Detroit Tigers outfielder Brennan Boesch left the game last night in the seventh inning. He had struck out in each of his three at bats against Rays’ starter Wade Davis. Unlike in other circumstances where his manager has replaced him for defensive purposes, this time, Boesch was removed because of significant pain caused by a sprained thumb.
Boesch originally hurt the thumb a few weeks ago and missed a handful of games. The pain has remained, but has been confined to his thumb. Last night, however, the pain surged into his arm as well, prompting his removal from the game.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland didn’t sound optimistic that Boesch would be back shortly. “Without question. I don’t think it’s very good, to tell you the truth. I don’t want to paint a bleak picture, but he obviously had to come out of a game because of the pain.”
Boesch was not in the starting lineup for this afternoon’s series finale in Tampa, replaced in right field by Ryan Raburn. If the injury is as significant as Leyland seems to think, the Tigers could be in big trouble offensively. Some combination of Raburn and Magglio Ordonez would be used to fill-in for Boesch, but neither has had an inspiring season at the plate thus far.
Meanwhile, the Indians are reportedly in talks to add DH Jim Thome, whom they claimed off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. The White Sox were awarded a claim on Twins outfielder Jason Kubel, but a deal seems less likely there.
The Tigers began play today with a six game edge on Cleveland with Chicago just a half game behind the Tribe. That’s a healthy lead, but it can evaporate quickly if the Tigers cannot make up for the loss of one of their most productive bats.