Tigers' Avila set to resume 'baseball activities'

Lynn Henning
The Detroit News

Anaheim, Calif. — As they deal with cold bats and fans' hot tempers the Tigers at least got some upbeat news Saturday as they got ready for a game against the Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Alex Avila, who has been on the disabled list since May 8, could begin "baseball activities" when the team returns from the West Coast and begins a home series Tuesday against the A's.

"Alex texted that he feels great," said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, whose team is on a two-game losing streak and whose offense has been stumbling for much of the past month.

Ausmus also said Victor Martinez, who, like Avila, has been on the disabled list due to knee problems, texted that he had "three good days!" as he battles weakness in his left knee stemming from February surgery.

The medical updates were a sign of hope for a team that has lost an excess of games and players to injury during a tough spring and first 50 games of the regular season.

The Tigers could be gaining as early as next week another player they have been without: Justin Verlander, who is set to make a rehab start Sunday at Indianapolis in a Triple A game in which he'll pitch for Tigers affiliate Toledo.

If all goes well, Verlander could rejoin the Tigers in time for a start as early as next weekend.

The Tigers also expect to reunite Tuesday with starter Alfredo Simon, who has been in the Dominican Republic since Wednesday with his family as they dealt with the death of Simon's father.

The Tigers were shut out Friday night and have been stuck in a dreadful offensive swoon that has seen them score three or fewer runs in six of their last seven games.

They were to face Angels starter Jered Weaver in Saturday's game (10:05 p.m.), while Shane Greene was to start for the Tigers.