Tigers’ injury update: Greene’s fibula injury downgraded to ‘reaction’ from ‘fracture’

Detroit News

Chicago − For the most part, the twice-weekly medical update doesn’t break much new news. It was a different story on Friday. It was a news-apalooza.

Start with one of the newer entries.

∎ Center fielder Riley Greene was placed on the injured list initially with what was reported as a stress fracture in his left fibula. After his MRI was shown and studied by specialists across the country, the injury has been identified as a stress reaction in the fibula.

“That’s deemed a good thing,” manager AJ Hinch said. “I don’t know if it means we’re going to get him back any sooner or not.”

Stress reaction injuries are more common in the NBA, a reaction to all the pounding the legs and feet take. Stress reactions don’t involve any breaking in the bone. If left untreated, obviously, reactions can become fractures.

The general healing time for a stress reaction is the same, minimum of six weeks.

∎ Starting pitcher Tarik Skubal, as expected, will begin a rehab assignment next week. He is scheduled to pitch at High-A West Michigan next Wednesday.

Hinch explained why Skubal, who is working his way back after flexor tendon surgery, was starting at West Michigan and not Triple-A Toledo.

“We are going to ramp him up slowly after a significant injury,” he said. “He’ll get a couple of innings. It fits into our player development system. It fits into what we want him to do in terms of how he uses his pitches and the volume of pitches.

“It’s easier to do in A-ball than Triple-A.”

Skubal will likely make four or five rehab starts within the 20-day rehab period, which would end on June 27. It’s likely the last few will be against Triple-A hitters.

∎ Starting pitcher Alex Faedo will have his next start pushed back a couple of days. He reported tenderness in the fingernail of his right middle finger after his start Tuesday. He’s been getting daily treatment.

“It’s on the outside of the middle finger,” Hinch said. “Almost like a hangnail.”

Faedo, assuming it heels, will make his next start on Tuesday in Philadelphia. Hinch said Matthew Boyd will start Sunday in the finale against the White Sox and Joey Wentz would start on regular rest Monday against the Phillies.

∎ Starting pitcher Matt Manning (broken foot) threw his first live batting practice before the game Friday.

“He was great,” Hinch said. “He looked great. He looked like a normal pitcher.”

Hinch said Manning will throw another live batting practice before one of the game in Philadelphia. If that goes well, he would likely start his rehab assignment.

Lange honored

Hinch was joking around with reliever Alex Lange before the game.

“I told him he’s getting famous,” Hinch said. “He’s getting a lot of recognition.”

In this case, it was national recognition. Lange was named American League reliever of the month for May. The MLB monthly awards are voted on by baseball writers and broadcasters.

“I think it’s a testament to how the team has been,” Lange said. “Having the opportunity to out there and do things like that is pretty cool and you don’t get there without your teammates setting you up…I am very fortunate to be with the (bullpen) group I’m with. They push me every day and I hope they say the same about me. It’s a healthy competition.

“This is as much their award as it is mine.”

Lange allowed one run in 10.2 innings in May, with 17 strikeouts. Although he hasn’t technically been named the Tigers’ closer, he earned seven saves in seven opportunities. He’s 10-for-10 on the season.

“He’s done a tremendous job of taking the ball whenever I give it to him with no questions asked,” Hinch said. “He’s pitched multiple innings. He’s done the closer thing. He’s pitched in the seventh and eighth. He’s established a great mentality to attack the other team when he gets his opportunities.

“I’m glad he’s getting the recognition. He deserves it. He’s one of the best relievers we’ve seen on our team and it looks like the league is noticing.”

Around the horn

… The Tigers’ 16-11 record in May, fifth best in the American League, was their best full month since they went 16-10 in July of 2016. Also, the Tigers are 10-4 in one-run games, that’s third best in the Majors.


Twitter: @cmccosky

Tigers at White Sox

When: 2:10 p.m., Saturday, Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago

TV/radio: BSD/97.1

Scouting report

RHP Michael Lorenzen (2-2, 3.50), Tigers: Except for one, three-homer hiccup in Kansas City, Lorenzen had a great month of May. In the four other starts, he allowed two runs in 26.2 innings. He locked down the White Sox on Saturday, losing a perfect game bid with two outs in the sixth.

RHP Dylan Cease (3-3, 4.88), White Sox: The Tigers made Cease work at Comerica Park last Sunday, drawing four walks and seeing 102 pitches, driving him from the game after four innings. Akil Baddoo’s grand slam was the big blow. Expect Cease to be much more aggressive in the strike zone in this one.

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