Detroit Tigers Pitcher Alex Faedo Joins Elite Company in MLB History

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After a disappointing first two months of the season, there hasn’t been much for Detroit Tigers fans to cheer about. The expectations were high and while the team has been a letdown, one of the pleasant surprises has been the consistency of starting pitcher Alex Faedo. After Wednesday’s outing against the Pittsburgh Pirates, The Detroit Tigers rookie became just the third pitcher since 1893 to pitch at least five innings and allow two runs or less in each of his first seven MLB starts, joining Jered Weaver in 2006 and Dave Ferriss in 1945, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Injuries provide an opportunity

The Tigers have been riddled with injuries in 2022, especially within the starting rotation. Matt Manning had been on the injured list since April 20th, tried to complete his rehab starts, then was shut down after he had “come clean” and it was discovered he had bicep tendinitis. Casey Mize suffered an elbow strain on April 15th and has since been shut down, having a setback in his throwing elbow. These injuries provided Faedo the opportunity to get his shot in the big leagues when he was called up on May 4th against the Pirates in the second game of a double-header.

The former 18th overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft opened up the 2022 season with a few question marks and expected to continue developing in the Tigers’ farm system and rehab from surgery. After missing the 2020 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2021 season due to Tommy John surgery, the 26-year-old started the 2022 season in Low-A Lakeland for three games (one start) before being called up to Triple-A Toledo for one start. With all of the injuries on the big league roster, Faedo instead found himself thrust into the starting rotation in Detroit.

Mr. Consistency

Over the course of his seven starts, Faedo has been able to string together quality outings, even on nights where he didn’t have his best stuff. Faedo has been able to use all three of his pitches (4-seam fastball, slider, and changeup) well enough, using a heavy dose of fastballs that have plenty of break, to set up hitters for the slider (posting a 41.2% whiff rate and 26.8% K rate). He hasn’t been flashy in his starts but he has been consistent. The Tigers coaching staff has been asking a lot of him this season in terms of number of starts and contribution to the starting rotation but are closely watching his innings and pitch counts, keeping him mostly between 80-90 pitches and not allowing him to get too deep into games.

Faedo’s effectiveness has been early in games with his numbers reflecting his strong starts. Against the first 9 batters (1st time through the order), Faedo’s ERA is 1.12, allowing only two earned runs while striking out 19 batters. Against the second 9 batters (second time through the order), his ERA jumps to 6.82, allowing 10 earned runs, four home runs, and only eight strikeouts.

At some point, Faedo’s streak will end but watching his consistency with each start at this early stage of his career has given Tigers fans something to have hope for in his future with the organization.

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