Lakeland, Fla. — Blaine Hardy is back in the scrum for a Tigers bullpen job.
He was wrapped last week in ice bags and electronic stimulators in a bid to quell some sudden soreness in his left (throwing) shoulder.
There was no firm timetable on when a pitcher who has yet to throw in a Grapefruit League game might join a crowd hoping to win one of those relievers’ jobs.
But it was announced by Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire after Tuesday’s game, which saw the Yankees thump the Tigers, 7-2, at Publix Field, that Hardy will shed his ice bags and throw a bullpen session next Tuesday at TigerTown.
Hardy, who next week turns 31, has pitched for the Tigers in 164 games spanning the past four seasons.
Another pitcher shelved for a few days, Michael Fulmer, will start Friday’s game against the Mets at Lakeland. Fulmer was given extra days to rest his tender right elbow.
There was little additional drama to the Tigers’ medical report Tuesday.
But it’s understood if Travis Wood has a different view.
It was announced that he will have surgery Wednesday in Dallas to repair a torn ACL and meniscus in his left knee, which happened during a game last Thursday at Lakeland.
Wood, a left-hander, figured to give the Tigers some rotation depth in 2018 after he was signed as a minor-league free agent. But his season is finished and so, apparently, is his time in Detroit after it was reported Tuesday evening that the Tigers have released him.
Nick Castellanos had another hit Tuesday, a single, and is batting .389 on the Grapefruit League season. JaCoby Jones had a single and, perhaps tellingly, two walks Tuesday as an outfielder attempting to chop down on his strikeouts and raise his on-base fortunes enjoyed three good at-bats. Jones is batting .429.
Niko Goodrum, who has a grand chance to be Andrew Romine’s replacement as the Tigers’ one-man band fill-in, had a single and is batting .400. Goodrum is a former second-round draft pick by the Twins.
Grayson Greiner got a hard lesson Tuesday in big-league baserunners’ wily ways.
Greiner, expected to be the starting catcher at Triple A Toledo in 2018, was behind the plate in the Yankees’ eighth when Shane Robinson was parked at third and Estevan Florial stood at first.
But neither stayed for long. Tigers pitcher Mark Montgomery delivered a pitch as Florial broke for second. Greiner was so engrossed with Florial he failed to focus on Robinson, who as Greiner cranked up, broke for home, scoring easily as Florial slid into second.
Double steal. And a big lesson for Greiner.
“The catcher’s got to check the runner at third,” Gardenhire said. “He (Robinson) was running before he even threw to second.
“I talked with him (Greiner). It’s just an experience.”