DETROIT -- What was supposed to be a check on a bone spur in Artie Lewicki's elbow, instead has become a second Tommy John surgery for the Tigers' right-hander. He'll undergo the ligament reconstruction procedure next week, according to Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire.It's the second such surgery for Lewicki. This
DETROIT -- What was supposed to be a check on a bone spur in Artie Lewicki's elbow, instead has become a second Tommy John surgery for the Tigers' right-hander. He'll undergo the ligament reconstruction procedure next week, according to Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire.
It's the second such surgery for Lewicki. This one has a recovery timetable of 18 months, so the 26-year-old right-hander will miss all of next season before hopefully being ready for Spring Training in 2020.
Lewicki went on the 10-day disabled list last week with right elbow inflammation, supposedly related to a bone spur in the back of his elbow. He traveled to New York to see Yankees team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad after he continued to feel soreness in the back of his elbow, despite anti-inflammatory medication. Dr. Ahmad performed Tommy John surgery on Lewicki six years ago while he was at the University of Virginia.
Dr. Ahmad's exam showed issues with the ulnar collateral ligament.
"His ligament is very loose," Gardenhire said. "It's not going to heal, so he has a decision to make. It's a big decision, but for him, it's the right decision, with his age and everything."
The injury derails what was set to be a late-season audition for Lewicki in the Tigers' rotation after showing promise in a long relief role. He made three starts for the Tigers this season, most recently pitching 4 2/3 innings against the White Sox two weeks ago.
Lewicki was the Tigers' eighth-round pick in the 2014 Draft after helping lead Virginia to the title game of the College World Series. He made his Major League debut last September after a dominant August at Triple-A Toledo, but is 0-3 with a 5.14 ERA in 17 appearances for the Tigers, four of them starts.
With Lewicki out, the Tigers will turn to left-hander Ryan Carpenter to fill a rotation spot for the stretch run after he picked up his first Major League win last weekend. Michael Fulmer is set to return from the disabled list and rejoin Detroit's rotation on Friday.
Gardenhire sends well-wishes to Renteria
While White Sox manager Rick Renteria remains in Chicago being evaluated for lightheadedness, Gardenhire sent his regards and best wishes. He also sent some perspective, having dealt with symptoms of stress during his long Major League managerial career.
"I've been there," Gardenhire said. "I went through the same thing in my previous job -- anxious, can't sleep at night."
Gardenhire had to adjust his exercise regimen and lifestyle after being diagnosed with prostate cancer last year while serving as bench coach with the Arizona Diamondbacks. His wife, he said, has helped him deal with the pressures since taking over in Detroit.
"It's a stressful job," Gardenhire said. "I love it. I live with the ups and downs."
Tigers introduce souvenir launcher
The Tigers, who brought back the bullpen cart for pitching changes this season, introduced another vehicle Wednesday for between-innings promotions. The ROXOR Launcher, a custom mobile souvenir launcher, made its loud debut in the eighth inning of Wednesday's loss to the Cubs.
The launcher, a partnership between the Tigers and Mahindra Automotive North America, looks like a jeep with a souvenir launcher in the back. The made-in-Michigan vehicle is capable of launching foam balls and other souvenirs into the upper deck at Comerica Park, while also featuring a blaring horn and bright lights. It's similar to a vehicle the Reds use at Great American Ball Park known as Redzilla.
Tigers relievers Alex Wilson and Shane Greene test-drove it earlier Wednesday.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.