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Leonys placed on DL; Mahtook called up

Martin has strained hamstring; injury updates on Zimmermann, Wilson
May 8, 2018

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers couldn't stop Leonys Martin from running all over Globe Life Park on Monday. On Tuesday, a strained left hamstring did.Indeed, the injuries are piling up for the Tigers. After losing Jose Cabrera, Alex Wilson and Jordan Zimmermann to the disabled list on their current weeklong road

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers couldn't stop Leonys Martin from running all over Globe Life Park on Monday. On Tuesday, a strained left hamstring did.
Indeed, the injuries are piling up for the Tigers. After losing Jose Cabrera, Alex Wilson and Jordan Zimmermann to the disabled list on their current weeklong road trip, they placed Martin -- their leadoff hitter and center fielder -- on the 10-day disabled list after Tuesday night's 7-4 win over the Rangers at Globe Life Park.
Michael Mahtook, who opened the season in Detroit but was optioned to Triple-A Toledo in mid-April amid a 4-for-31 start, will be recalled from the Mud Hens to fill Martin's spot.
Martin had felt soreness in the back of his knee for a while, but he had swelling there Tuesday. An MRI showed the strain.
"It's a strain in the back of the hammy, and it's a situation where if you let him try to play through it, it could definitely pop," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's tender, and it's got some swelling in it. They have to do treatment on him and get this straightened out, because he's in a dangerous spot right now with this hamstring. It could blow, so we're shutting him down."
Martin should be ready to return when he's eligible to come off the DL on May 18, Gardenhire said.
Though Gardenhire said they noticed something was amiss in Martin's play Monday, that he was lacking his usual aggressiveness, he still made plays. Martin, who roamed center field here for three-plus seasons, covered 82 feet in 4.5 seconds to run down Delino DeShields' drive in left-center in the first inning. Statcast™ gave the drive a 27 percent catch probability, making it a four-star catch. He also doubled off the wall in right-center and pulled a 392-foot homer to right field.

What Martin didn't do was try to steal a base or take an extra base, counter to his usual aggressiveness. He has attempted only one steal through April 11 and was thrown out last Saturday at Kansas City after a leadoff walk in the ninth.
While the Tigers were setting up an MRI on Martin, they received MRI results for reliever Wilson, who suffered a plantar fascia injury in his left foot Monday. The exam showed a 95 percent tear, which is essentially the same as a complete tear.
"It's not fully ruptured, but it's pretty good," Gardenhire said. "After he gets off the DL, he'll probably be able to pitch with it, depending on how much pain he can withstand. It's going to be painful. It's not going to go away. The thread's hanging on, but he'll be fine, and he's a tough guy."
It's actually just about what Wilson was hoping to hear. Though the injury happened when Wilson tried to cover first base on Ronald Guzman's sixth-inning infield single, his plantar fascia had been an issue for a while.

"Honestly, if it had ripped completely, it's the best-case [scenario], because I won't have to have it fixed," Wilson said earlier Tuesday. "Basically I'll lose the arch in my foot, but I'll never have any more problems with plantar fasciitis. If that's the case, I was told it could be three days, it could be two weeks, it could be a month. It just depends on how my body handles it."
Wilson will be in a walking boot for the next 5-7 days, he said, but the timetable for his return depends on his pain tolerance.
Zimmermann, meanwhile, is optimistic he'll be ready to rejoin the Tigers' rotation when he's eligible to return from the DL next Wednesday. He received a cortisone injection in his right shoulder, which had an impingement that flared up in his fifth and final inning Saturday at Kansas City and continued when he tried to play catch Sunday.
"It just pinched a little bit in there and caused some inflammation," Zimmermann said. "The only way it's going to get better is if I take a lot of time off with no shot, or I can get the shot and take a few days off."

Zimmermann said the injury is not related to the neck and back issues that have hampered him the past few years.
"I'm not worried at all about this," he said. "I'd tell you if I had any fear of anything else, but it's just a general throwing injury that happens to a lot of guys throughout the year."
V-Mart meets Colon one more time
Though Victor Martinez and Bartolo Colon were never teammates in Cleveland, they were in Spring Training together for a couple years, Martinez said. As rare as it is nowadays for the 39-year-old Martinez to face a pitcher older than him, it's just as rare for him to meet an organization mate from those Cleveland days.
"He's always been a great guy. Always," Martinez said. "For me to get to face him for the first couple times, it was kind of weird."
It won't be so unique for Martinez, he said, when the 44-year-old Colon takes the mound for the Rangers against him in Wednesday's series finale. Still, it could be one final meeting for two players that have defied age over their careers.
Martinez first faced Colon on July 22, 2003, when Martinez was a rookie in Cleveland and Colon had been traded by the Expos to the White Sox, one year after the Indians had traded him to Montreal. They haven't faced each other since the 2013 American League Division Series, when Colon was in Oakland.
Colon was seemingly near the end of his career even back then. Asked if he's surprised Colon is not only still pitching, but pitching well, Martinez hesitated.
"I think a lot of people are," Martinez said, "and that shows a lot of people that maybe age is just a number. There's a lot of young kids out there who can't do what [Colon] is doing right now."
Martinez is 8-for-25 with three doubles, a home run and three strikeouts off Colon. But what Martinez remembers is the person in camp, not the player.
"For Latin players, he was great," Martinez said. "Great guy."

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.