Detroit — Cameron Maybin is tuning up at Triple A Toledo for a return to the Tigers that should come sometime next week.
It will mean, almost certainly, that Tyler Collins will swap places with him on the Mud Hens roster once Maybin wraps up his rehab stint necessitated by a March wrist fracture.
Collins is caught. And so, to an extent, are the Tigers. Collins needs at-bats. The Tigers need Collins to get at-bats.
But the only way for a 25-year-old outfielder to get his swings is to play regularly, which isn’t going to happen soon in Detroit.
“Whatever they decide is their decision,” Collins said Saturday as the Tigers tuned up for a 1:10 p.m. game against the Indians at Comerica Park.
“As long as you’ve got the right mentality and your mind’s in check, you can control any situation.”
Collins started the past two games as Tigers manager Brad Ausmus gave regular center-fielder Anthony Gose a break from what had been a rough eight-game road trip (.182).
Collins, though, is batting only .133 after seven games and a mere 15 at-bats, which is why he is all but mandated to rejoin the Mud Hens when Maybin rejoins the Tigers.
Getting reserve players even minimal playing time has been a challenge Ausmus can happily accept, but not comfortably absorb.
“As long as people are healthy, we’re going to have trouble getting (bench players) playing time,” Ausmus acknowledged. “I guess it’s a good problem to have. If we’re 100 percent healthy, playing time is going to be an issue.”
Ausmus made one alteration Saturday as the Tigers got ready to duel with Indians right-hander Corey Kluber. He started Austin Romine, a switch-hitter, at shortstop. Jose Iglesias got an apparent day off.
The Tigers have scored a lone run in back-to-back losses to the Royals and Indians. They needed a victory Saturday to remain above .500 through their first 16 games.