Unless you have been living under a rock for the past week, you know that Daniel Norris has been dealing with a stiff back. On Thursday, Norris was diagnosed with fractures in the spinous processes along his lower back, ensuring he will open the season on the disabled list.
Unofrtunately, that's not all. Not even close.
The Tigers' bullpen has been hit the hardest, with five potential contributors currently on the shelf. Blaine Hardy was the newest addition to the injury report on Thursday, with a sore shoulder sidelining him for a few days. Hardy has struggled this spring, allowing eight runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. He could still make his way north with the major league club if his soreness doesn't linger, but is by no means a lock for the 25-man roster at this point.
The other players out of action haven't changed. Jeff Ferrell hasn't picked up a baseball in a few weeks, Angel Nesbitt is wearing a walking boot after a Grade 3 ankle sprain, and Montreal Robertson was outrighted off the 40-man roster thanks to a subluxed right shoulder. Alex Wilson has yet to pitch in a spring training game, and he might be the most likely to make the Opening Day roster.
Joining Norris on the DL will be Cameron Maybin, who is recovering from a fractured wrist he suffered earlier this spring. He will miss some time at the start of the season, but at least has tried to stay productive this spring.
Maybin continues to work out. He said he shags fly balls -- he wears a glove on his right hand to catch them -- and even takes swings the bat in just his right hand.
"I swing it with one hand," he said. "That's why God gave you two. If you break one you can use the other one."
Designated hitter Victor Martinez may also miss time, but could be available to pinch hit during the team's opening series against the Miami Marlins. Given that four of the Tigers' first nine games are in National League parks, he should have plenty of time to rest his ailing hamstring.
Then there are the other guys
If the ever-piling list of injuries is uninspiring, check out the stat lines of some of the bullpen hopefuls. Chris McCosky of the Detroit News made a brief case for Lendy Castillo, who has put up solid numbers. However, there are some... red flags.
Lendy Castillo is not satisfied with having a 99 percent resemblance to Al Alburquerque, so he balks to drive the point home.— Chris Iott (@Chris_Iott) March 24, 2016
Today in Ridiculous Things Sports Teams Do Just Because
...that's the joke.
Okay, so maybe the atmosphere at Chase Field kind of sucks, and maybe the roof leaked onto the pitcher's mound last season, but they could do much worse. The retractable roof is necessary in the desert heat, and the stadium seems to be in a sensible, centralized location. However, there isn't much room for expansion immediately around the location -- it's just parking garages errywhere -- and the D-Backs need to act tough to maintain any leverage they have against Maricopa County.
So the next time you want to complain about Comerica Park's dimensions, realize that things could be much worse.
I was on vacation and forgot to promote this
Fans of other teams think the Tigers are still a bad team, so I joined our friends at South Side Sox on their weekly podcast to tell them what's what. However, this was recorded before the entire Tigers roster got dead, so forgive my rash optimism.