every day,” Tigers general manager Al Avila said. “We’re going to get him on the mound pretty soon. But right now, I don’t really have more to add.”

And unfortunately, it doesn’t appear as though there’s any timetable for Perez to resume throwing. But should he recover from his shoulder problems, Avila anticipates the team working him up from the career high 86 innings he pitched in 2017.

“But if he’s healthy and he’s on that mound, and all we have to worry about is building innings – that will be a good thing,” he said.

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