Detroit Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter defended teammate Prince Fielder from criticism during a radio interview on Tuesday, and implied that the first baseman is going through some off-field issues. Larry Brown Sports has exclusively learned that Fielder is going through a divorce with wife Chanel, which is the issue Hunter was likely referring to.
Fielder filed for divorce on May 28 in Orange County, Fla., which is the area where he and Chanel make their offseason home. The two were married during the minor league baseball season in July 2005. They have two sons together.
On Tuesday, Chanel filed a motion for temporary relief to cover attorneys fees and the cost of the case.
Though he is by no means having a poor season, Fielder is performing below his career averages. The slugger is batting .262 with 17 home runs and 81 RBIs on the year. His .785 OPS is the lowest of his career since his rookie season.
Fielder actually batted .301 with a blistering 1.009 OPS during the first month of the season. He has not posted an OPS above .788 since May, which is when he filed for divorce. Fielder also experienced a slight dropoff in his minor-league numbers in 2004, which is when his parents were going through a messy divorce.
Despite the issues in his personal life, Fielder has not missed a game this season. He went 1-for-4 in Wednesday’s 6-4 win over the Chicago White Sox.