Detroit Free Press
Austin Meadows has been scratched from the lineup today vs. the Boston Redsox. Akil Baddoo had been recalled and will leadoff and play LF for the Tigers.
Unfortunately, the mental health struggles continue in 2023 for Tigers outfielder Austin Meadows as he was placed on the 10-day injured list due to anxiety issues. He missed a lot of time last season due to a number of issues. In 2022, it started with vertigo. Then he injured both his achilles, and eventually, he missed the rest of the year because of mental health struggles. The hope is that time away helps Austin recover and he can be back in the lineup sooner rather than later. Meadows was batting .238, he appeared in 6 games this season.
Although it’s under unfortunate circumstances, Akil Baddoo gets the opportunity to earn a roster spot and be a regular face in the lineup. Baddoo got off to a good start in Toledo and could be a swiss army knife for the Tigers while he’s here. He has the skill set and tools to break out this year with MLB’s rule changes. The bigger bases, the pitch clock, and the limited number of pickoff attempts could give him a big advantage with his speed. That’s probably one of the reasons why he’s at the top of the lineup in his first game of the season. His early success with the MudHens definitely played a factor in that decision from Hinch as well. (as I’m writing this, Akil Baddoo gets a leadoff single to right field) Baddoo played in 7 games for the Tigers Triple-A affiliate, he batted .321, with 4 extra-base hits, a Home Run, 6 RBI’s, and 6 walks. He had a .441 OBP, .571 SLG%, and 1.013 OPS. Baddoo stole 2 bases in Triple-A this season as well.
Detroit doesn’t lack depth in the outfield. They have Greene, Baddoo, Carpenter, Vierling, Haase, and Maton at the big leauge level who can play in the outfield. They also have a guy in Toledo who is close to being major league ready and it happens to be Austin Meadows younger brother Parker Meadows. Even though it’s under extremely unfortunate circumstances, Parker Meadows could potentially get an opportunity from this as the next man up in Triple-A. If another injury or two occurs for the Tigers, Meadows could make his MLB debut before his older brother returns. Parker for the first time in his career, started the season in Triple-A. Prior to 2023 he never played above Double-A. However, he had a fantastic spring training hitting .317, with 8 extra-base hits, 5 Home Runs, 11 RBI’s, and 4 walks. He had a .756 slugging percentage and 1.134 OPS. That had people thinking he could make the roster straight out of spring training. The Tigers made the decision to start him in Toledo which I believe was the right decision. Meadows is getting experience against Triple-A hitters, and if he continues to succeed it won’t be long before he’s in Detroit.