Grade 2 thumb sprain puts Maybin back on DL

Chris McCosky, The Detroit News

Seattle – If the statistic stunned him at all, he didn’t show it.

The Tigers played Game No. 112 Tuesday night. Manager Brad Ausmus has been able to put his regular starting lineup on the field for just 25 of them. 

“It's going to be a few more games now,” Ausmus said. 

Results from the CT Scan on center fielder Cameron Maybin’s injured left thumb revealed a Grade Two sprain. He will be placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday.

“We just got to find a way to win,” Ausmus said. “No excuses. You've got to find a way.”

The Tigers have done that to this point. They were 15-10 in the 25 games with their regular lineup and have managed to remain in playoff contention despite having key players like Maybin and J.D. Martinez gone for long stretches – not to mention missing starting pitchers Jordan Zimmermann, Daniel Norris and Mike Pelfrey.

“I don't know how that compares to other teams, how often they've had their regular lineups,” Ausmus said. “But we're in a spot to be competing for both the wild card and the division and we're going to keep doing everything we can to try to win one or the other.”

Ausmus said Maybin would be available to pinch run Tuesday, but would prefer not to play him. That way the DL stint could be retroactive to Aug. 3, when he injured the thumb diving for a ball. If that’s how it happens, Maybin would be eligible to return next Friday. 

That’s if the thumb heals in that span of time, which, Maybin said, isn’t a sure bet. He said the swelling hasn’t gone down in five days. 

“I don't know, man,” he said. “I kind of expected it. It's been pretty painful. Maybe it's a slight tear or something. I'm going to get a second opinion just to be sure. I want to be positive it is what they say it is and take it from there.”

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Maybin said he wasn’t sure where that second opinion would come from — a team referral or an independent diagnosis.

“I've been in a lot of pain with it,” Maybin said. “I just wanted to see if I could go. But I was in this much pain for a reason. We got a lot of good guys in here who will step in and continue to fill the void. I think we should be OK. 

“I've just got to stay ready. We've got some important games coming down the stretch when I do get back.”

Ausmus said a corresponding move would be made before the game Wednesday. He said most likely Tyler Collins and Andrew Romine would continue to get the bulk of the playing time in center field. 

The Tigers Triple-A affiliate in Toledo recently promoted an extra outfielder from Double A Erie (Jason Krizan), so Steven Moya or veteran Alex Presley would be possibilities to be called up.

Also Anthony Gose, who is playing and starting to hit the ball well at Erie, could also an option. 

“We have two guys that can play center right now,” Ausmus said of Romine and Collins. “We're going to need another body for sure. We just don't know who that's going to be right now.”

When asked if it was likely to be a position player, Ausmus said, “Yeah, most likely. But I don't know for sure. I haven't confirmed anything with Al (Avila, general manager) yet.”

Maybin has missed 49 games and J.D. Martinez 41 this season.

 “There’s no reason to dwell on injuries,” Ian Kinsler said. “There’s no reason to dwell on what-ifs. We have who we have to play and we’re going to win the games we have to win with the players we have to put on the field.”

Twitter @cmccosky

Tigers' Cameron Maybin