Detroit Tigers outfielder Christin Stewart has been activated from the IL and will likely rejoin the team this weekend.
Stewart has been absent from the Detroit Tigers roster with a right quad strain since April 18th. This morning, the team removed Stewart from the IL as he swapped places with SS Jordy Mercer who left Wednesday night’s game soreness, according to Tony Paul of the Detroit News.
The 25-year-old outfielder was expected to rejoin the team sometime during this upcoming weekend’s series in Minnesota. Even though Stewart is healthy and back on the roster, he has been left out of the starting lineup for this afternoon’s series finale against the Angels according to a tweet from MLB.com’s Jason Beck.
The return of Stewart to the roster, however, should give the Tigers a much needed offensive bump. Stewart was batting .222 with a .831 OPS at the time of his injury. His 13 RBIs are still the second most on the team despite him being gone for nearly a month.
With Ronny Rodríguez on an offensive tear as of late, Stewart’s return adds yet another capable bat into the middle of Detroit’s lineup. Niko Goodrum is slated to start in left field for the Tigers this afternoon but that spot will likely be returned to Stewart once manager Ron Gardenhire decides to fully return him to the starting lineup.
With Mercer now out of the lineup, the most reasonable move would be to shift Goodrum to second base to leave left field open for Stewart. Keeping Rodríguez at first base and shifting Miguel Cabrera more permanently into the DH role seems like another logical move, but Ron Gardenhire also could start Stewart in the DH role like he has done three times already this season.
Having Stewart’s bat back in the lineup is a huge boost for a Tigers offense that has been so up and down lately that one could call it a roller coaster. The fact that his 13 RBIs led the team until just a few days ago despite him being out almost a month speaks volumes as to the important role he played at the plate for Detroit. Let’s hope it doesn’t take too long for Christin Stewart to step right back into form.