Oh what a difference a day makes. Coming into Sunday, the Detroit Tigers were looking at a possible series win in Baltimore and returning home just two games out of first place in the AL Central. At the end of the day, not only had the Tigers lost, but Miguel Cabrera and Daniel Norris both left the game early with injuries.
As Detroit looks to start a three game series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night, there are some questions. How bad are the injuries to Cabrera and Norris? Is anyone going to the disabled list? Who might the team call up to replace them [Ed.: Chad Bell is already on his way up]? Let’s see if we can find some answers to those questions and more in your friendly Monday links column.
Hurts so good
It was apparent from the get-go on Sunday that something was a little off with Daniel Norris. After giving up a lead-off home run on an 87 mile-per-hour fastball and not showing improvement in location or velocity after that, Norris got yanked in the third inning. It’s looking like Norris is still dealing with a groin problem that has been bothering him since spring training. A trip to the disabled list seems likely. It’s disappointing to watch a young pitcher with such potential struggle. You have to hope he can get it all together at some point, but his injury-filled track record isn’t exactly encouraging.
Miguel Cabrera also took an early exit with some left bicep spasms. It was a scary moment for a guy who is in the middle of a pretty solid bounce-back season so far this year. If you have been holding your breath on this injury, you should be good to exhale. Cabrera received treatment and says he doesn’t expect to miss any time.
All aboard the Blaine train?
If Daniel Norris does hit the disabled list, there is a guy in Toledo making a case for a call-up. If you’ve been around Bless You Boys for any length of time, you should be familiar with Blaine Hardy. A spring training injury kept him from competing for a roster spot this year. He was assigned to Triple-A Toledo, where he immediately started looking to make the best of his situation. Fortunately for Mr. Hardy, all he has done for Toledo so far this year is dominate, as evidenced by his most recent game where he pitched seven innings, giving up one run and striking out 10. That brings him up to 21 1⁄3 innings with only two runs allowed and 25 strikeouts. You would think this might earn Hardy a shot, but word on the street is that Norris is going on the DL and we’re going to be forced to watch Chad Bell once again prove why he has no business being on a major league roster.
Center fielder Leonys Martin has been a pleasant surprise so far this season. He has fared well in all offensive categories, which has lead to a nice looking .821 OPS, and has endeared him to the fan base in the early going. While the production is nice, it seems he has other qualities that have helped him become a clubhouse favorite among his fellow teammates. Namely, his mouth. It seems Martin never stops talking, and what he says is highly entertaining. It’s early, but Martin is looking like a very pleasant surprise this year.
Rule five draft pick Victor Reyes hasn’t seen a whole lot of action in the early going. Manager Ron Gardenhire has an explanation. With the weather and the postponements, he says it has been difficult to find Reyes playing time. As the team plays more consistently moving forward, we should see more of Reyes on the field, as we did on Sunday That would be nice. It’s a little baffling to think about a guy taking up a roster spot for the sole purpose of pinch-running every once in a while, which is about what Reyes’ usage has amounted to so far.
Around the horn
Mike Trout’s commitment to relentless self improvement. Jonny Venters returns to kill more worms. Should MLB shorten the season? Old friend alert: Robbie Ray is out with an oblique strain. Tim Anderson vows to keep the fun in his game. Salvador Perez disagrees.
Baseball is awesome
Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
Speaking of lucky...
This is bonkers, Cespedes home run went into a garbage can (that does not have a open top) in the bullpen. What are the chances that a ball hit will go into a garbage can that has openings in the front. You have to see it to believe it pic.twitter.com/O4goXPVz6Y— Mets World Series Parade TBA (@mikedee718) April 29, 2018