- J.D. Martinez could return from the DL in late April or early May, Tigers skipper Brad Ausmus told reporters (including MLB.com’s Jason Beck). This is the latest in a series of positive reports on Martinez, who suffered a lisfranc sprain in his left foot during Spring Training. The original timeline had Martinez not even beginning baseball activities until mid-April, though the slugging outfielder has been ahead of schedule, including feeling better than expected during light running drills on Friday. The Tigers will reportedly be cautious with Martinez, which isn’t any surprise given the tricky nature of lisfranc injuries and Martinez’s importance to Detroit’s lineup.
- The Tigers have placed center fielder JaCoby Jones on the 10-day disabled list and selected the contract of first baseman/outfielder Jim Adduci from Triple-A Toledo. Jones took a 90 mph fastball to the mouth from Twins reliever Justin Haley on Saturday, after which he received nine stitches and underwent a CT scan, per Evan Woodbery of MLive.com. The scan ruled out a major injury for Jones, who will nonetheless miss at least a week and a half. The 24-year-old has batted a subpar .150/.244/.300 with 18 strikeouts in 45 plate appearances this season. Jones’ absence should leave center to Andrew Romine, who has fared somewhat better despite not having drawn any walks in 40 PAs (.231/.250/.410). The 31-year-old Adduci’s only big league action came as a Ranger from 2013-14, when he combined to hit .189/.259/.242 in 148 trips to the plate. Adduci owns a respectable .283/.352/.401 line in 1,203 Triple-A PAs.
The Tigers have announced that they’ve placed first baseman Miguel Cabrera on the 10-day DL with a right groin strain. To take his place on the active roster, they’ve recalled catcher John Hicks from Triple-A Toledo, perhaps with the idea that he could back up James McCann behind the plate while Alex Avila takes over for Cabrera at first.
Cabrera left yesterday’s game as a result of the groin strain and, as MLB.com’s Jason Beck and other reporters have noted on Twitter, had an MRI today. It’s not yet clear how long he’ll need to be out. Obviously, an extended absence would be a significant blow to the Tigers. Cabrera made his seventh straight All-Star game in 2016 while batting .316/.393/.563 and swatting 38 home runs. The former Triple Crown winner and two-time MVP currently has 449 career homers, second only to Albert Pujols among active players. Cabrera’s present stint on the DL is his first since July 2015, when he missed about six weeks due to a calf strain.
Star Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera left tonight’s game with a groin strain, as Evan Woodberry of MLive.com reports on Twitter. For now, there’s no real indication of the severity of the injury; Detroit will take a closer look tomorrow.
Here’s more on the injury front:
- Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca provides an update on some injured Blue Jays hurlers. While there had been some hope that J.A. Happ would be able to return after missing just one start, he was still feeling elbow discomfort when he played catch yesterday. There is still hope, though, that Aaron Sanchez will be ready to return from his blister issues to re-take his turn in the rotation.
- The Rockies have received promising updates on the injury front, as Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports. Ian Desmond’s hand has healed to the point that he was able to hit off of a tee. He’ll soon be followed by David Dahl, whose latest medical check-brought positive news.
- Likewise, the Orioles have reason to hope they’ll welcome back closer Zach Britton in short order. As Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets, manager Buck Showalter says that Britton’s MRI results were very promising. Britton, who hasn’t been quite his dominant self thus far in 2017, hit the DL with forearm soreness.
- Rangers righty A.J. Griffin is heading to the 10-day DL with what the team is describing as ankle inflammation caused by gout. It doesn’t seem likely to require an extended absence, but the issue arises at an unfortunate time for the 29-year-old (and the struggling ballclub). Griffin is off to a solid start, having allowed seven earned runs on nine hits — and an excellent 16:4 K/BB ratio — over 15 1/3 innings.
- There were a few updates from the Reds, as provided by Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter links). Righty Homer Bailey could be ready for mound work as soon as the end of the month, per skipper Bryan Price. Bailey has made just eight starts since the start of the 2015 season; he’s working back from surgery to remove bone spurs. Southpaw reliever Tony Cingrani, meanwhile, was placed on the 10-day DL with an oblique strain, with outfielder Phil Ervin taking his place on the active roster.
- Alex Meyer made a start tonight for the Angels, taking the roster spot of reliever Mike Morin, who is headed to the DL with neck stiffness, as Maria Guardado of MLB.com tweets. Morin, who’ll soon turn 26, has been hit hard in his 6 2/3 frames to open the season.
- Meanwhile, Angels righty Garrett Richards is said to be making some progress but isn’t yet able to begin throwing, Guardado tweets. Continued biceps weakness is still the culprit. The Halos are understandably taking care to ensure that Richards is at full health before pushing him forward.
- Rays lefty Xavier Cedeno is experiencing forearm tightness will require at least a brief DL placement, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. It’s not seen as a significant injury, but the loss of Cedeno does leave Tampa Bay without a southpaw in the pen. The 30-year-old has not looked sharp early; as Topkin notes, he has struggled to prevent inherited runners to score. And Cedeno has surrendered four walks without recording a single strikeout in his seven appearances.
- Dodgers lefty Scott Kazmir is still dealing with hip tightness that is preventing him from progressing back to the hill, as Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports on Twitter. The veteran southpaw is not yet nearing a rehab stint, per the report.
- The Brewers will welcome back righty Matt Garza from the DL to make a start on Monday, per a team announcement. Garza was not ready to open the year due to a groin strain. He’ll bump southpaw Tommy Milone to the bullpen.
- The Tigers are planning to be “extra cautious” with right fielder J.D. Martinez as he returns from a foot injury, Heyman writes. However, there’s little chance of the Tigers pursuing him as a free agent this offseason due to the fact that the team still intends to trim down its long-term payroll outlook. Re-signing Martinez, who ranked sixth on MLBTR’s Free Agent Power Rankings earlier today, could require another sizable commitment of five or more years if Martinez has a typical season at the plate.
- Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press writes that the Tigers are expected to place shortstop Jose Iglesias on the 7-day disabled list due to a concussion sustained when he took a knee to the jaw in the final play of Wednesday’s night contest. Detroit is slated to recall prized relief prospect Joe Jimenez from Triple-A Toledo. Jimenez was sent down fewer than 10 days ago, but he can return sooner than the typical 10-day minimum due to the fact that he is replacing an injured player.
- The Tigers announced that, after Friday’s game, they optioned righty William Cuevas to Triple-A Toledo and promoted righty Warwick Saupold to take his place. Cuevas made his 2017 big-league debut Friday and didn’t make a good impression, giving up four runs over just a third of an inning. Saupold was off to a good start for Toledo, allowing just two runs and three walks while striking out nine over 10 2/3 innings.
- Though many Tigers fans were upset with the team’s decision to demote ballyhooed relief prospect Joe Jimenez after one appearance in the Majors, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press argues that the move represented a logical course of action for a club in need of temporarily lengthening its bullpen. Detroit would’ve been without a long reliever in the first game against the division-rival Indians and would have been exposed in the event of a short outing from starter Daniel Norris, Fenech writes. And the risk of further depleting the bullpen by having to turn to the likes of Francisco Rodriguez, Justin Wilson, Alex Wilson and Kyle Ryan in the first game of a series against their top competition in the AL Central wasn’t a scenario with which Detroit wanted to be faced. “If something happens tomorrow with Daniel Norris early in the game, we won’t make it nine innings unless Andrew Romine toes the rubber,” manager Brad Ausmus told reporters after the game. Jimenez figures to be back with the team in short order, according to Fenech, though he’ll need to spend at least 10 days in the minors. Fenech also adds that righty Anibal Sanchez “is not going anywhere” in the near future, as he’s the team’s most experienced piece of rotation depth and the club still believes he can get outs in the Majors, even if he won’t ever return to peak form.
- The Tigers announced following today’s game that they’ve selected the contract of right-hander William Cuevas from Triple-A Toledo. Detroit had an open 40-man spot, but the corresponding 25-man move was somewhat of a surprise, as the team optioned right-hander Joe Jimenez back to Toledo. Jimenez, one of the Tigers’ most touted prospects, tossed a scoreless inning of relief in his MLB debut today against the Twins, but his initial stay in the Majors will ultimately prove to be brief in nature. Cuevas will give the Tigers a long option in the ’pen after the team’s relief corps was depleted in today’s 11-5 loss. The 26-year-old has worked both in the bullpen and rotation in recent years as a minor leaguer but is stretched out as a starter at the moment. He brings a career 3.65 ERA with 6.5 K/9 against 3.0 BB/9 in Triple-A to what will be his second Major League team; Cuevas made his big league debut with the Red Sox last season when he threw five innings of relief across three appearances.
- Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez has begun taking batting practice and could be activated from the disabled list by early May, writes Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. Manager Brad Ausmus tells Fenech that Martinez is “slightly ahead of schedule,” though he declined to get into any specifics about the length or location of a potential rehab assignment for the slugger. Martinez has been on the shelf since Opening Day due to a Lisfranc injusry in his left foot, and in his absence, the Tigers have utilized Tyler Collins and Mikie Mahtook in right field while young JaCoby Jones in center field.
- Former outfielder Anthony Gose, who is converting to the mound, has begun facing hitters in extended Spring Training, tweets Evan Woodbery of MLive.com. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus got positive reports on Gose’s curveball in particular. At the time he was drafted, Gose was considered a two-way prospect, as Baseball America noted in its draft report on him that he featured a “blistering fastball” that peaked at 97 mph. While many liked him better as a pitcher, Gose had some shoulder troubles prior to the draft that prompted the move to the outfield.