July 18th, 2014

Hanrahan getting “incrementally better” in mound sessions, but not facing hitters

DETROIT — Joel Hanrahan continues to throw off a mound at the Tigers’ Spring Training complex in Lakeland, but is not scheduled to face hitters yet.

“He’s thrown bullpens the last two weeks. They’ve gotten incrementally a little bit better, but not to where [he can take the next step],” head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Friday.”

Hanrahan threw 40 pitches off the mound Friday, Rand said.

While neither the Tigers nor Hanrahan put a timetable on his return from Tommy John surgery when he signed with the Tigers at the beginning of May, his rehab has progressed slower than many would have expected. Part of the extra time has been spent rebuilding arm strength.

Dirks rehab assignment likely on hold for a week

The muscle soreness that halted Andy Dirks’ rehab assignment should not keep him out much more than a week, according to the Tigers medical staff.

“I think sometime within a week or so, you’ll probably see him be ready,” head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Friday.

Dirks, out since March following back surgery, was recalled from his rehab assignment Wednesday but kept on the 60-day disabled list, a move that raised concerns he had suffered a setback. Rand wouldn’t characterize it at a setback, but said they’re going to be cautious with the injury to avoid risking something worse.

Basically, he got muscular soreness and tightness right in and around the surgical site. Not unusual,” Rand said. “Basically, it’s just due to the increase in activity. No matter what you do with batting practice, even simulated games can’t duplicate game action as far as the intensity that guys put forth.”

The decision to pull him off of rehab, Rand said, was as much a clerical decision as it was a physical one.

“If it wasn’t for the fact that he’s missed so much time and this is his Spring Training, like a normal rehab assignment, you’d probably say give it a couple days,” Rand said. “But in his case, every day’s very, very important for him, because he doesn’t get that many of them, and we want to make sure we get every one we can.”

By rule, position players can spend up to 20 days on a rehab assignment before teams have to decide the next step: Call up the player, keep him on the DL without rehab, or option him to the minor leagues.

Dirks spent eight days on rehab before being recalled. He’ll have 12 days left once his rehab assignment resumes.

Friday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Indians

As expected (or hoped), Victor Martinez is back in the lineup. They’re still going to proceed carefully with him, and manager Brad Ausmus said he has talked to Martinez about not taking as many swings during batting practice or in the cage between at-bats as he normally would. At this point, though, he is by all reports pain-free.

“He said he doesn’t feel anything at all,” Ausmus said.

With Martinez back, Ausmus is back to fitting four outfielders into three spots. It’ll be a luxury for tomorrow’s day-night doubleheader, but it was decision time tonight, and Rajai Davis is the odd man out. J.D. Martinez starts in left.

TIGERS (career numbers off Trevor Bauer)

  1. Austin Jackson, CF (0-for-4, 2 walks, 3 K’s)
  2. Ian Kinsler, 2B (3-for-7, HR, K)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (2-for-6, 2 doubles)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH (2-for-5, HR, walk, K)
  5. J.D. Martinez, LF (1-for-3)
  6. Torii Hunter, RF (1-for-3, HR)
  7. Nick Castellanos, 3B (1-for-6, K)
  8. Alex Avila, C (3-for-5, HR, walk, K)
  9. Eugenio Suarez, SS (0-for-3, 2 K’s)

P: Anibal Sanchez

INDIANS (career numbers vs. Sanchez)

  1. Jason Kipnis, 2B (3-for-19, double, walk, 6 K’s)
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS (5-for-20, HR, 2 walks, 6 K’s)
  3. Michael Brantley, CF (5-for-19, triple, K)
  4. Carlos Santana, 1B (4-for-18, double, triple, walk, 4 K’s)
  5. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B (3-for-12, walk, 3 K’s)
  6. Nick Swisher, DH (2-for-14, 3 walks, 8 K’s)
  7. David Murphy, RF (1-for-6, walk, 2 K’s)
  8. Yan Gomes, C (3-for-7, triple, HR, walk, 3 K’s)
  9. Chris Dickerson, LF

P: Trevor Bauer