Detroit — Austin Meadows was looking forward to getting home to Tampa, seeing if his house was still standing and maybe do some damage against his former team.
“Be nice to get my first homer (of the season) there,” he said, laughing before the game Sunday.
Mostly, he was hoping to get on his boat and do some real fishing.
“Yeah, I’m excited,” said Meadows, who spent the last four seasons with the Rays. “Hopefully, we have that off day (Thursday) and maybe I can get my boat out. I’ve been missing fishing for a couple of months now.”
Told there was some pretty good fishing holes in Michigan, too, Meadows smiled politely and said, “I fish for snook, red fish, off-shore groupie and snapper. Won’t find that here.”
Turns out, he may get more time at home than he wanted, and maybe less time to fish.
Meadows has been fighting vertigo all week. He tried to play for the first time in three days Sunday, but lasted only one at-bat before the dizziness and nausea started back up.
He will have to wait until next season to do his Tampa homecoming right. Manager AJ Hinch announced after the Tigers beat the Orioles, 5-1, that Meadows, though he will be on the flight to Tampa, is going on injured list.
“We’ve got to figure this thing out,” Hinch said.
That will leave the spotlight for Alex Faedo, who grew up in Tampa and starred at nearby Alonso High School. He’s expected to get the start for the Tigers Monday. It will be the first time he’s ever stepped on the mound at Tropicana Park.
“It’s going to be fun” Faedo said. “I don’t know if it’s storybook or anything like that, but it’s exciting. Very cool.”
Growing up, Faedo used to skip school and go to Opening Day with his Uncle Mike.
“I went to a lot of Rays games,” he said. “It will be fun to actually be on that mound and facing them… I grew up a Rays fan and I transitioned into a Tigers-only fan. Now I’m just a baseball fan.”
He played for his father Landy at Alonso and threw a no-hitter his junior year, before going on to University of Florida and helping the Gators to national championship.
“I definitely don’t think I’m the legend at Alonso,” Faedo said. “My dad is. We didn’t really win anything when I was pitching there. My dad is a household name there. He started the program and is the only coach the school has had.”
Asked if the Trop was going to packed with FFOFs — friends and family of Faedo — he laughed.
“Not too many, not a record or anything,” he said. “But we’ll have a good group of family and friends, that’s for sure.”
It will be Faedo’s third start and a significant one. With Michael Pineda breaking his finger in the second inning Saturday, the Tigers now have four starting pitchers on the injured list. Faedo has a chance to make a case to stick in the rotation for a few turns.
“I was sad to see that yesterday,” he said. “Big Mike has been throwing the ball really good. The only thing I can control is tomorrow. I’m going to try my best to execute and give the team the best chance to win. Beyond that, I’m not trying to think too far ahead.”
Faedo has gone five innings and allowed two runs in each of his two starts. His slider was especially effective in his last start against Oakland when he racked up seven strikeouts. He got 17 swings and misses with it.
“Just consistency and execution,” Faedo said. “Just try to keep figuring out my game and feel comfortable. I’m just going to do what the scouting report says and attack hitters.”