Detroit — David Meter, the agent for Tigers’ injured third baseman Nick Castellanos, had a busy Saturday afternoon. He was calling reporters, local and national, to give them an update on his client’s health.
“He’s ready right now,” was the message.
Castellanos, out since Aug. 6 with a broken left hand, has been taking live batting practice from Instructional League pitchers in Lakeland, Fla. Meter said Castellanos hit a 400-foot home run in one session and is reporting no pain in the hand.
But the Tigers pumped the brakes on Meter’s timeline.
“It’s nice to know his agent’s doing his work,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “Put that in sarcasm font. I talked to Nick today. He felt like he had a really good day and he wanted to fly back tomorrow.
“And what I told him is, ‘Nick, I can’t put you in a game if you haven’t played a game.’ He had one good day. We have to make sure he feels good tomorrow.”
Ausmus convinced Castellanos to play in two Instructional League games, Monday and Wednesday (there are no games scheduled Tuesday) and then a decision will be made.
“If everything goes well, then we’ll bring him back,” Ausmus said. “But he’s been out for six weeks. It would essentially be like taking a guy that didn’t play a single spring training game, and sticking him in the opening day lineup.
“I mean, we’re just not going to do that. It’s unfair to the player, and it’s unfair to the other players on the team.”
Still, given where Castellanos was just 10 days ago, unable to swing at live pitching, he’s made a rapid improvement. If all goes well, he could be available, conceivably, to play in the final regular-season series in Atlanta.