Detroit Tigers outfielder Austin Meadows will not play again in 2022 while dealing with mental health issues, he announced Friday. Meadows has not played since June 15 because of an Achilles injury, and he also battled vertigo earlier this year. He will stay around the club the next few weeks but will not play.
This season has been an unfortunate struggle with a series of injuries and illness, from dealing with vertigo early on, then COVID, to bilateral tendinitis in my Achilles, and then having to go through the rehab process each time.
What I have told very few people is that I also have been struggling with my mental health in a way that has extended my time away from the game that I love so much. I’ve been dealing with this privately with a great team of professionals, but I need to continue to put in the hard work off the field towards feeling mentally healthy.
While I’ve been back in the clubhouse the past few weeks, and plan to remain with the club through the end of season, I am still not ready to return to the field. I am so grateful for my family, my teammates, and the Tigers organization for supporting me through this. I can’t do this alone, and I hope in sharing my experience I can touch at least one person who might be going through their own struggles and encourage them to reach out to someone for help.
Acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-player trade not long before Opening Day, Meadows struggled on the field when healthy this season, hitting .250/.347/.328 with no home runs in 35 games. He slugged 27 home runs a year ago and received a handful of MVP votes. The Tigers can retain Meadows as an arbitration-eligible player through 2024.
This has been a disappointing season for the Tigers in general. Rather than build on a solid finish that saw them go 68-61 in their last 129 games last year, they sit in last place at 50-81 and have been one of the worst offensive teams in the game.