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Detroit Tigers news and links: JaCoby Jones and Drew VerHagen will rehab in minors

It will still be awhile before we see the speedy center fielder in Detroit.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

For anyone who was counting down the days to the return of center fielder JaCoby Jones or reliever Drew VerHagen, you might need to wait a bit longer.

According to Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire, the two players who opened the season on the 10-day injured list, will head for rehab games before returning to Detroit for regular play.

VerHagen battled with “dead arm” symptoms in spring training, which ultimately was diagnosed as forearm strain, while Jones collided with a wall in a spring training game and injured the AC joint in his shoulder. Gardenhire cited the level of shoulder-impacting efforts Jones would face in the majors: diving catches, aggressive swings, as the reason to play it cautious with the center fielder. As for VerHagen, Gardenhire said he’s basically ready to go already, and they just want to give the pair “live action” to confirm they’re ready to come back to Detroit.

At present there is no timeline for the pair’s return.

Mahtook benched

Many were surprised to see Dustin Peterson take center field in Tuesday’s game against the Yankees, considering he has almost zero experience in the position. While Peterson was effective offensively, helping everyone forget how odd it was to see him in the field — an RBI double in the ninth gave the Tigers the lead, and then he scored on a Mercer single — there’s another reason he was out there.

Mikie Mahtook has struggled mightily early in this season, going 0-for-16 in five games, with a single walk. It appears Gardenhire decided to give Mahtook some bench time and try someone else in center. Niko Goodrum would have been the more likely option, but he was experiencing calf soreness, so Gardenhire rested him for Tuesday’s game.

Tigers Bites

I looks like Tigers beat reporter Anthony Fenech has fans in New York City, where Foley’s has crafted a burger to honor the scribe.

Michael Fulmer was just as delighted as we were but Joe Jimenez’s unassisted tag at first base.

And the Tigers were happy to comply.