Zimmermann's rehab ahead of schedule

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Jordan Zimmermann

The news was encouraging on the Jordan Zimmermann front.

The Tigers’ No. 2 starter, on the DL with a neck strain, was examined by a specialist to determine the cause of the lingering soreness.

Turns out, it wasn’t anything vascular or nerve related.

“It’s good news, really,” Ausmus said. “It’s basically what they thought it was – just something strained on the right side of his neck. He will have a couple of treatments over the next day or two.”

Ausmus said Zimmermann wouldn’t pick up a ball for five days, but the club is optimistic he can be ready to rejoin the rotation after the All-Star break.

“He could be the fifth-day starter after the break,” Ausmus said. “He still has to feel well, but at least we don’t think it’s a long-term problem.”

Before Zimmermann and Daniel Norris (oblique strain) went on the DL, the plan was for Fulmer to start on the fifth day after the break. He will now start on the third day after the break – presumably after Justin Verlander and Mike Pelfrey.

Ausmus said he expects Norris to be ready after the break, so he could get the ball on the fourth day back.

Greene staying put

In the meantime, Ausmus hasn’t decided on the starting pitchers for the last two games before the break – Saturday and Sunday in Toronto. There is a good chance Matt Boyd will be recalled for one of them.

The other will not be Shane Greene, though.

“We did talk about it (moving Greene into the rotation),” Ausmus said. “But we didn’t know how long Zimmermann was going to be out. It would take time to get Greene stretched out, innings-wise and by the time you did it, you might have your pitchers back.

“Plus, I feel like Greene is pretty comfortable in the role he’s in now and been pretty successful. I don’t know if I’d want to mess with that.”

Greene pitched another scoreless inning Wednesday.

Around the horn

…The Tigers recalled right-hander Bobby Parnell from Toledo Wednesday. They had sent Buck Farmer back to Toledo Tuesday night after he threw 2.2 innings in the 12-1 loss to the Indians. Parnell worked the ninth inning Wednesday, getting a 1-4-3 double play to end the game.

…Tigers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was limping and in obvious discomfort after the game. He fouled a ball hard off his right knee in fifth inning. He collapsed in pain, but was able to stay in the game. “He’s going to be sore tomorrow,” Ausmus said.

…Ausmus had a talk with Steven Moya in the dugout after his throwing error in the second inning lead to the Indians’ first run. “He’s a little bit worried about making mistakes, so he’s being a little cautious,” Ausmus said. “I talked to him. He’s a young player and it’s still a learning process. He is still developing offensively and defensively and he has to learn at the big-league level.”

…The Tigers 12-2 win Wednesday not only snapped their 11-game losing streak to the Indians, it stopped the Indians’ 13-game home winning streak.

Twitter @cmccosky