LAKELAND, Fla. -- Tigers All-Star Michael Fulmer will not make his scheduled start Sunday against the Nationals. The big right-hander is being pushed back after experiencing muscular soreness in his right elbow, manager Ron Gardenhire said Saturday.According to Gardenhire, the issue is not related to Fulmer's offseason surgery to move
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Tigers All-Star Michael Fulmer will not make his scheduled start Sunday against the Nationals. The big right-hander is being pushed back after experiencing muscular soreness in his right elbow, manager Ron Gardenhire said Saturday.
According to Gardenhire, the issue is not related to Fulmer's offseason surgery to move the ulnar nerve to a different part of the elbow and alleviate the numbness and tingling that troubled him last year. The soreness is in a different part of the elbow.
"Everything's good," Gardenhire said. "It's in the back of the elbow, nowhere near the surgical stuff. But it's just one of those times of the year after he's been throwing bullpens and the whole package, we're just going to do it and give him the time to [recuperate] and get his strength back. As you know, we're not going to take any chances with this guy. We're going to be really careful here through spring."
Alex Wilson, who started the Tigers' Spring Training opener against Florida Southern College last month before pitching in relief last Tuesday, will start Sunday in Fulmer's place.
The Tigers have been exercising an abundance of caution with their starting pitchers this spring, and for good reason. They skipped Mike Fiers and Daniel Norris the first turn through the rotation. Norris visited a specialist in Philadelphia last week for a follow-up exam on the groin injury that hobbled him last summer. Jordan Zimmermann started on time but received six days' rest before making his latest start Saturday against the Rays.
Detroit also signed veteran lefty Francisco Liriano a week ago for depth. Liriano has been slowed by a hamstring injury, but the Tigers are hoping to get him a start next week.
Though the Tigers haven't announced an Opening Day starter, Fulmer appeared to be on that track, counting out every five days from his rotation slot. Pushing back Fulmer even a couple days would push him off that schedule, though with three weeks left in camp, there's enough time to put him back in line.
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Alex Faedo's first big league Spring Training ended Saturday. The Tigers assigned their top pick from last year's Draft to Minor League camp along with fellow right-handers Victor Alcantara and Paul Voelker.
Faedo was expected to be one of the first cuts from camp. The Tigers made him a non-roster invite not to compete for a job, but to learn from Major League players and get to know the Tigers' coaching staff, notably new pitching coach Chris Bosio. With Minor League Spring Training games now underway, the Tigers want him there to stretch out as a starter in preparation for his first pro season.
"We just need him to get over there and start pitching," Gardenhire said.
Faedo made one Grapefruit League appearance, pitching one inning against the Pirates on Sunday in Lakeland. He struck out one batter and yielded one hit, an inside-the-park home run.
Jim Adduci made his second appearance of the spring at first base Saturday during the Tigers' 7-4 loss to the Rays. The outfielder is making his claim for a spot on the Tigers' Opening Day roster. Adduci was a corner outfielder in his stints with Detroit last year, but played center field a few days ago.
"I just want to see what he can do," Gardenhire said. "I think he can play anywhere. I think that guy can hit. I really like his swing. So the more places you can go out there and be efficient at, that's always good. But I like his swing a lot. I like [Chad] Huffman, too. We've got some good role guys doing a lot of stuff."
Wood discusses knee injury
Travis Wood said he actually injured his left knee one inning before he collapsed to the ground during an infield rundown Thursday. Even after he realized it was bad, he wanted to try to pitch through it.
"It really happened the last pitch of the [previous] inning," Wood said Saturday. "I felt it pop, but when I got into the dugout, I stretched it, pulled on it, did some calf raises. Nothing hurt, so I thought, 'I guess something just needed to pop and everything's fine.' And then the first warmup pitch, trying to push off [the mound], I couldn't, and it hurt. But I was already out there, so I said, 'We'll figure it out. We'll get through this inning and then we'll see what's going on.'"
That last pitch of the previous inning, he said he was told, was likely when he tore his ACL. He likely tore his meniscus on the rundown.
"So when I stopped to plant [on the rundown], there was nothing there to hold it," Wood said.
Wood said he's working on finding a surgeon and scheduling the procedure for next week. Doctors told him he should need only one surgery to correct the issues.
"I don't have any rhyme or reason why [it happened]," Wood said. "I had no pre-existing knee injuries or anything. I guess it was just that time."
More injury updates
Blaine Hardy is scheduled to throw long toss at 90 feet on Saturday as he builds up his arm again following left shoulder inflammation. The lefty reliever hopes to be ready to pitch again next week once the Tigers return from their two-day trip to West Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie.
The Tigers head to West Palm Beach on Sunday for a 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Nationals, with Wilson starting in Fulmer's place. Jose Cabrera is expected to be among the regulars on the trip.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.