Jupiter, Fla. — The results of a second X-ray on center fielder Cameron Maybin’s fractured left wrist came back yesterday — and they were not what the Tigers were hoping for.
“The X-rays showed signs of healing, but he’s still not ready to do baseball activity,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “Medically it wasn't surprising, but I guess I was being optimistic.”
Ausmus said he doesn’t think Maybin will be ready to start the season.
“It would be really tough for him to be ready,” he said. “It's going to be a least another week before they look at him again. Once he gets the all-clear to start doing baseball work, he's got to build up. He's got to start swinging and build up to playing in games.
“I don't see how he's going to be ready at this point.”
Most likely, Maybin will start the season on the disabled list and will require a minor league rehab stint.
“We’ll probably leave him in the warm weather,” Ausmus said.
Maybin suffered the non-displaced fracture in his first spring at-bat. He was drilled by a 95 mph fastball from Yankees Luis Severino.
Anthony Gose will start the season as the everyday centerfielder. Among the options to play a back-up role are Tyler Collins, Wynton Bernard and Andrew Romine.
“We're not locked into anything,” Ausmus said. “We've got options that we will continue to look at. We're going to play Romine in centerfield to see how he is out there. We only have to cover a little bit of time at the beginning of the season, so I don't think we need to do anything too drastic.”
Romine, a super utility player who has played left and right field with the Tigers, finished the game Friday in centerfield and was expected to play there again Saturday.
“It’s just mostly a matter of seeing reps off the bat, that’s going to be important,” Romine said. “I’m out there shagging fly balls every day, doing outfield work with Clarky (outfield coach Dave Clark). I don’t think it should be a huge change from left or right field. I am going to talk to Gose as much as I can and get as much information as I can.”
Ausmus is hoping Romine will prove to be more than just an emergency option in center.
“That's what we want to find out,” he said. “He's got the speed to cover centerfield. Actually, he said he played outfield when he first started playing baseball because his dad (former big leaguer Kevin Romine) was an outfielder."
To get more reps, Ausmus said he will have Romine play centerfield in a few minor league games starting next week.
“I’m not going to cover ground like Gose does, but I will run down what I can,” Romine said. “It’s not that much different than left or right, but there are little intricacies about it that will be the obstacle.”
Collins, a corner outfielder by trade, has gotten a lot of work in centerfield the past week and looked comfortable. Bernard is a true centerfielder, but he’s not played about the Double-A level.
There is an open spot on the Tigers 40-man roster, but to this point, with Maybin expected back by mid-April, there hasn’t been any urgency to add a veteran center fielder from outside the organization.