Meadows, who has dealt with several injuries and illnesses since May, has been in the Tigers’ clubhouse for practices in recent weeks and will continue to be with his teammates when the club plays home games at Comerica Park.
Due to mental health reasons, Meadows ended his season with a month left in the program.
“I can’t say enough proud that he’s willing to help,” manager AJ Hinch said. “Maybe there’s a kid out there, maybe there’s a teammate out there, maybe there’s a former teammate, maybe someone around the league who’s struggling on their own and wondering whether or not they should get help or even admit they have some issues that they have to resolve.”
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“This season has been an unfortunate struggle with a number of injuries and illnesses, from dealing with vertigo early on, post-COVID, to bilateral tendinitis in my Achilles, and then the rehab process each time.
“What I’ve told very few people is that I’ve also struggled with my mental health in a way that has extended my time away from the game I love so much. I’ve dealt with it privately with a large group of processions, but I have to continue to put in the hard work off the field to feel mentally healthy.
“While I have been back at the club in recent weeks and intend to stay with the club until the end of the season, I am not yet ready to return to the pitch. I am so grateful to my family, my teammates, and the Tigers organization for their support on this. I can’t do it alone, and hopefully by sharing my experience, I can touch at least one person who may be going through their own struggles and encourage them to reach out to someone for help.”
The Tigers acquired Meadows from the Tampa Bay Rays on April 5 in exchange for Isaac Paredes and a 2022 draft pick. The 27-year-old finished 2022 with a .250 batting average, zero home runs, 11 RBI, 16 walks and 17 strikeouts in 36 innings. races.
Meadows last played on Aug. 14 with Triple-A Toledo during a rehab assignment. He played 10 games for the Mud Hens during three rehab assignments.
“The physical ailments were real,” Hinch said. “It’s been stuff he’s dealt with over and over again. The last time he played, when he was in rehab, was the first time he called me directly about it. … We’ve known each other for a while, but it hasn’t been a whole season. or it wasn’t like when we first met him that we knew.”
This story will be updated.
This article originally appeared in the Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers’ Austin Meadows to miss rest of 2022 due to mental health