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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

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    Jason Foley’s second act; Alex Lange’s immortality and Derek Hill’s dynamic impact

    Detroit — If rookie right-hander Jason Foley didn’t look right when he made his big-league debut on June 6, well, it’s because he wasn’t.

    A guy coming up through the system was throwing 100-mph bullets, there had to be a reason his fastball was coming in at 92, 93, 95 mph. There had to be a reason he was uncharacteristically spraying pitches and hitting batters.

    “Actually, my shoulder was bugging me a little bit,” Foley said before Saturday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays. “It was bugging me up here and right when I got sent back down. Just a little discomfort in there.”

    Shoulder inflammation is a scary thing for a pitcher. It can portend such evils as rotator cuff or labrum damage. In this case, it was just inflammation. No structural damage.

    “Once I got working with the trainers and I got that out, I felt a lot better,” Foley said. “I was throwing the ball a lot more freely.”

    Foley, who is 25, hit three of the 22 batters he faced in his brief, four-game audition in June. He had a couple of rough outings for the Toledo Mud Hens when he first went back down. But he’s been lights-out for the past month and a half, allowing three runs with 14 strikeouts over his last 13 1/3 innings. Triple-A hitters are hitting just .200 and slugging .267 against him.

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