Tigers put Infante on DL, recall Hernan Perez
The Tigers had been hoping they avoided serious injury with Omar Infante after Colby Rasmus’ takeout slide last week in Toronto. It just wasn’t the injury they were expecting.
After six days of waiting and hoping for a return, Detroit placed its second baseman on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a sprained left ankle. The move is retroactive to last Thursday, the day after Rasmus slid into Infante’s left leg in Toronto trying to break up a double play.
By backdating the move, the Tigers could bring back Infante as soon as next Friday for their first game out of the All-Star break. Before they do that, though, he’s going to have to make progress from an ankle injury that has proven more serious than initially thought.
The more severe injury to Infante out of the collision was a bruised left shin, which left him on crutches immediately afterwards. Infante also felt part of the impact on his ankle, but didn’t believe it to be a major issue.
While the shin healed up within a few days, the ankle hasn’t gotten any better. He hasn’t been able to hit off a tee, let alone run on it, which led the team medical staff to have him undergo an MRI exam Tuesday in Detroit.
“I did some light running [Monday], but it wasn’t easy,” Infante said late Monday night. “I can’t run or jog. I can’t do nothing.”
Infante has been an underrated presence in the Tigers offense despite hitting near the bottom of the order most nights. His .309 batting average ranks third among AL second basemen to go with 18 doubles, six home runs, 27 RBIs and 38 runs scored.
Utility infielder Ramon Santiago has filled in better than expected in his place, providing a key two-RBI single Friday in Cleveland, but is 4-for-20 in five starts during Infante’s absence.
The DL move opened the opportunity for infield prospect Hernan Perez to get the call from Double-A Erie to fill in for the week, giving the 22-year-old speedster a taste of the Majors for a week without much pressure. Already a well-regarded defender, Perez earned an Eastern League All-Star selection with a breakout season at the plate, entering Tuesday with a .300 average, 28 doubles, four home runs and 35 RBIs in 86 games. He has stolen 24 bases in 31 attempts, three off his career best from last season.