Detroit Tigers Opening Day hasn’t even happened and several players are already experiencing irritating injuries.
While some of the injuries haven’t been long lasting, the fact that so many have happened so early does give cause for alarm. Fortunately, there are some younger players who appear to be in good form to fill in.
WBC Injuries Cause Worry
Both Miguel Cabrera and Francisco Rodriguez have suffered injuries in their WBC games. K-Rod’s injury occurred while making a throw to home. At the time, the injury was thought to be a groin pull but turned out to be nothing major. According to Chris McCosky with The Detroit News, Brad Ausmus reported:
"“I talked to Frankie; he said it was a cramp from a wrap that was too tight on his leg. He said he was fine. To quote Frankie, he said, ‘I’m fine.’”Mar 15, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; Venezuela infielder Miguel Cabrera (24) warms up before the game against the United States during the 2017 World Baseball Classic at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports"
Miguel Cabrera’s problem showed up on Friday in the WBC game against the Dominican Republic during the sixth inning. Cabrera did not play in Saturday’s game against Puerto Rico and now the Venezuelan team is out of the competition. This is good news for Cabrera and the Tigers who will get their first baseman back and it will give Miggy time to heal. Ausmus told McCosky:
"“I got a text from Omar (Vizquel). He just said Miggy’s back tightened up on him. He’s fine.”"
No one ever wants to hear Miguel Cabrera and injury in the same sentence. His bat is expected to do more great things in 2017.
If Miggy is out for an extended period of time, there is young Dominic Ficociello who could hold down first base. Ficociello has proved that he can hit a home run in spacious Joker Marchant Stadium. The tall corner infielder has hit more home runs than Miggy has during spring training and his WBC games.
J.D. Martinez Injured Foot
The latest player to suffer an injury is J.D. Martinez. While making a play in right field, Martinez rolled his foot and had to be taken out of the game. The X-rays were clean, but he will still sit out to keep weight off of his foot. Kevin Rand, the Tigers head athletic trainer, told Chris McCosky:
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"“X-rays were negative. We are going to do some more diagnostics to make sure we don’t have any more issues going on. He will be reevaluated tomorrow.”"
Michael Fulmer, Jose Iglesias, and Tyler Collins have all had irritating injuries. Fulmer had an issue with his ankle, but he is already back to pitching. Iglesias complained of neck strain but he, too, has been back to playing. Tyler Collins had a lat strain and was unable to make throws, but he has been making plays in the outfield. Nick Castellanos has also missed a few games due to tightness in his right quad muscle.
Fortunately, none of the physical issues that the Tigers are experiencing are expected to be long-lasting. The 2016 season was a major letdown because of the number of injuries, especially those to J.D. Martinez and Nick Castellanos. The Tigers need their entire team to be healthy throughout the season if they plan to be contenders in the postseason.