ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Detroit Tigers outfielder Victor Reyes was almost to the point of tears when he entered the clubhouse during Sunday’s 5-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
“I felt a sting,” Reyes said Wednesday. “I recognized immediately what was going on.”
Reyes, on the same day he returned from a left quad strain, suffered a right quad strain on a double in the second inning at Comerica Park and had to leave the game. He missed three weeks with the first injury.
Once again, the 27-year-old expects to miss three weeks.
“It’s frustrating, back-to-back with the same kind of injury but different legs,” Reyes said, with Tigers bilingual media coordinator Carlos Guillen interpreting. “But that’s something I cannot control. I got to deal with it and focus on getting healthy to get back to business.”
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When healthy, Reyes fills a role in the starting lineup (without Riley Greene) and produces, though he was once projected as the team’s fourth outfielder.
Reyes is a reliable defender at all three positions, hits the ball hard when he makes contact and legs out extra-base hits with his mix of occasional power and above-average speed.
The Tigers placed him on the injured list Monday with a right quad strain.
“They haven’t said anything about why,” Reyes said of his conversations with medical experts. “They’re surprised because it’s the same thing, but in the other leg, but they didn’t give me any specifications about why this issue is bothering me so much.”
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Reyes is hitting .292 with two doubles, one triple, four RBIs, two walks and four strikeouts in 11 games this season. The 2017 Rule 5 draft pick hit .258 in 2021, posting a .325 mark in his final 48 games.
For about the next three weeks, the Tigers won’t have Reyes’ presence in the batting order or roaming the outfield. He will head back to Lakeland, Florida, for another round of injury rehabilitation.
“They did an MRI,” Reyes said. “On the results, they saw that there was nothing dangerous and nothing risky, just exactly the same thing that happened in the other leg.”
Blinded by the … roof?
In Monday’s 3-2 win, left fielder Willi Castro had four fly balls hit his way at Tropicana Field.
The ballpark has a dome, which comes in handy when there’s rain or extreme heat, but the grimy white color of the nonretractable roof can cause problems for visiting outfielders
“I think it’s one of the most difficult outfields to play,” Castro said Wednesday. “You got to keep your eye on the ball all the time. … As soon as you lose it, you got to look for it again. It’s really difficult. I think the key is don’t take your eye off the ball. Don’t lose it.”
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Castro collected all four balls that traveled his way Monday, but he had trouble with two of them.
One play stands out to him.
In the fourth inning, Vidal Bruján hit the ball to shallow left field. Castro took his eyes off the ball to check where shortstop Javier Báez was playing. Turns out, Báez was running into the outfield.
“We don’t want to run into each other,” Castro said. “When I looked at him, and then I looked back up, and all the sudden, I lost it for a second. You got to keep your eyes on the ball all the time. You see it when it comes up, but when it gets to the top of the roof, that’s when you lose it a little bit.”
Spencer Turnbull update
Right-hander Spencer Turnbull underwent Tommy John surgery in late July 2021, and the 29-year-old has been stationed in Lakeland ever since MLB’s lockout ended in March.
His timetable for a return is unclear. Turnbull hasn’t started throwing bullpens, but he is playing catch to strengthen his arm.
“He’s throwing. He’s not off the mound yet,” manager A.J. Hinch said Wednesday. “It’s a little bit of Groundhog Day for him. It’s part of his rehab. He was mentioning how it’s a little bit boring, a little bit the same, a little bit monotonous.”
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