Detroit — Somebody had to go.
With catcher Eric Haase returning off the injured list on Friday, the Tigers had a choice of either designating veteran Dustin Garneau for assignment or optioning Grayson Greiner.
They chose the latter.
Greiner, who played arguably one of the best games of his career in the Tigers’ 4-3 win in St. Louis Tuesday night, was optioned back to Triple-A Toledo on Thursday.
Greiner, who won the backup catcher job in spring training, walked three times on Tuesday. He threw out Paul DeJong trying to steal and he blocked three balls in the dirt, one with a runner at third base. On top of that, starting pitcher Casey Mize praised him for his signal calling in a game where Mize pitched five scoreless innings.
“He was huge,” manager AJ Hinch said of Greiner’s performance. “It was truly a great effort back there.”
But the Tigers acquired Garneau in a trade with Colorado last Wednesday for a reason. He’s 4-for-12 since joining the team, but more importantly, the Tigers value his experience behind the plate and ability leading a pitching staff that he became familiar with in spring training with the Tigers.
Catcher Jake Rogers, who emerged as the Tigers everyday catcher this year, remains out with a right forearm injury and it’s 50-50 right now whether he will be able to make it back before the end of the season.
On deck: Blue Jays
► Series: Three games at Comerica Park, Detroit
► First pitch: Friday — 7:10 p.m.; Saturday — 6:10 p.m.; Sunday — 1:10 p.m.
► TV/radio: Friday — BSD/950; Saturday-Sunday — BSD/97.1
► Probables: Friday — LHP Steven Matz (10-7, 3.94) vs. RHP Matt Manning (3-5, 5.91); Saturday — TBA vs. TBA (possibly Jose Urena or Tyler Alexander); Sunday — TBA vs. LHP Matthew Boyd (3-6, 3.44), pending activation from injured list.
► Matz, Blue Jays: Miguel Cabrera gave him baseball immortality on Sunday. He will be forever known as the pitcher who yielded Cabrera’s 500th home run. It was the only run he allowed in six innings, though.
► Manning, Tigers: His progress over the last two starts has been encouraging. His average fastball velocity in his last start against the Angels was his best (94 mph) and he maxed out at 97. He didn’t get hit hard (88 mph average exit velocity) and gave up two runs, but he walked four and needed 96 pitches to go 4⅔ innings.