Omar Infante will be eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list and rejoin the Detroit Tigers when they begin second half play following this week’s All-Star break, but reports today, like the quote below from MLive, indicate that he might need more time to rehab his ailing ankle.
“He’s supposed to play for Lakeland as soon as he can,” Leyland said. “But I don’t know when that’s going to happen. He’ll be down there, because he’s supposed to get treatment all through the break. He was probably going to DH for Lakeland a couple of games this week, but I don’t know if that’s going to work out or not.”
Ramon Santiago and Hernan Perez have been sharing second base duties in Infante’s absence but, while they’re both capable of handling the position defensively, neither hits particularly well. Since Omar’s July 3 injury — seven starts by Santiago and three by Perez — the reserve duo has combined for a paltry .179/.233/.231 batting line. I think they’d be likely to hit a bit better than that going forward, but not really all that much better. Danny Worth is also an option to fill in should the injury drag on, but he’s not going to be an offensive boost either.
The Tigers are good enough that they could absorb an extended injury by a guy like Infante and win the division just fine, but not having his plus bat to solidify the back end of the lineup certainly dampens the offense. Hopefully they can get Infante back relatively quickly, but it’s more important that he’s fully healthy when he comes back.