Candelario latest to join Tigers' crowded DL list; Lugo gets call
Detroit — What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
The Tigers certainly hope so, because the gut-punches keep coming.
Third baseman Jeimer Candelario is the latest addition to an already crowded disabled list. His ailing left wrist, which kept him out of the lineup Sunday, won’t relent and he was shut down before Monday's game.
“We have to let him give this thing a break here,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “It’s pretty sore. It might not take a full 10-day stint, but he needs to get well. We need to let the docs take care of it and do what they have to do.
“This thing has been bothering him lately and he got it a little worse this time. This is the right thing to do. We’re going to give him a break here and get this thing healed.”
As head athletic trainer Doug Teter said Sunday, Candelario is dealing with ligament damage deep in his wrist— something called Triangle Fibrocartilage Complex. Being in his left wrist, it bothers him when he bats right handed — the pain coming after he rolls his hands on his follow-through, his right hand comes off the bat and the full weight of the bat is borne by the left wrist.
“He was not happy going on the DL and I didn’t think he would be,” Gardenhire said. “But we have to protect him. It’s not fun. We need this kid. But I also know if we continue this and he goes and swings in a couple of days he could do something and we’d be back to square one.
“Let’s try to get him past this. Will it be with him the rest of the summer? I don’t know. But right now, we need to let it calm down.”
Rookie Dawel Lugo, part of the package the Tigers got from Arizona for J.D. Martinez last season, will be called up from Triple-A Toledo to replace Candelario on the 25-man roster.
“He can play second and third base,” Gardenhire said. “We are going to have to mix and match for a few days, just for protection.”
Lugo, 23, has played mostly second base this season. He has played two games at third base for the Mud Hens. He was hitting .284 in 141 plate appearances, with low .287 on-base and .369 slugging percentages.
Veteran Pete Kozma will likely get most of the starts at third base in Candelario’s absence.
The Tigers have six players on the disabled list and another, Nick Castellanos, who missed his second straight game with a contusion on his left pinky finger.
“Nicky is OK, he’s just not ready to go yet,” Gardenhire said. “We hope he will be by tomorrow and will return to the lineup. We will see later tonight how he feels, maybe he can pinch-hit.”
Here’s the rest of the injury rundown:
■ Center fielder Leonys Martin (hamstring strain). He returned to the team on Monday after spending the weekend in Miami tending to his ailing father. He also worked with a physical therapist there and took batting practice on the field Monday. He is expected to return off the DL Friday.
■ First baseman Miguel Cabrera (hamstring strain). He was eligible to come off the DL Monday, but he doesn’t appear close to being ready. He hasn’t done any running on the field and if he’s taking any swings at all, they’ve been in the batting cage.
“We’re still going day to day,” Gardenhire said. “He came in today and said he was way better today than he was yesterday, so that’s where we are.”
■ Starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (shoulder impingement). He threw off flat ground for the second time in four days Monday and told Gardenhire the shoulder felt much better than it did on Friday. The plan is for him to throw a bullpen session as early as Wednesday.
“We have slotted him back into the rotation,” Gardenhire said. “We will see how things come out after he throws here in a couple of days, but this was a step in the right direction.”
If it continues to progress, he could return to the rotation sometime in the series in Minnesota, which starts May 21.
■ Relief pitcher Alex Wilson (plantar fasciitis strain). He is eligible to come off the DL Friday. He is still wearing the protective boot on his left foot and hasn’t tried to throw, except for playing catch while seated on a stool.
■ Starting pitcher Daniel Norris (left groin strain). He was moved to the 60-day DL on April 30.
“This is a group that’s pretty locked in right now,” Gardenhire said. “They’re fighting. Guys are getting their opportunity with some of the big boys hurt and they’re grinding it out pretty good. We aren’t feeling sorry for ourselves at all.
“Everybody has these things. You still have to go play and these guys have been doing a great job of it.”