Detroit Tigers’ Matthew Boyd exits game in first inning with left elbow discomfort

Detroit Free Press

ARLINGTON, Texas — Detroit Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd, a nine-year MLB veteran, exited Monday’s start against the Texas Rangers in the bottom of the first inning with left elbow discomfort.

The 32-year-old, who underwent left flexor tendon surgery in September 2021, sailed the 15th pitch of his outing — a four-seam fastball — to the backstop at Globe Life Field. After the errant throw, he was quickly visited by manager A.J. Hinch and head athletic trainer Ryne Eubanks.

The conversation ended with Boyd walking to the dugout. The severity of the injury is unclear, and he will undergo medical tests before the Tigers decide whether or not he needs to be placed on the injured list.

“What we reported in the game is what we know,” Hinch said after Monday’s 7-2 win. “We saw Boyd wince and look uncomfortable. He took a long walk around the mound, so we went out there. He told us what was bothering him, and we took him out of the game and chose for him not to throw a pitch to test (his arm) again.”

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The Tigers signed Boyd to a one-year, $10 million contract in the offseason, making him a candidate to be moved at the Aug. 1 trade deadline. He has a 5.45 ERA with 25 walks and 73 strikeouts across 73 innings in 15 starts.

“We want him to pitch, but if he’s hurting, that’s what I told him on the mound,” catcher Jake Rogers said. “I said, ‘You got to do what’s best for your arm. We need you long-term.’ It’s a tough spot. We want him there, but we have boys in the bullpen to back him up, and they did.”

Boyd hasn’t pitched more than 78⅔ innings (in 2021) since the 2019 season. He returned from flexor tendon surgery last season and pitched 13⅓ innings out of the bullpen with the Seattle Mariners.

He previously pitched for the Tigers from 2015-21.

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Right-handed reliever Will Vest, who replaced Boyd, also left Monday’s game with right knee discomfort. He came down awkwardly on the mound while throwing a pitch in the second inning.

“I thought he turned his ankle,” Hinch said. “He talked a little bit about his (hamstring) and his calf, and it sounds like it’s somewhere in and around his knee. We’ll get them checked out and see where it takes us.”

Vest received a visit from Hinch and assistant athletic trainer Matt Rankin. The 28-year-old tried to stay in the game — testing his ability to pitch — but ended up walking to the dugout on his own power.

He threw 17 pitches.

This season, Vest has a 2.73 ERA with nine walks and 32 strikeouts across 29⅔ innings in 27 appearances.

“It’s tough,” Rogers said. “I hate injuries in general. It’s a tough sport. You feel for those guys and just want them to be better. I’ve been there. I’ve been the guy that had to come out of the lineup and wanted the support of my teammates, so that’s what we’re going to do.”

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

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