Tigers activate Castellanos from 15-day DL
The Tigers, with their season on the line, will turn back to Nick Castellanos to give them an offensive boost for the stretch run. The team activated the slugging third baseman from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday after seven weeks out with a fractured left ha Add Contact Form nd.
Castellanos played in an instructional league game and an intrasquad game Monday and Tuesday, respectively, in Lakeland, Fla. He boarded a flight for Detroit Tuesday afternoon and was expected to arrive sometime during the Tigers’ game against the Indians Tuesday night.
“He won’t be here in time for the start of the game,” manager Brad Ausmus said, “but he’ll be here at some point in the middle.”
Castellanos could be in the Tigers’ lineup Wednesday night. It would be a quick transition back after just two days of game action, but the Tigers aren’t in a position for patience.
“He’s a little short on reps right now,” Ausmus said. “He’s only played a couple games. But I think Nick has the ability and the confidence to hit on short repetitions. It’ll be good to have the lineup back intact, really.”
The 24-year-old Castellanos was batting .286 with 18 homers and 58 RBIs when an inside pitch fractured his hand on Aug. 6. Initially timetables projected Castellanos to miss 4-6 weeks, but didn’t account for the struggles Castellanos would encounter to regain strength in his hand once he was cleared to hit again.
He lasted one at-bat in a simulated game a couple weeks ago and had similar issues facing live pitching early last week, but felt much stronger in two days against live pitching last weekend, including some tape-measure drives.
Castellanos wanted to join the team after that, but Ausmus wanted to get some game action first. He went 1-for-3 in instructional play against minor leaguers Monday and felt good, then went 2-for-3 Tuesday with a double off the center-field fence.
While Castellanos can’t make the hand any worse by playing as long as he doesn’t take another impact off of it, his timing against Major League pitching could be an adjustment. In another situation, the Tigers might have waited until next season. But with Detroit struggling for production at third base since Castellanos left — primary replacement Casey McGehee went 21-for-91 with a double and one RBI — they were willing to take a chance.