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Tigers' Castellanos out 4-7 weeks with broken hand

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — The Tigers just can't seem to shake the injuries, both big and nagging.

J.D. Martinez returned in a big way this week, but Cameron Maybin missed a third straight game Saturday with his jammed thumb.

Then, in the fourth inning of the game against the New York Mets, third baseman Nick Castellanos was hit on the left hand by a fastball from Logan Verrett. He was diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture in the left hand and is expected to miss four to seven weeks.

Castellanos was in obvious pain on the pitch, jumping out of the box and circling behind home plate before jogging to first base. He stayed in the game for the rest of that inning and eventually scored on a two-run single by Miguel Cabrera six batters later.

But by the time he got back to the dugout, there already was bruising and swelling.

"Certainly not good news for us," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said, in tones typically too hushed following a thrilling win like the 6-5 victory over the New York Mets at Comerica Park.

In the top of the fifth inning, Castellanos was replaced at third by Mike Aviles.

Report: Tigers placing Zimmermann back on DL

Aviles, Andrew Romine and Triple A Toledo call-up Casey McGehee will fill the void in Castellanos' absence. Ausmus said it's too early to tell how the playing time will shake out, though he indicated it'll be based mostly on pitching matchups and performance.

At Toledo, veteran Casey McGehee is hitting .325/.380/.453 with five homers and 49 RBIs in 108 games.

He was DFA'd by the Tigers earlier this year, but wound up back on the 40-man roster, so no corresponding move is necessary.

"It's tough to lose a guy like Nick," Matt Boyd said. "Next man up. No looking back.

"We trust everyone."

For the wild thinkers out there, no, don't expect the Tigers to sign Alex Rodriguez for the major-league minimum should he be released — four homers shy of 700 — by the New York Yankees on Sunday, as some expect. Rodriguez has a lower OPS than Romine.

Castellanos quickly received an X-ray after coming out of the game, and it reported a break of the fifth metacarpal bone.

The Tigers also placed Jordan Zimmermann back on the disabled list after Saturday's game, but avoided a similar fate with reliever Alex Wilson, who took a shot off his right kneecap and tumbled to the ground, but stayed in the game.

Castellanos played like an All-Star the first half of the season, and while he's slowed a bit lately — his season slash line is .286/.328/.500 with 18 homers and 58 RBIs -- he's still an impact bat in that lineup, and his defense at third base has seen great strides this season, too.

"At some point in early September, we hope to get him back," Ausmus said. "You keep moving forward.
"You keep looking through the windshield, and not in the rearview mirror."

tpaul@detroitnews.com

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