Michael Fulmer
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Michael Fulmer may not pitch again in 2018

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Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer isn’t a lock to return to the rotation this year after sustaining a knee injury during Saturday’s game against the Indians. While Cleveland advanced toward the postseason with a 15-0 win and another division title, Detroit lost their starter after just five pitches.

According to catcher James McCann‘s postgame comments, Fulmer dropped a few miles off his pitches at the start of the game, which made him a sitting duck for Francisco Lindor and Michael Brantley as they cracked back-to-back home runs in the first inning. Even more alarming, Fulmer’s velocity issues also revealed some problems with his knee, and he was quickly pulled from the game and later diagnosed with a case of right knee inflammation.

At this point, it’s still unclear how much time the right-hander might miss, and the Tigers will reserve a final judgment until they receive the results of his MRI on Monday. Given that Fulmer has just two scheduled starts remaining over the final two weeks of the regular season, a return to the mound seems somewhat unlikely. Following Saturday’s performance, the 25-year-old hurler has pitched to a disappointing 3-12 record in 24 starts with a 4.69 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 through 132 1/3 frames this year.

Report: Rays sign Brandon Lowe to six-year, $24 million contract extension

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Rays and infielder Brandon Lowe have agreed on a six-year, $24 million contract extension. Lowe has just 58 days of service time, so this will cover his three years of pre-arbitration as well as three arbitration years.

Lowe, 24, earned a promotion to the majors in early August last year, playing mostly at second base but also logging time in both outfield corners. Through the end of the season, he hit .233/.324/.450 with six home runs and 25 RBI in 148 plate appearances. Lowe also performed well this spring, batting .359/.405/.692 with a pair of homers and 14 RBI in 39 at-bats.

MLB Pipeline rates lowe as the No. 10 prospect in the Rays’ system. He is in line to see regular starts at second base, but the Rays will certainly be keen to utilize his versatility throughout the year.