DETROIT -- While Tigers outfielders, including injured JaCoby Jones, conducted throwing drills in the right-field corner of Comerica Park on Friday afternoon before a 7-3 loss to the White Sox, Jose Cabrera was in the left-field corner doing light running drills with head athletic trainer Kevin Rand.Jones had the stitches
DETROIT -- While Tigers outfielders, including injured JaCoby Jones, conducted throwing drills in the right-field corner of Comerica Park on Friday afternoon before a 7-3 loss to the White Sox, Jose Cabrera was in the left-field corner doing light running drills with head athletic trainer Kevin Rand.
Jones had the stitches removed from his lacerated left lip earlier in the day. Cabrera went from the corner to the batter's box, where he had about 20 minutes of early batting practice.
It was a good sign for both Cabrera and Jones, who were placed on the 10-day disabled list a day apart last weekend at Minnesota. Both appear to be on track to return when they're eligible to come off the DL on May 2 and 3, respectively.
Cabrera, who had a right groin strain, has been expected to spend a minimal time sidelined. Manager Brad Ausmus said last week they might have waited on the move if the disabled list hadn't been changed from 15 days to 10. Nothing so far has changed that thought.
"All systems are a go right now with him," Ausmus said.
Aside from eating, Jones has generally felt fine since the Tigers returned home. He took a pitch to his mouth last Saturday at Minnesota, but avoided serious damage aside from nine stitches in his lip. His teeth were all intact and his CT scan showed no other damage.
Getting both back will be a major boost for the Tigers for different reasons. At the plate, Detroit entered Friday's game having scored one run in its' last two games after plating 32 runs over the previous two games.
Defensively, the Tigers have been using Andrew Romine and Tyler Collins in center. Collins collided with right fielder Jim Adduci chasing a fly ball Thursday, knocking the ball out of Adduci's glove and resulting in a baserunner that eventually scored for Seattle's first run in a 2-1 loss.
• The Tigers announced that they've sent Class A reliever Drew Smith to the Rays to complete their January acquisition of outfielder Michael Mahtook. The Rays agreed at the time of the trade to choose from a list of lower-level prospects. They chose Smith, who ranked 17th on MLB Pipeline.com's list of top Tigers prospects. The hard-throwing right-hander allowed one earned run on four hits over 11 2/3 innings so far this season at Class A Lakeland, walking four and striking out 12.
• The Tigers entered Friday with the longest average game time of any Major League team -- 3 hours and 21 minutes for a nine-inning game. The next-longest average is seven minutes faster, courtesy of the Cleveland Indians, which had a four-hour game against the Tigers on April 14.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.