Detroit Tigers’ Riley Greene sent to injured list with stress fracture in left fibula

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Tigers placed center fielder Riley Greene on the 10-day injured list with a stress fracture in his left fibula.

The 22-year-old left Tuesday’s game in the third inning with left lower leg discomfort after reporting the injury to the coaching staff in the first inning. The timetable for Greene’s return to the Tigers is unknown.

He will seek a second opinion about the stress fracture.

“I really have no idea,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said of Greene’s potential return. “We want to get a full diagnosis with multiple people and figure out what that means. There’s going to be a rest period, and it’s obviously at least 10 days, so we put him on the injured list. For me to speculate is literally guessing.”

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In the 2023 season, Greene is hitting .296 with five home runs, 21 walks and 64 strikeouts in 52 games. He hit .365 with a 1.008 on-base-plus-slugging percentage across 25 games in May before the injury.

Greene — the No. 5 overall pick in the 2019 draft — has been the Tigers’ best player on offense this season.

“It totally sucks, but we have to find a way at this point,” said first baseman Spencer Torkelson, hitting .232 with a .676 OPS in 52 games. “We can either dwell on what we don’t have or focus on what we do have and try to win with what we got. I think we’re going to try to take that option.”

“It’s a big loss, but we’ve been dealing with injuries since last year,” said shortstop Javier Báez, hitting .224 with a .578 OPS in 50 games. “Hopefully, it’s not that bad. Hopefully, he can get back soon.”

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As far as we know, there wasn’t a specific event or play that led to the stress fracture. But after Tuesday’s 10-6 loss, infielder Zack Short suggested Greene had been playing through pain in his leg for an undisclosed period of time.

“We’ll continue to figure out what it possibly could have been,” Hinch said. “I think it’s all kind of guessing at this point. It could be anything. But I know he’s pretty frustrated this morning when I saw him. He’s disappointed not to be out there.”

On the first day of April in 2022, Greene fractured his right foot on a foul ball in the final days of spring training. The broken foot forced him to miss Opening Day and delayed his MLB debut until June 2022.

He has a .268 batting average across 145 games in his big-league career, spanning parts of two seasons.

“I know him,” Torkelson said. “I know he’ll come back even better. They said it’s a stress fracture. He’s out there busting his ass every single day. It’s part of the game, but he’ll be back stronger.”

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The Tigers, in the span of 24 hours, placed their best two players on the injured list: Greene to the 10-day injured list with a stress fracture in his left fibula and left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez to the 15-day injured list with a pulley rupture in his left index finger. Outfielder Matt Vierling also landed on the 10-day injured list Tuesday with low back soreness.

Greene leads the offense with a 1.7 fWAR, while Rodriguez leads the pitching staff with a 1.7 fWAR.

“We have to admit that it’s really frustrating, and it’s hard on a team,” Hinch said. “At the same time, we have to collect ourselves and figure out a different way. It’s going to get better as guys get healthier. Things are going to get better and feel better, but we’ve got to find a different way to do it with different guys, and quite honestly, find some different guys to pick up the slack a little bit.

“We need to continue what we’ve started to build here in terms of momentum and playing winning baseball. But it’s hard to balance the emotions that come with this but also the reality that we have a game in a couple hours, and our guys need to be ready to post, and we will.”

THE TRADE: Tigers acquire outfielder Jake Marisnick in trade with White Sox

To help fill the injury voids, the Tigers selected outfielder Jake Marisnick, whom they acquired Tuesday in a trade with the Chicago White Sox, and added him to the 26-man and 40-man rosters. The 11-year MLB veteran started Wednesday’s game in center field.

To make room for Marisnick, the Tigers transferred right-handed reliever Trey Wingenter (right biceps tendinitis) to the 60-day injured list.

“Ironically, we were doing this before Riley got hurt,” Hinch said. “We wanted to fill in some of our depth and figure out how we were going to take the playing time from when Vierling got hurt. We needed a right-handed presence.”

Contact Evan Petzold at or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

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