What initially just looked like an awkward play at first base has turned more painful for poor Drew VerHagen. The Detroit Tigers placed the 27-year-old righthander on the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday morning with a nasal fracture. The team recalled righthander Johnny Barbato to replace VerHagen on the 25-man roster.
VerHagen was injured on a quick developing play in Tuesday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds. First baseman John Hicks fielded a potential double play ball and threw to second base for the first out. The return throw from shortstop Jose Iglesias missed VerHagen’s glove and caught him in the face. VerHagen left the game with head athletic trainer Doug Teter, and was diagnosed with a broken nose after the game.
VerHagen was briefly the darling of the fanbase a few weeks ago after dominating as a starter at Triple-A Toledo, but has struggled to translate that success to the majors (as he has throughout his career). He gave up a run in his lone inning of work on Tuesday, and has a 9.16 ERA in 18 2⁄3 MLB innings this season. He has 18 strikeouts in 14 appearances, but has also walked nine batters.
Unfortunately, replacement Johnny Barbato has not been much better. While his 5.06 ERA in 5 1⁄3 innings is much better, Barbato has just two strikeouts and three walks in that small sample of innings. He has been impressive in the minors, though, with a 1.59 ERA and 23 strikeouts to four walks in 22 2⁄3 innings.