Mahtook ready to seize latest opportunity

Fulmer set for first rehab start; Turner outrighted to Triple-A

August 13th, 2018

DETROIT -- The 60-mile stretch of I-75 that links Detroit and Toledo has been well traveled by this season. After Mahtook began the season in the Tigers' Opening Day lineup, the 28-year-old outfielder has been optioned to and recalled from Triple-A Toledo three times.

"It's been rough," Mahtook said at his locker in Detroit. "It wasn't ideal. It's not what I planned going into the season. I had high expectations for myself in the beginning of the season [and it hasn't worked] out that way."

Mahtook was recalled Monday to replace , who went on the 10-day disabled list with right hamstring tightness. Mahtook was in the lineup, playing left field and batting seventh for Monday's series opener against the White Sox.

In 10 games this month with the Mud Hens, Mahtook is batting .270 with two triples and seven RBIs. This is the latest surge in a season that has seen Mahtook's production fluctuate in cycles. He's hitting .200 in 105 at-bats with the Tigers, but Mahtook said he has made improvements to his swing since his last stint with Detroit from July 2-13.

"He told me when he got here, he thinks he knows what he needs to do now," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Now let's carry it over to the games up here. Get your chance again. It's about carrying it into the games here and staying with what you think you've figured out."

After watching Mahtook take batting practice Monday, Gardenhire said his swing looked different and that he appeared to be driving through the ball better than before. Mahtook, who is eligible for arbitration after this season, says he doesn't have the mindset that there is something to be salvaged this season, but this is another opportunity to demonstrate his value to a team in its first year of a rebuild.

"You have to play baseball no matter where you're at," Mahtook said, "whether it's in the big leagues, Triple-A, Double-A, [Class A], independent ball, wherever you're at. If you're playing baseball, that's your job."

Castellanos talks to kids for PLAY event

Tigers right fielder joined the team's athletic training, strength and conditioning staff Monday morning at Comerica Park as part of the national PLAY Campaign, which promotes the importance of children living a healthy lifestyle and disability inclusion.

Children from the National Down Syndrome Society took part in the event with the support of the Ruderman Family Foundation.

"It's always good to get out there and talk to kids about their hope and dreams," Castellanos said.

The PLAY campaign stands for Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth. It began in 2004 through the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society, and has since conducted more than 300 events across all 30 Major League parks, reaching tens of thousands of young people with positive messages about living a more active and healthy lifestyle.

Worth noting

• Gardenhire said will make his first rehab start with Clas A Advanced Lakeland "in a day or two." Fulmer has been on the DL since Jul 20 with a left oblique strain he sustained in a bullpen session after the All-Star break.

• The Tigers announced Monday that right-hander has cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A Toledo. Turner has appeared in five games for the Tigers this season, including one start, and he has a 20.25 ERA.

• The only permanent Tigers outfielder for the time being will likely be Castellanos in right field. Between Mahtook, and , Gardenhire said he wants to mix and match in the outfield.

"We're gonna mix them all in," Gardenhire said. "They're all gonna play."