The Tigers have activated center fielder Cameron Maybin from the 15-day disabled list and optioned shortstop Dixon Machado to Triple-A Toledo, reports Evan Woodbery of MLive.com. Maybin, who went on the DL on Aug. 10 (retroactive to Aug. 6) with a sprained left thumb, will rejoin the Tigers’ lineup Sunday and bat second against the Red Sox.
Maybin has endured two DL stints this season, but the 29-year-old has posted strong numbers in between. In 261 plate appearances, Maybin has slashed .325/.394/.398, also adding 13 stolen bases on 17 attempts. A difficult-to-maintain BABIP of .382 has helped fuel Maybin’s output at the dish, but the former Marlin, Padre and Brave has made legitimate gains this year in terms of plate discipline. Both Maybin’s 14.9 percent strikeout rate and 10 percent walk rate are career bests, and his BB/K ratio of .67 ranks well above the league-average mark of .39.
Maybin’s return is a welcome one for 64-59 Detroit, which has lost two in a row to fall 3 1/2 games behind Baltimore for the American League’s second wild-card spot. In addition to Maybin, the Tigers’ lineup has been without third baseman Nick Castellanos for most of August. Castellanos, who suffered a fractured left hand on an Aug. 6 hit by pitch, is nowhere near ready to swing a bat or return to game action, according to Jason Beck of MLB.com. As a result, the Tigers have increased the timeline of his recovery from the originally announced four weeks.
“Four [weeks] is probably too short,” general manager Avila said, “and we’re hoping seven [weeks] is too much.”
Seven weeks would point to a mid-September return for Castellanos. In the meantime, barring an outside acquisition, Casey McGehee is likely to continue filling in for Castellanos. The 33-year-old McGehee has hit just .264/.278/.283 with one extra-base hit and one walk in 54 plate appearances this season.