|April 8||4:00 PM|
- NATHAN TO DL, LOBSTEIN/HARDY UP
Placed Joe Nathan (RHP) on Detroit’s 15-day disabled list with right elbow flexor strainRecalled Kyle Lobstein (LHP) from Toledo
Recalled Blaine Hardy (LHP) from Toledo
Reassigned Francisco Contreras (3B) to extended spring training from West Michigan
Assigned David Gonzalez (IF) to West Michigan
While much of the injury attention has been focused on Justin Verlander, the Tigers out of the blue announced on Wednesday that closer Joe Nathan would be heading to the DL, after battling elbow soreness that flared up again after his outing on Monday. Taking his place in the bullpen will be Hardy, called up from Toledo before their season even started, but he’ll assume a role in middle and long relief, while Joakim Soria will handle closer duties until Nathan returns.
Besides Nathan, the Tigers made it known that Verlander would not be ready for his first start of the season on Sunday by calling up Lobstein to take that spot. Conventional wisdom had been that if JV would be ready, they’d call up a reliever to take his spot until Sunday, and if he wouldn’t be, they’d call up a starter, as one would be needed. The decision to select Lobstein likely means it’ll be at least another week until Verlander is ready to resume a starting role.