When it was first announced that Kyle Sleeth had made it just two innings in his second start, many fans just assumed he remained on a strict pitch count and was pulled because of it. But then word from Lakeland leaked that in fact he was removed from the game due to a locked up shoulder, and he was subsequently placed back on the disabled list.
Instead of a setback though, it could be much worse. While no one is willing to comment, whispers are everywhere that it could be much more serious than just some soreness from having been off the mound for almost a year. No one is speculating, and the Tigers won't comment, but things don't look good for the Tigers prized first rounder.
Possibly the biggest sign of concern – normally, when a pitcher is off or a player is on the disabled list, he'll be hanging around the field and clubhouse, and tracking pitch counts and pitch locations back behind the plate. Not only has Sleeth not been back behind the dish, but he hasn't even been spotted since the All Star break.
With the Tigers recent success stories in Justin Verlander, Joel Zumaya and most recently Zach Miner, not having Sleeth back working toward 100% is a concern for a team, that while growing its minor league talent, still is rather far away from a loaded farm system.