Worst-case scenario: Tigers' Josh Harrison to undergo surgery

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Tigers second baseman Josh Harrison will undergo surgery this week on his hamstring.

Detroit — Some things just can’t be willed away.

Tigers second baseman Josh Harrison did his best to convince himself he’d be back sooner than later. His torn left hamstring, however, had other ideas.

Harrison, after a final consultation with Dallas Cowboys main surgeon Dr. Daniel E. Cooper on Monday, will undergo surgery later this week. Tigers head athletic trainer Doug Teter said the normal recovery time is six to eight weeks.

“After Dr. Cooper examined his MRI, it was determined that surgical intervention is his best option at this point,” Teter said.

Harrison and shortstop Jordy Mercer, who also visited Dr. Cooper Monday, have only played 13 games together in a Tigers uniform, and none since April. The news on Mercer was a little better.

“In layman’s terms, he tweaked his (right) quad,” Teter said. “It’s not exactly in the same spot but it’s enough to where we didn’t feel comfortable with him continuing on with his rehab assignment.”

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Mercer is back in Detroit where he will continue treatment on the quad that has put him on the injured list twice since April 13.

Without their veteran double-play duo — who both signed to one-year deals this offseason — the Tigers have had to mix-and-match at the shortstop and second base positions, mostly with utility players.

“One of the things that’s been tough is that we’ve had to play people all over the place and it’s been hard for them to get into any routine,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We just wanted to comfort them by getting them out there (for an early infield workout before the game Tuesday) and show them some things.

“The biggest thing we talked about was communicate. You’ve got to communicate out there.”

Gardenhire said Niko Goodrum was likely to get the bulk of the shortstop starts. Gordon Beckham, Ronny Rodriguez and newly promoted Harold Castro would rotate at second.

Candelario to IL

There was a good chance third baseman Jeimer Candelario was going to be sent back to Toledo soon. He continues to struggle against big-league pitching and the Tigers want to give Dawel Lugo an extended look at third base.

But, that move will be delayed for at least 10 days. The Tigers placed Candelario on the injured list with left shoulder inflammation.

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“It was an insidious type of onset,” Teter said. “We’re not sure how it happened. He started to feel it when he was swinging. We got an MRI (Monday) and it showed inflammation in the front of the left shoulder — like an impingement-type injury.”

Castro, who was supposed to be called up last week instead of Candelario to fill in when Spencer Turnbull went on bereavement leave, was available off the bench Tuesday. He felt some soreness in his oblique last week, which delayed his promotion.

Castro, a much-needed left-handed bat, can play second, short, third and in the outfield. 

Around the horn

Lugo had a big game in Tuesday's 9-6 win. He had three hits, including a two-run triple. Goodrum also had three hits. 

...Tigers pitching prospect Kyle Funkhouser was activated off the injured list and was expected to make a rehab start at High-A Lakeland Tuesday night.

…Starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (UCL strain) will make his first rehab start Wednesday for Triple-A Toledo.

Rays at Tigers

First pitch: 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Comerica Park, Detroit

TV/Radio: FSD/97.1

Scouting report:

RHP Charlie Morton (6-0, 2.54), Rays: He’s 4-0 with a 1.88 ERA in his road starts this year and overall he’s punched out 83 in 67.1 innings. He may have the best curveball in baseball, all due respect to Clayton Kershaw and others. Hitters are 12-for-109 on the ones they put in play, swinging and missing 42.2 percent of the time against it.

RHP Spencer Turnbull (3-4, 2.84), Tigers: He’s allowed three runs or less in 10 of his 12 starts and his 2.84 ERA is seventh lowest among A.L. starters. But he’s getting an average of just 3.4 runs per game in his starts, which accounts for the Tigers’ 6-6 record in his starts.


Twitter: @cmccosky