The Detroit Tigers will go without the starting right fielder for at least the next 10 days.
Nomar Mazara has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a left abdominal strain. Reliever Joe Jimenez has been recalled from the taxi squad to take his spot on the roster.
Mazara suffered the injury while taking a swing during the fourth inning of Wednesday’s 6-4 victory over Houston. He was removed for pinch-hitter JaCoby Jones later in the at-bat.
Mazara is hitting .237 with two homers and five RBIs in 38 at-bats. He’s appeared in all 12 games this season.
He is undergoing more tests to determine the extent of the injury. The Tigers took the cautious approach, since abdominal strains can easily be aggravated.
“You’re going to shut him down four or five days, regardless of the severity,” manager AJ Hinch said before Thursday’s game. “Waiting four or five days to make a decision didn’t seem good for our team. We’re able to add an extra pitcher because we used so many yesterday.”
He was signed to a one-year, $1.75 million contract during the offseason after a disappointing year with the Chicago White Sox.
Jones and Victor Reyes project to pick up more playing time in his absence.
“Reyes and Jones will get to play a little bit more than they had played in the last week,” Hinch said. “I’m starting Jones tonight and I’m going to start Victor tomorrow. At first glance, it’s going to be those two but Niko (Goodrum) will factor in.”
Jimenez, the team’s once-All-Star closer, was demoted near the end of training camp after posting a 7.15 ERA in 22⅔ innings last season and giving up five runs (three earned) in 5⅓ spring training innings. The Tigers only have one more day off the rest of the month, which likely played a role in the decision to add another reliever.
They also wanted to see if Jimenez could regain his old form.
“We wanted him back in the big leagues,” Hinch said. “It’s not just a pitcher (being added), it’s specifically Joe. We felt like we needed to get him back and challenge him back in the big leagues again.”