Detroit — Shane Greene was fearing the worst, he really was.
When his shoulder flared up last week, he immediately flashed back to 2015 when his season was short-circuited by an aneurysm in the same shoulder.
“I was pretty convinced I had an aneurysm again,” Greene said.
Deep sigh of relief. Greene had more tests done on Thursday and everything came back clean.
“I will be good to go in 10 days,” he said before Friday's game against the Rangers at Comerica Park. “Now that I know there’s nothing wrong, looking back at it, I was so worried that I was trying to feel stuff — because of my past. Luckily I was wrong.”
Greene’s shoulder discomfort stems from bursitis — inflammation common to a pitcher who throws as much as Greene has and does.
“Everything came back about as good as you can expect,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “No structural damage. Bursitis — a little dead-arm syndrome. We got the best news you can possibly get. He’ll come right off the DL, probably in Houston.”
The Tigers start a three-game series in Houston on July 13, right before the All-Star break. Greene should be back in his closer’s role for that series. But he may have to alter his preparation regimen.
“One thing (pitching coach Rick Anderson) is talking about, Greeney is one of those guys who likes to play catch and throw a lot before the game and stuff like that," Gardenhire said. "We’re going to maybe talk to him about changing his routine to take a little pressure off the arm so it’ll be ready for all those situations.”
Greene has done long toss every day, even on days where he’s been used in consecutive days. He prides himself on being able to pitch every day, and it was his belief that his daily throwing routine prepared him to do that.
“Let’s see if he still says that after he’s been to see the doctors,” Gardenhire said. “We have to see if he still says that — we have a little ammunition here now to maybe get him to go the other way.”
Greene won’t fight it.
“This game is literally a game of adjustments,” he said. “So I will make adjustments along the way when I need to. But I will be ready to pitch on a daily basis.”
Gardenhire back teaching
“I feel a lot better today,” he said. “I haven’t eaten a lot, but all the other stuff is good. I yelled at a few people, so I feel good.”
Gardenhire found more than a few coaching points in Thursday's defeat. Most notably, he had a long conversation with hitting coach Lloyd McClendon relative to some of the at-bats he witnessed.
“Lloyd thinks he doesn’t have a butt anymore,” Gardenhire joked. “He says I chewed it off. But we’re all good.”
Gardenhire was miffed at Mikie Mahtook’s at-bat to start the game. He was ahead in the count 2-0 and then chased a 2-0 pitch well off the plate.
“It’s just really important to make sure a guy is throwing the ball over the plate,” Gardenhire said. “It starts with the first hitter. You can set a tone there. If he’s misfiring, let him misfire.”
Gardenhire acknowledged that Mahtook is not a prototypical leadoff hitter. He also said the at-bats got better as the game went along and he praised his club for rallying back from a 7-0 hole.
“But you want them to understand the game,” he said. “That first batter starts it all. It’s just teaching. It’s a learning situation. If you have the opportunity to teach, let’s talk about it. It’s not getting on them. There is a fine line between busting their chops and making them feel uncomfortable and just talking about situations.
“We’re talking about situational baseball.”
Mental health day
Third baseman Jeimer Candelario was kept out of the lineup for a second straight game.
Candelario is hitting .171 since June 1 with 37 strikeouts and Gardenhire is trying to give him a break, mentally and physically.
“Today he’s on a no-swing order from me,” Gardenhire said. “I don’t want him taking batting practice. I want him to leave the bat alone. He hit forever yesterday (in batting practice). This is a day off. Sometimes for these young kids they need to stop swinging.”
Gardenhire said Candelario was reluctant to put his bat down. Even for one day.
“It doesn’t matter,” Gardenhire said. “I just don’t want him to pick up a bat today. I think he’s got tired hands and tired arms. Sometimes you just need to forget the bat and relax a little.”
Around the horn
Right-hand pitcher Drew VerHagen, on the disabled list with a broken nose, made his third rehab appearance for Toledo Thursday.
He gave up two runs and three hits with five strikeouts in two innings.
…The Tigers now have signed 38 of their 40 draft picks. Left-handed pitcher Kacey Murphy (11th round) from Arkansas agreed to terms on Friday.