DETROIT — In an attempt to steal second base in the fifth inning on Monday night, Cameron Maybin jammed his left thumb on the head-first slide and had to be taken out of the game with an injury. The Tigers later announced X-rays were negative and Maybin simply had a bruised left thumb.
"From what I've been told, the knee came down on top of the thumb," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said after the game. "It seems to be a little bit more behind where the injury was, but we're gonna get a picture of it just in case and make sure. But it didn't seem to actually be where the ligament was, but more behind on the hand, on the back of the hand."
UPDATE: Maybin is considered day-to-day after an MRI confirmed no new damage to the ligament in his left thumb and Ausmus said after Tuesday night's win that the center fielder had been available to pinch run in the game. He's able to play center field and sub as a pinch runner, but the Tigers are going to give him a day before considering putting a bat in his hands.
Maybin will remain out of the lineup on Wednesday, and with a day off on Thursday, won't return to start in a game until at least Friday. Ausmus said they'll reassess whether he can bat at that time or whether the bruised thumb needs a few more days. But with JaCoby Jones up from Toledo, the Tigers aren't in any rush at this point.
The attempted steal was also unnecessary given that Ian Kinsler drew a walk on that pitch to put two runners on. Second base umpire Will Little noticed something amiss with Maybin, and both manager Brad Ausmus and head athletic trainer Kevin Rand rushed out to check on Maybin.
There was no discussion as to whether Maybin would stay in the game. Ausmus said that Maybin was in pain to the point he could no longer play, so he was coming out of the game regardless of any contrived arguments.
If the MRI does show something that requires Maybin to miss some time, Ausmus said that because September 1 is around the corner for expanded rosters, it’s unlikely that he would be placed on the disabled list. That said, if it’s something that’s severe enough to end a season, it’s another story.
The Tigers' center fielder left the game shortly thereafter, with Tyler Collins replacing him as a pinch runner. The Tigers went on to load the bases, though J.D. Martinez struck out and ended Detroit’s chance to bust the game wide open.
This is the second time in the last week Maybin has had an issue with his left thumb, and he’s barely been back a week. He was activated off the Tigers’ 15-day disabled list on August 21 after missing time for a left thumb sprain, and after an off-day on the 22nd, bat ninth on the 23rd because his thumb was bothering him.
He was also held out of the lineup last week on the 25th, though no thumb issues were reported that day. Even so, his thumb has not shown any durability, and he’s had trouble closing his glove all the way on catches in center field at times.