Lakeland, Fla. – Victor Martinez’s slow rebound from a hamstring strain is, in the tradition of bad hamstrings, taking more time than he or the Tigers prefer.
But it hasn’t threatened his Opening Day status.
“It’s a possibility,” Ausmus said when asked Tuesday about chances Martinez might need a stint on the disabled list. “I don’t think it’s probable.”
Martinez strained his hamstring last week during a dash to first base. He took batting practice Tuesday but can’t be carried on the 25-man roster until he can run in game situations.
And that’s a stage of recovery the Tigers designated hitter hasn’t yet experienced. The Tigers begin the regular season April 5 against the Marlins at Miami.
Martinez and reliever Alex Wilson (shoulder) have been among the more serious casualties during a spring camp that has been relatively smooth, with outfielder Cameron Maybin’s fractured wrist the most serious matter. He is expected back sometime in April.
Ausmus repeated Tuesday that Wilson’s timeline is “getting a bit tight” as he prepares to pitch in his first Grapefruit League games of the season, probably by this weekend.
Outing to forget
The Tigers had a pitching report Tuesday suitable for the trash can. And not just at Marchant Stadium, where they lost to the Blue Jays, 16-1.
Mike Pelfrey started in a game against a select group of Tigers minor-leaguers and likely will stash the experience in his Most Quickly Forgotten archive.
He was zapped for nine hits and nine runs in five innings, with two walks and three strikeouts. He threw 84 pitches.
“But I guess the ball was kicked around quite a bit,” Ausmus said, suggesting the bush-leaguers weren’t of great help, defensively.
Ausmus could at least smile about one moment from a scrimmage at the Tigertown practice complex.
“Doc made sure to tell me he hit a home run,” Ausmus said referring to catcher Bryan Holaday, who has hit the ball hard in March — continually.
On the hunt
The Tigers will have their annual spring camp off-day Wednesday and won’t play another game until Thursday against the Blue Jays at Dunedin.
Some players will golf. Some will enjoy a day at home with their wife and kids.
Some, like Anthony Gose, will go wild turkey hunting in the Lakeland area’s woodlands.
Gose was seen leaving the Tigers clubhouse Tuesday carrying a large cardboard box. In it one could make out the synthetic body of a turkey decoy, painted and detailed exquisitely, and all as a means to draw a fat gobbler within Gose’s range.
Ausmus was feeling stronger Tuesday following an ugly stint of food poisoning brought on, he believed, by some bad salsa last weekend.
“Got some sleep and something to eat,” said a man whose facial color Monday was more gray than flesh-toned as he fought back from a miserable experience.