Tigers' Alex Wilson gets emergency start

Lynn Henning
The Detroit News
Alex Wilson fires in the first inning Wednesday.

Oakland, Calif. — The Tigers were obliged to start a relief pitcher, Alex Wilson, in Wednesday's game (3:37 p.m.) against the A's at O.co Coliseum after Tuesday night events threw manager Brad Ausmus' rotation into flux.

Kyle Ryan, a left-hander at Triple A Toledo, was originally scheduled to replace Alfredo Simon, who departed the team late Tuesday to be with his gravely ill father in the Dominican Republic.

Ryan, however, was with the Mud Hens for a game in Louisville, Kentucky, and his flight was not due at Oakland until about an hour before Wednesday's game. That forced Ausmus to turn to his bullpen, and to Wilson, one of the Tigers relievers who has had past starting experience and who has worked multiple innings as a reliever.

Ausmus also said Justin Verlander would be making a rehab start Sunday at Indianapolis, where Toledo will play. Ausmus did not rule out possibilities that Verlander, should he pitch effectively and feel strong afterward, would require only one rehab start before returning to the Tigers rotation.

The Tigers were still without another regular Wednesday, Jose Iglesias, whose bruised knee was still swollen Tuesday. Ausmus said Iglesias would be available to pinch-hit and that his infield practice had progressed to a point Iglesias should return to the lineup soon, with expectations that could be against the Angels during a four-game series that begins Thursday at Anaheim, Calif.

Dixon Machado was to start at shortstop in Wednesday's game against the A's.

In another health-related matter, Ausmus said catcher Alex Avila was scheduled for a doctor's appointment Wednesday and could be cleared for "baseball activities" in a few days.

Avila has been on the disabled list with an injured knee.