After a visit to Dr. James Andrews, Michael Fulmer underwent ulnar transposition surgery on his throwing elbow in September. Barring setbacks, the right-hander is expected to be ready for spring training. The Tigers hope the procedure will correct the finger numbness and hand weakness Fulmer experienced, which probably hindered his shortened sophomore season. Following his 2016 Rookie of the Year win, he endured notable dips in ERA (3.06 to 3.83), K/9 (6.2, after 7.5 in his first season) and left-on-base percentage (79.0 to 65.6 percent). Fulmer, who turns 25 in March, owns an alluring combination of top-end velocity and a career 2.3 BB/9, which could become even more valuable if health brings back at least his 2016 K/9 (7.5) and possibly pushes it higher. Still, if he impresses in March, his price might climb to where the reward won't match the risk. Fulmer may not round into peak form until later in the season.
Fulmer (elbow) is scheduled to start Monday's Grapefruit League game against the Orioles, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com reports. As expected, Fulmer has made a full recovery from September ulnar transposition surgery, a procedure that resulted in the right-hander missing the final month of the past season. His rehab from the procedure only carried a 3-to-4-month recovery window, so he should remain on a normal throwing schedule throughout spring as he prepares for his third big-league season. With Justin Verlander now in Houston, Fulmer looks like the leading candidate to become only the third Opening Day starter for the Tigers in the past 11 years.
Fulmer (elbow) threw a bullpen session Thursday, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports. Fulmer continues to ramp up his activity as he looks to get back to 100 percent after undergoing ulnar transposition surgery back in September. Barring any setbacks, the 24-year-old is expected to be ready for the start of spring training; a healthy Fulmer will look to return to his 2016 form that helped him win American League Rookie of the Year honors (3.06 ERA and 1.12 WHIP across 159 innings).
Tigers general manager Al Avila said Jan. 24 that Fulmer (elbow) should be at full strength for the start of spring training, the Associated Press reports. "He's thrown out to 180 feet with no restrictions and no setbacks, so right now he's on track to be 100 percent coming into spring training," Avila said. Following his Rookie of the Year-winning campaign in 2016, Fulmer took a step back in his sophomore season, delivering a 10-12 record and 3.83 ERA across 164.2 innings before being shuttered in September after undergoing ulnar transposition surgery. Pitching through the injury undoubtedly factored into Fulmer's disappointing numbers to some degree, though the meager 7.5 K/9 rate he submitted as a rookie perhaps hinted that a downturn in his 3.06 ERA was inevitable. With Fulmer at full health entering the upcoming campaign, it should be easier to elucidate whether he's truly an ace-level arm or more of a mid-rotation-caliber pitcher at this stage of his career.
Fulmer (elbow) started a throwing program Tuesday, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports. Fulmer underwent ulnar transposition surgery back in September, a procedure that usually carries a 3-to-4 month recovery timeline. He appears to be right on schedule, and barring any setbacks, the right-hander should be fully healthy heading into spring training. Despite dealing with elbow issues, he still posted a respectable 3.83 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 114:40 K:BB across 25 starts (164.2 innings).
Fulmer underwent successful ulnar transposition surgery Tuesday, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports. Fulmer will now begin a recovery process that is supposed to take between three and four months as he works to get back to full health for next season. Barring any setbacks, he's expected to be ready to go for spring training. The 24-year-old ended his sophomore season with a 10-12 record to go along with a 3.83 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 114:40 K:BB over 164.2 innings (25 starts).