He has missed four games in a row due to his swollen right thumb and was already slated to miss his fifth game, Sunday’s series finale against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
The Tigers planned to re-evaluate Báez following Monday’s off day, but knowing he would likely miss the beginning of the New York Yankees series — Tuesday through Thursday — they sent him to the injured list, retroactive to April 13.
“The more he’s sore, the more it gives me pause to put him back in there,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said Saturday, before Báez went to the IL. “Takes one swing to blow this thing back up to where we were four, five days ago. It’s really tricky with thumbs.
“(Royals starter Kris) Bubic is going to throw a ton of cutters today, and I can put him out there and make everybody feel better on the front of the day, but one swing can take us back 10 days. That’s not a comforting feeling.”
Báez initially jammed his thumb celebrating his Opening Day walk-off single against the Chicago White Sox, then he jammed his thumb again Tuesday against the Boston Red Sox and hasn’t played since.
The 29-year-old is hitting .316 (6-for-19) with one double, one home run, four RBIs, one walk and four strikeouts in five games. He signed a six-year, $140 million contract in the offseason.
Andrew Chafin’s bullpen
Left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin landed on the 10-day injured list April 6, retroactive to April 4, with a left groin strain. He tossed a 30-pitch bullpen Friday in Lakeland, Florida.
“He reported no issues,” Hinch said. “Now we got to get to a live batting practice, and then we’ll get him into a game. Very similar to spring training mode. … Once he conquers that, I’m anticipating an inning in A-ball for his first outing, then he’ll get to Triple-A. He will not be with us for the Yankees series.”