Maybin among rehabbing Tigers nearing return

Maybin among rehabbing Tigers nearing return

MIAMI -- The Tigers opened their regular season Tuesday night with a half-dozen players on the 15-day disabled list, but a return is already in sight for outfielder Cameron Maybin.

Maybin, who broke his left wrist on a Luis Severino fastball March 1, is getting game action in extended spring training, alternating between the outfield and designated hitter. He's expected to begin a formal rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Lakeland once the Flying Tigers begin their season later this week.

Manager Brad Ausmus gave a rough estimate of about 40 at-bats Maybin will need before being ready to join the big league club. Essentially, the outfielder's getting a truncated version of Spring Training at-bats. His final at-bats, however, are expected to take place at Triple-A Toledo, giving him a look at advanced pitching before his return.

It's not rare for rehabbing players to stay in Lakeland early in the season with warmer weather in Florida. In Maybin's case, however, weather isn't the overriding factor.

"I don't know if it'll warm up [in Toledo] before he's ready to go up there," Ausmus said. "I just think it's more about him playing some games -- a week's worth of games, five games, whatever it is -- in Lakeland, and then when he's within striking distance of being reactivated, then he'll go to Toledo for a handful of games."

Reliever Alex Wilson, out since late February with right rotator cuff capsulitis, threw a simulated game Monday without trouble. That could put him in position for game work shortly as well, building his arm up in a rehab assignment.

Starter Daniel Norris, sidelined since mid-March with back issues, continues to throw pain-free, now doing so off the mound. He threw his first bullpen session Monday since the injury. Norris will likely get at least one more session before he gets to face hitters in simulated work.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.