Austin Meadows had a difficult first season with the Detroit Tigers. And now it’s over.
The former All-Star outfielder announced Friday that he will not return to the field this season due to mental health issues.
Full text of Meadows:
This season has been an unfortunate struggle with a series of injuries and illnesses, including early dizziness, COVID, bilateral Achilles tendonitis, and having to go through the rehabilitation process each time.
I’ve told very few people that they are spending more time away from the games they love and are also struggling with their mental health. But you have to keep working hard outside the field so you can feel mentally healthy.
He’s been back in the clubhouse for the last few weeks and will remain with the club until the end of the season, but he’s not ready to return to the field just yet. I am very grateful to my family, teammates and Tigers organization for supporting this. I cannot do this alone. I hope that by sharing my experience, I can reach out to at least one person who may be going through their own struggles and encourage them to seek help from someone else.
As Meadows notes, he has dealt with a number of issues this season, first on the injured list on May 16 with Vertigo, then in June dealing with COVID-19, A few weeks later he dealt with Achilles tendonitis in both ankles.
Tigers manager AJ Hinch not only pledged the team would support Meadows’ recovery, but praised him for embracing the problem.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of him,” Hinch said. “Maybe there’s one kid out there, maybe there’s a teammate out there, maybe a former teammate, someone in the league who’s struggling alone and they should ask for help or need help. You may be wondering if you should even admit that you have a problem.”
“Austin chose to actively help others while helping himself and taking the next step in his recovery.”
Meadows joined Detroit in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays just days before opening day, sending back infielder Austin Paredes and a Comp B draft pick.
In 36 games with the Tigers, Meadows batted .250/.347/.328 with no homers and 11 RBIs. The pace represents a step back for Meadows from his achievements with the Rays, who made him an All-Star in 2019 and his series of Worlds in 2020.
Of course, it’s been a difficult year for the Tigers, who have tried to take a step forward in their rebuilding with a Meadows trade and free agency like Javier Baez and Eduardo Rodriguez, but they are now 50-81 and bottom of AL Central. is located in .