Bad news follows Tiger win: Maybin out 4-6 weeks
Kissimmee, Fla. – And it seemed like such a sun-kissed, no-stress day for the Tigers.
Nothing went wrong during their 8-2 spring romp over the Braves at Disney World, but the results on center fielder Cameron Maybin’s left wrist cast a pall on things – non-displaced hairline fracture.
“He’s out four to six weeks,” manager Brad Ausmus said after the game. “Generally that means four to six weeks to heal before you start taking part in baseball activities.”
Maybin was hit on the wrist by a 95-mph fastball from the Yankees’ Luis Severino in his first at-bat Wednesday and underwent a CT scan Thursday morning. The wrist will be immobilized for two weeks and then another X-ray will be taken to evaluate the healing.
“Every team deals with it,” Ausmus said of injuries. “As a player you learn to deal with it. You realize it’s part of the game. You move forward and you hope the player gets back on the allotted time schedule and you are ready to go.”
Anthony Gose is the only experienced, Major League-caliber center fielder on the roster. Wynton Bernard is expected to start in Triple-A this season and Ausmus has said his game still needs refinement.
Utility players Mike Aviles and Andrew Romine, Ausmus said, could play center field in an emergency but not for any length of time.
“We don’t have a ton of center fielders that you would consider Major League-ready,” Ausmus said. “Tyler Collins could spell somebody in center, but that’s about it.”
Ausmus said the Tigers could look outside the organization, depending on how quickly Maybin heals.
“If there is an injury issue, you always look elsewhere,” he said.
The game itself was a comparative walk in the park.
After putting up 19 runs in a pair of split-squad games Wednesday, the bats stayed hot, scoring eight runs in the first four innings.
Ian Kinsler had a three-run double. Victor Martinez knocked in a pair with single and his second home run in three days. Both homers came when he was hitting left handed, further evidence that the left knee that ruined his season last year is strong and stable.
Gose had a pair of hits and a walk and Jarrod Saltalamacchia also hit the ball hard twice – a long fly out to center batting right handed and a ringing double into the corner in right batting left handed.
Daniel Norris, perhaps the leading candidate for the final rotation spot, got the start and gave up a home run to Freddy Freeman and a two-out walk to Reid Brignac in two innings.
“I was trying to do too much,” said Norris, who was less than thrilled with his first start. “Thinking back on it, I just need to slow down a little bit and breathe a little better. It was my first outing and I was kind of anxious. I need to calm down and make more competitive pitches.”
Saltalamacchia praised Norris for his poise.
“He was a little amped,” he said. “He wasn’t himself, for sure. But that being said, he did a darn good job getting through those innings. It may not have been the outcome he was expecting, but he was able to keep his team in the game and that’s what good pitchers do.”
Shane Greene, also in the hunt for the final rotation spot, gave up a walk and a single in his two innings. He struck out the final two batters he faced in the fourth, getting Brignac looking at his cutter and Chase d’Arnaud flailing at it.
“I definitely think he’s got a lot better stuff than he showed, which is kind of scary because he was still able to go out there and pitch pretty darn well,” Saltalamacchia said.
“He’s got four plus pitches and nothing stayed straight in the zone. He’s fun to catch.”
Greene, like Norris, battled his anxiety a bit. He was overthrowing his fastball a bit and leaving it high in the strike zone.
“I just wanted to compete,” he said. “I hadn’t been able to do that in a while and it felt good to get back out there.”
Two of the Tigers new bullpen arms – set-up men Justin Wilson and Mark Lowe – each pitched a scoreless inning in their spring debuts.
Former Tigers left-hander Ian Krol pitched a scoreless ninth for the Braves, despite two misplays by his fielders.