Thomas getting elbow checked out
For those who missed Jim Leyland’s postgame interview and were wondering why Leyland stuck with Brayan Villarreal against left-handed hitting Garrett Jones instead of using a lefty, word from the manager was that Thomas had some elbow problems and wasn’t available.
“Thomas’ elbow kind of locked up,” Leyland said. “We couldn’t pitch him, really, so we got into a little bit of a bind with some of their lefties. We didn’t want to go to [Daniel] Schlereth that early, so we kind of got into a little bit of a bind. That hurt a little bit.”
Would it have made a difference in the outcome of the game? Probably not, since the Tigers were down 3-1 at that point and still would’ve needed runs. It might have made a difference in the inning, considering Jones is 1-for-11 off left-handed pitching. But then, Thomas has given up a .400 (8-for-20) clip against lefties this year as part of his struggling start. Schlereth (4-for-24) has fared better for the year, but he also has struggled lately against lefty hitters.
Bullpen coach Jeff Jones said Thomas will be getting his elbow checked out. We’ll see where it leads. If it’s any sort of lengthy injury, it’ll be interesting to see how long the Tigers can fare with one lefty in the bullpen.