Greene set to return after successful bullpen session

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Tigers pitcher Shane Greene

Detroit — Cameron Maybin returned Monday. Shane Greene could be next, as the Tigers continue to get healthy.

Greene threw another bullpen session Tuesday afternoon, before the game against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park, and reported no re-opening of the blister on his right middle finger.

Greene said he threw approximately 50 pitches, threw all of his pitches, and felt good.

"I'm ready to go," Greene said. "Whenever they think I'm ready, I'll be out there."

Greene, a right-hander, fought his way into the Tigers' rotation with a good spring, combined with an injury to Daniel Norris.

After getting a save on Opening Day, he made three starts, his last April 24, when he left after three innings because of the blister.

During a follow-up bullpen session, the blister popped back open, delaying his return and keeping Michael Fulmer among the starting five for now.

Blisters can be tricky things for pitchers, especially after there's a setback. But Greene said you can't workout hoping just not to bust it open again.

MLB reviewing possible punishment for Ausmus

"If you're hoping, you're doubting," Greene said. "So, you've gotta go out there and believe everything's gonna be all right."

Given it's been nearly a month since he last pitched in the majors, Greene likely will need a rehab start or two in the minor leagues before rejoining Detroit.

Manager Brad Ausmus seemed to suggest as much during a media session this week.

Asked about that, Greene said it's not up to him.

"If it was up to me," said Greene, "I'd be pitching today."

In three starts, Greene is 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA, though only one start was bad. One was really good, and the other was cut short by the blister.

Around the horn

Finally, some good news for Norris, who on Monday night had his first good start in some time for Triple-A Toledo.

The lefty went seven innings, allowing three runs on eight hits. He walked one while striking out four. Command has been a big issue, with 10 walks over his previous four starts.

This start comes after he made his season debut for the Tigers with one inning of relief in Baltimore.

“The velocity is back up from the one inning he pitched in Baltimore,” Ausmus said.

... Struggling Justin Upton was back in the lineup Tuesday, and scorching Steven Moya was back on the bench.

Ausmus said the decision was based on Twins starter Phil Hughes, who has reverse splits. He’s been tougher on lefties than righties.

That said, “I do feel like we need to find Moya ways to get at-bats here and there,” Ausmus said.

... When 97.1 The Ticket reporter Jeff Riger started a question to Ausmus explaining a topic he was about to ask about was a hit on the airwaves Tuesday, Ausmus quipped, “If I wanted to hear what’s on your airwaves, I’d listen.”

... Francisco Rodriguez’s last 14 outings: 2.13 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 10 saves in 10 chances. All since he blew a save on Opening Day.

Twitter: @tonypaul1984