By Jeff O'Brien

The Detroit Tigers placed right-hander Michael Fulmer on the 10-day injured list Sunday with a right shoulder strain.

The 28-year-old Fulmer hasn’t appeared in a big league game since May 30, and the IL move was made retroactive to Thursday.

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 07: Michael Fulmer #32 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Minnesota Twins on September 7, 2020 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

“We’re very cognizant of his injury history and also just the difficulty in the pandemic year to this year,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “And so we almost have to react this way in order to protect him and in order to protect us and give him a little blow. I mean that’s really what we view this as.”

Detroit also activated right-hander José Ureña from the 10-day IL and brought up right-hander Jason Foley from Triple-A Toledo. Ureña pitched five innings of three-run ball during Sunday’s 3-0 loss to the White Sox, his first game since May 26.

“All in all, being off for 10 days and just throwing a couple bullpens and not having a ton of activity as he was getting healthy, I thought he gave us a nice outing,” Hinch said.

OAKLAND, CA – April 16: José Ureña #62 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during the game against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum on April 16, 2021 in Oakland, California. The Athletics defeated the Tigers 3-0. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)

Ureña had been sidelined by a strained right forearm. The Tigers cleared the way for his return when they optioned infielder Zack Short to Toledo following Saturday’s 4-3 victory over Chicago.

Veteran outfielder JaCoby Jones was designated for assignment. He hit .170 in 36 games with the Tigers before he was optioned to Toledo on May 24.

Hinch said Jones could return to the organization if he clears waivers.

“Certainly for somebody that has been in the organization and has contributed in the organization, it’s been a difficult couple weeks for him,” Hinch said. “But hopefully he’ll bounce back, play well and get back in the big leagues.”

BOSTON, MA – MAY 4: Michael Fulmer #32 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the first inning of a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on May 4, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

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The 30-year-old Fulmer was a starter for his first four seasons in the majors, winning the AL Rookie of the Year award in 2016 and making the AL All-Star team in 2017. But he had been working out of the bullpen of late.

Fulmer is 3-1 with a 2.42 ERA in 16 relief appearances this year and 1-2 with a 4.97 ERA in four starts.

Fulmer, who missed the 2019 season after he had Tommy John surgery, pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings during a 6-2 victory over the Yankees on May 30.

The Tigers had planned to give Fulmer a break after the Yankees series and then get him going again while the team was in Chicago. But Fulmer said Saturday he wasn’t feeling well, according to Hinch.

HOUSTON, TEXAS – APRIL 14: Michael Fulmer #32 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Detroit Tigers at Minute Maid Park on April 14, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

“We had nothing to be alarmed about at the beginning of the week and now we’re putting him on the injured list at the end of the week,” Hinch said. “That’s a tough turn of events.”

The 25-year-old Foley made his major league debut when he pitched a scoreless sixth inning in the series finale against the White Sox. He hit two batters, but he escaped the jam when Tim Anderson bounced to first.

“I thought he handled the situation the best he could,” Hinch said. “He woke up this morning a big leaguer for the first time, and then he gets in the game. It was a good environment today. It’s still a close game, we needed him to put up a zero and he did.”

The hard-throwing Foley had no record and a 3.60 ERA in nine appearances at Toledo this year. He signed with Detroit in 2016 as an undrafted free agent out of Sacred Heart University. He missed the 2018 season after he had Tommy John surgery.

“It’s always a dream of I’m sure all these guys and mine too to play in the big leagues. So it’s kind of like whatever obstacle’s put in front of you you try to go through,” Foley said before the game. “It was definitely a tough battle, but I just never gave up and always kept working hard.”

 

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