Detroit Tigers center fielder Riley Greene leaves game with left lower leg discomfort

Detroit Free Press

Detroit Tigers center fielder Riley Greene, one of the best hitters in baseball in May, exited Tuesday’s game against the Texas Rangers in the bottom of the third inning with left lower leg discomfort.

The 22-year-old entered Tuesday among the American League’s batting leaders for the month, hitting .368 with a 1.018 on-base-plus-slugging percentage through 24 games in May.

The severity of his lower leg injury is unknown.

“Riley came to us in the dugout after the first inning and complained of this lower left leg, below the knee and above the ankle,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “He fought to stay in the game. We sent him back out. And he was moving around with a little gimpy.”

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Greene, who previously injured his leg, didn’t look comfortable chasing down Corey Seager’s line drive to left-center field in the top of the third inning. He caught the ball for the second out and finished the inning on defense.

But Greene didn’t bat in the bottom of the third.

“I didn’t like the way that looked, so I took him out of the game,” Hinch said. “He’s going to get his scans and get looked at. We’ll have more information as we go, but I don’t know what it is. Riley was fighting to stay in the game, that’s a good sign. But the way he was moving around, he needed to come out of the game.”

He was replaced by pinch-hitter Andy Ibáñez. In the top of the fourth inning, the Tigers used three players with limited experience in the outfield: Eric Haase (catcher) in left field, Zack Short (infielder) in center and Tyler Nevin (infielder) in right field. Ibáñez stayed in the game and played second base.

In 2023, Greene is hitting .296 with nine doubles, three triples, five home runs, 21 walks and 64 strikeouts in 52 games. He has been the everyday center fielder, and without his presence, the Tigers would have one outfield-only player remaining on the roster in Akil Baddoo.

“He makes us tick,” Short said of Greene. “It’s tough, especially when not many people knew about (the leg injury) in the first place. It’s tough. I don’t know what the situation is, but hopefully, we can get him back and he can keep rolling.”

Before Tuesday’s game, the Tigers acquired outfielder Jake Marisnick, an 11-year MLB veteran, in a trade for cash considerations with the Chicago White Sox. He will join the Tigers ahead of Wednesday’s game.

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

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