The Verlander brothers -- Ben, left, and Justin, pose for photos on Friday in Lakeland, Fla. (Robin Buckson / Detroit News)
Lakeland, Fla. — They called them splints last year.
They’re being described as a stress reaction this time.
But whatever the label, Jose Iglesias’ shins occasionally give him enough problems that he has to sit out.
As he began doing on Friday by being pulled from the starting lineup.
The Tigers will rest their slick-fielding shortstop for “about a week,” manager Brad Ausmus said, because of a stress reaction in both shins.
Iglesias also missed some games last September for a variation of the same problem.
“I’m very disappointed, especially this early,” he said, “but at the same time, it’s a good thing because I have time to recover and be ready for the season.”
Iglesias began to feel discomfort on Wednesday. It got worse on Thursday.
“It’s inflammation for which he’s started treatment,” Ausmus said. “Talking to him after (Thursday’s) game, we decided to try and nip it in the bud.
“So he’ll probably be out the neighborhood of a week. The amount of time is adjustable, but that’s the thought process right now.”
Iglesias underwent a bone scan and MRI, which uncovered no fractures.
Trainer Kevin Rand said he’s hoping to find a treatment program for Iglesias so that the problem doesn’t keep recurring.
“That’s the goal,” Rand said before Friday’s game against the New York Yankees. “So we’re taking this opportunity in spring training to find the program that’s right. We’re looking for the right combination of treatment and exercise to put this behind him.
“We have plenty of time to get him ready. But it’s painful to the point that we have to get this thing quiet. Yesterday, he was in enough discomfort that we needed to back off any activity he feels discomfort in. It’s not something we’re going to ask him to push through.”
About the estimate that Iglesias could miss a week, Ausmus said, “That’s what we are thinking, but it could be shorter.”
“We’re certainly not happy it has recurred. He’s upset about it. I could tell that by his voice. But I think he understands the big picture that you have to clear this up now so that he can play in the long term.”
Would Iglesias still be playing if this were the regular season?
“I think probably not,” Ausmus said.
That’s plural this time because Justin’s brother Ben, an outfielder in the organization, got into the Tigers’ split-squad exhibition game against the Yankees, but went 0-for-2.
The Tigers trailed 7-0 before scoring four runs in the seventh against the Yankees. Their attempt at a comeback in the ninth — two on, none out — proved unproductive, however.
As for older brother Justin, it looks like his first start of the spring could very well be next week.
“He’s getting there,” pitching coach Jeff Jones said. “We just haven’t slotted it yet. We’re working on a couple of things mechanically, nothing major, but I thought he threw the ball a lot better today.”
Said Verlander, the pitcher, “I’m on track, and on track is good. It was less erratic. The next step will be a game, and getting into my game routine.”
When asked if that still includes Taco Bell, Verlander said, “Last year was the year of changing any superstitions I wanted to change. I’ll leave the rest to your interpretation. I don’t want to hurt their feelings.”