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Cameron Maybin returns to Tigers linup

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Tigers center fielder Cameron Maybin, who hasn't played since August 4, was back in the lineup Sunday against the Red Sox.

Detroit  – They’re getting healthier.

A battered and bruised Tigers roster is getting some reinforcements Sunday with the return of outfielder Cameron Maybin.

Out with a grade two left thumb strain since August 4, Maybin started in center field Sunday and batted second against Boston.

Maybin felt ready to go after taking some swings Sunday morning in a simulated game designed for pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (neck).

Manager Brad Ausmus was anxious to get Maybin’s spark back in the lineup.

“He’s been a tremendous catalyst when he’s been in the lineup hitting in the 2-hole,” Ausmus said. “He’s been for the lineup and we feel we’re a better lineup and better offensive club when he gets on base.”

The Tigers optioned infielder Dixon Machado to Triple A Toledo.

As for Zimmermann, the right-hander threw approximately 35 pitches and looked good.

“The ball was coming out good, he had good finish on his fastball, especially early, he said he felt good,” Ausmus said.

If Zimmermann feels good Monday, the plan is for him to throw a bullpen session Wednesday and be sent to the minors Friday for a rehab start.

Ausmus said it’s likely Zimmermann will make about three rehab starts.

Around the horn

Shortstop Jose Iglesias (left hamstring strain) participated in the simulated game and will be sent to Toledo on Monday to begin rehabilitation.

Ausmus said Iglesias will play approximately four games, a combination of playing shortstop and designated hitting, before returning to the Tigers.

... Mike Pelfrey (lower back strain) was scheduled to throw Sunday, and if he felt fine could throw a simulated game Wednesday in Minnesota.

... Victor Martinez was given the day off Sunday after Saturday's late game. Miguel Cabrera was the designated hitter Sunday, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia playing first base.