Tigers' Javy Báez scratched just before first pitch; jammed thumb earlier in series
Detroit — Suddenly, the Tigers' nagging injuries are adding up.
With outfielder Robbie Grossman already out of Wednesday's lineup with groin and back soreness, star shortstop Javier Báez was scratched from the lineup about an hour before the scheduled first pitch.
Báez has right thumb soreness; he jammed it on a swing in Tuesday's game, manager AJ Hinch said after the Tigers' 9-7 loss in the series finale against the Boston Red Sox.
"Hopefully it's just a one-day thing," Hinch said as the Tigers prepared to travel to Kansas City for a four-game series with the Royals.
Báez was replaced by Harold Castro, who went 2-for-3 with a walk. Grossman was spelled in the outfield and at leadoff by Victor Reyes, who had an RBI single and a walk.
Before Wednesday's game, Hinch talked about the challenge in trying to protect the players early in the season, particularly coming off a shortened spring training. He had planned to give Grossman Wednesday off, before he got hurt Tuesday. Hinch planned to give designated hitter Miguel Cabrera the day off Wednesday, though Cabrera was called on to pinch-hit with the bases loaded in the eighth inning.
"It's a balancing act," Hinch said.
Báez, who signed a six-year, $140 million contract with the Tigers before the season, is off to a roaring start with his new team. He had the walk-off hit on Opening Day against the Chicago White Sox, and drilled a two-run homer in Monday's win over the Red Sox.