Detroit Tigers’ Niko Goodrum (groin) out a few weeks; Akil Baddoo, Derek Hill healing

Detroit Free Press

During the 2019 season, Detroit Tigers shortstop Niko Goodrum — more recently considered a true utility player — sustained a left groin strain. He went to the injured list Aug. 24 and never returned, missing the remainder of the year.

The Tigers don’t think the same will happen this time. Goodrum, 29, is expected to miss a few weeks with a Grade 1 left groin strain.

“Positive news, if you can come out of an injury with positive news,” manager AJ Hinch said Friday. “It’s not like the one in 2019, which was significantly worse.”

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Goodrum sustained his injury Wednesday against the Baltimore Orioles. He departed from the Tigers’ 5-2 win after delivering a two-out, two-run double in the fifth inning.

“He got caught in a funky position running around first base,” Hinch said. “Right before the bag, you could see him try to change his angle. When he hit the bag and the step afterwards is when he felt it. Just an awkward play.”

Just one day earlier, Goodrum had been activated from the injured list. He had previously sat since July 17 with a left calf contusion. He also dealt with a left finger tendon injury earlier this season, sending him to the injured list June 19.

As long as Goodrum’s rehab doesn’t face setbacks, he should return before the season ends.

“He’s got to go through some rehab,” Hinch said. “He’ll end up going to Lakeland or Toledo to do his rehab when we hit the road next week.”

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Through 65 games this season, Goodrum is hitting .224 with six home runs, 21 RBIs, 22 walls and 84 strikeouts. He has played shortstop, second base, center field, left field and first base in 2021.

Goodrum was “pretty optimistic,” Hinch said, upon learning more about his injury.

“The second part was it’s the least amount of time diagnosis-wise that he could have to miss,” Hinch said. “There’s a lot of work to do between now and then, but at least initially, we’re feeling good about it.”

Latest on injured Baddoo, Hill

Hinch revealed outfielders Akil Baddoo and Derek Hill — the subjects of Tuesday’s scary collision in Baltimore — are making progress in their recoveries. Baddoo is on the seven-day injured list for concussion protocol; Hill is on the 10-day injured list with a left ribcage contusion.

“Akil is doing quite well. It’s a good sign,” Hinch said. “You’re going to see him out on the field (Friday). He’s done some running on the treadmill. He will come out and stretch with our team, play catch with our team and go back inside. Tomorrow is maybe a little bit more baseball activity on the field. Most of the time in these concussion protocols, the biggest issue is the heart rate going up. He’s already got his heart rate at a good level on the treadmill this afternoon, so that’s good.”

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Baddoo, 22, is hitting .267 with six triples, 10 home runs and 45 RBIs over 93 games, along with 14 stolen bases. He is an American League Rookie of the Year candidate.

“He’s had no symptoms,” Hinch said. “He’s feeling great. He’s smiling, talking, doing the trash talking, everything he normally does on a daily basis, and is responding to the activities. He’s on track to continue to get more things put in front of him from a baseball perspective.”

Although Hill seems behind Baddoo’s timeline, the 25-year-old could finish his rehab work — or begin a rehab assignment in Triple-A Toledo — when the Tigers return to the road Aug. 20-22 for a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Hill carries a .250 batting average, one home run and eight RBIs over 28 games in his rookie season. He has six stolen bases.

“Derek is doing well. It’s essentially bruised ribs, sore ribs,” Hinch said. “You hear that more in football than you do in baseball, but he’s doing action. We got to get him moving around a little bit of controlled, rotational exercises. He’s in good spirits and is feeling good. I don’t know how long it will be. We’re going to run right into that Toronto trip again, where he may have to relocate to finish his rehab or maybe even start his rehab playing.”

Evan Petzold is a sports reporter at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter

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