Hamstring injury lands Iglesias on DL; Machado promoted
Arlington, Texas — As if they hadn’t maxed-out on hobbled players during a rough August stretch, the Tigers added another Friday when shortstop Jose Iglesias was moved to the 15-day disabled list with a bad hamstring.
Iglesias was replaced on the Tigers’ 25-man active roster by right-handed pitcher Warwick Saupold, who was sent to Triple A Toledo following Friday's 8-5 loss to the Rangers as shortstop Dixon Machado was called up.
The move to put Iglesias on the DL was announced two hours before the Tigers and Rangers were to meet in an evening series opener at Globe Life Park. It was a sudden shift, given that Iglesias initially was written into manager Brad Ausmus’ Friday lineup.
But Iglesias, who hurt the hamstring on a sprint to first base in Wednesday’s game against Seattle, was viewed later afternoon as too fragile to play in the weekend opener. A half-hour after he was pulled from the pre-game batting order and replaced by Andrew Romine, the Tigers announced Iglesias would be shelved for at least two weeks-plus.
The Tigers already are stretched thin after Cameron Maybin and Nick Castellanos were dispatched to the DL during the past week.
The Tigers also have shelved two starting pitchers in Jordan Zimmermann and Mike Pelfrey as they deal with assorted ills.
Saupold joined the Tigers earlier this week as a brief fill-in and has remained with the team. He gave up four hits while striking out two in three innings of relief Friday.
Of course, Saupold returns to Toledo today. And he understands why as the Tigers import Machado from the Mud Hens to help bail out their sudden hole at shortstop.
“It is what it is,” said Saupold, a native Australian who has pleased Ausmus not only with his pitches — headed by a fastball that hit 94 Friday — but with the serenity he has shown when roster numbers don’t work in his favor. “They need a position player.”
Machado, 24, has worked past stints with the Tigers and will alternate primarily with Andrew Romine.
“He’s solid, very solid, defensively,” Ausmus said of Machado, who was batting .266 at Toledo, and .353 in his last 10 games. “And he’ll get his hits here and there.”
The Tigers are scrapping not only to keep a 25-man roster afloat as the disabled list becomes more and more bloated with regulars, but also to keep a relief corps from melting down.
Castellanos is on the mend. But he’s bored.
And the tedium can be heard in some of his trademark dust-dry quips, the kind a man tends to fire when he’s got nothing to do but treat his plight playfully.
Castellanos, who is on the disabled list after his hand was fractured by a pitch last weekend, said Friday he had begun “physical activity.”
And what might that entail, he was asked?
“Mountain-climbing, bungee-jumping and skydiving,” he said, in a flash, and with a face so straight anyone might for a moment have missed the quip.
Castellanos in fact began working on an exercise bike Friday. He is still perhaps a month from rejoining the team. And that’s no fun when you’re brand new to that hiatus known as the disabled list.
“It’s the first time in my life I’ve been told I couldn’t play baseball,” said Castellanos, who was showing off the splint that’s been placed on his right hand “except when I shower” or when he’s getting treatment.
The Tigers third baseman has been missed. He was hitting .286 with an .831 OPS when he was moved to the DL, a period of exile the Tigers felt acutely during three low-run losses to the Mariners earlier this week.
Zimmermann and Pelfrey remain in rehab as they deal with their own aches and ailments.
Zimmermann threw off a mound Friday and Ausmus was awaiting a report on his recovery from his lingering neck injury. Pelfrey was situated in Detroit getting treatment for a lower back strain.
Sleepless from Seattle
The Tigers got into their team hotel in Dallas about 7 a.m. Thursday following an overnight flight from Seattle after being swept by the Mariners.
Ausmus was typical of most whose schedules, for the day, were shot.
He got up about noon, “and felt pretty good until after dinner.”
Fortunately, Thursday was an off-day and the Tigers had gotten a chance to refresh themselves ahead of Friday’s series opener.
Of course, the heat index in Dallas was 110. Sometimes, sleep can’t gird you for all a big league team must endure.
Tigers at Rangers
First pitch: 8:05 p.m. Saturday, Globe Life Park, Arlington, Texas
LHP Matt Boyd (3-2, 4.69), Tigers: Has done a nice job for the Tigers. Seems always to stitch together a string of serviceable-to-strong innings thanks to four pitches he throws with reasonable command. Tough lineup facing him tonight.
LHP Cole Hamels (12-3, 2.89), Rangers: One of the league’s true thoroughbreds, a tough pitcher who migrated from the National League (Phillies) to Texas by way of a box-office trade that the Rangers haven’t regretted. Hamels has ace-grade stuff.