Detroit — Robbie Grossman was the Tigers’ iron man of 2021, tying Jonathan Schoop for most games played, 156 out of 162.
But Grossman on Wednesday missed his first game of 2022, just six games in, after suffering a groin injury in Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park.
“I’m sore today,” Grossman said in the Tigers’ clubhouse Wednesday morning, wearing a “Detroit Muscle” T-shirt. “The MRI was good, it didn’t show anything, so I’m happy about that.
“Just trying to get the tightness out. Just sore today.”
The Tigers on Wednesday didn’t have any immediate plans to place Grossman on the 10-day injured list, but if Grossman misses the next couple games, it’ll be an option. Manager AJ Hinch said Friday would be the drop-dead day to make a decision.
Daz Cameron joined the club from Toledo on Wednesday morning, and was set to travel with the Tigers for their series in Kansas City just in case.
“We’re not going to make a decision today,” Hinch said Wednesday in the Tigers’ dugout three hours before the series final, a 9-7 Detroit loss to Boston.
“He’s getting every test imaginable,” including on his back, which, Hinch said, might be more of a concern than the groin.
When he was asked about a possible injury-list stint, Grossman said, “See what happens today and go from there.”
Grossman suffered the injury running the bases in the fifth inning Tuesday. He was stealing a base and, not immediately nothing a popup, he slid into second base, before getting up and heading back to first, where he was doubled up. When he slid back into first, Grossman said, he felt the tightness. No pop, just tightness.
“It’s frustrating,” Grossman said. “But all I can do is think about the positive, that nothing shows up on the MRI.”
The starting outfield, in Grossman’s absence, for Wednesday’s series finale against the Red Sox included Austin Meadows in left field, Akil Baddoo in center field and Victor Reyes in right field.
Reyes led off in Grossman’s absence Wednesday, and while he had an RBI single and a walk, that’s not a long-term solution for the Tigers.
“I like the left-handed swing that I’ve seen in the last couple weeks,” Hinch said on 97.1, speaking of Reyes. “I don’t think we’ll have a consistent, everyday leadoff-type hitter.”
Grossman is off to a slow start through five games, with a slash line of .067/.167/.243. He has one hit and one walk in 17 plate appearances.
Daz on standby
Cameron, 25, has had brief runs with the Tigers the last two seasons.
He’s back with the team early in 2022, though he hasn’t been activated just yet. The Grossman situation will dictate that.
Cameron, a first-round pick by the Houston Astros in 2015 who was traded to Detroit in the Justin Verlander trade, has four homers and 16 RBIs in 52 games with the Tigers.
“He’s got a ton of talent and he’s got the ability to play here,” said Hinch, adding there are small things about different parts of Cameron’s game that need some improving.
“The more pitches you see, the better you’re going to feel.
“He’ll flash ability.”
This spring, Cameron had a homer and two RBIs in 17 plate appearances.
Around the horn
The Tigers on Wednesday made a trade for infielder/outfielder Jamie Westbrook from the Milwaukee Brewers for cash considerations. A former fifth-round pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks, he will start with Triple-A Toledo.
Westbrook, 26, had 12 home runs and 54 RBIs over 89 games at Double and Triple A.
… Veteran right-hander Michael Pineda pitched three clean innings for Toledo in his first start (one hit, one strikeout), but was roughed up in his second Tuesday (3⅓ innings, six hits, four runs, two walks, four strikeouts) in what was supposed to be a four-inning start. He will get at least one more start with Toledo, on Sunday in Iowa.
… Veteran right-handed reliever Wily Peralta pitched an inning for Toledo on Tuesday (one hit, one strikeout) and will make another appearance for the Mud Hens on Thursday in Iowa before he is likely to rejoin the Tigers.
… So far, so good for Tigers right-handed, hard-throwing reliever Joe Jimenez, who has allowed just a walk in two innings. “We need him to be good,” said Hinch, “and he doesn’t need to be perfect.”
Tigers at Royals
►Series: Four games, Thursday-Sunday, Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.
►First pitch: 8:10 Thursday-Friday, 4:10 Saturday, 2:10 Sunday
►TV/radio: All four games on BSD/97.1
►Series probables: Thursday — RHP Casey Mize (0-1, 7.20) vs. RHP Brad Keller (0-0, 0.00); Friday — LHP Tarik Skubal (0-1, 9.00) vs. LHP Kris Bubic (0-1, 67.50; Saturday — RHP Matt Manning (0-0, 1.50) vs. RHP Carlos Hernandez (0-0, 8.31); Sunday — LHP Tyler Alexander (0-0, 5.06) vs. LHP Daniel Lynch (0-1, 10.80)
►Mize, Tigers: He went five innings in the season opener, allowing four runs on seven hits with two strikeouts. He didn’t have his best stuff, but kept Detroit in the game long enough for the Tigers to rally for a walk-off win.
►Keller, Royals: He was brilliant in his 2022 debut, allowing just two hits and no runs over six innings against the Cleveland Guardians. He struck out five and walked one.