Injured Tigers slowly regaining health

Wilson, Maybin, Hardy close to returning, though Rondon hits DL

Injured Tigers slowly regaining health

HOUSTON -- The Tigers are slowly but -- make no mistake -- surely getting healthier with the season finally reaching its stride.

Right-handed reliever Alex Wilson will likely lead the brigade of callups, possibly returning from rotator cuff capsulitis as soon as this weekend against the Astros, manager Brad Ausmus said before Friday's series opener at Minute Maid Park.

"He's sooner [rather] than later," Ausmus said about Wilson's imminent return.

Wilson missed most of Spring Training because of the injury and pitched in two games this week for Triple-A Toledo, allowing one run in 1 2/3 innings across the two outings.

His teammate in Toledo has been none other than outfielder Cameron Maybin, who is on a rehab assignment as he recovers from a fractured left wrist, an injury sustained in Florida last month.

Ausmus said that Mud Hens manager Lloyd McClendon has been texting him updates as Maybin works his way back, with all feedback positive so far.

"[McClendon] said Maybin looked good swinging the bat last night," Ausmus said. "There's been no complaints."

Though Maybin's body is holding up, the results haven't been outstanding. Maybin has just one hit and three strikeouts in 12 Triple-A at-bats. The most likely timetable for his return is early next week, when the team is in Kansas City.

Ditto for southpaw bullpen stalwart Blaine Hardy, who is rehabbing a shoulder impingement. Hardy threw his first Triple-A innings on Thursday night, and he's pitching again on Friday night.

The team wants to see how he handles back-to-back nights and how the shoulder feels before they feel comfortable calling him up.

"Blaine's a little behind [Wilson], but not far," Ausmus said. "He's real close."

The news wasn't all peachy, however. Hard-throwing reliever Bruce Rondon was officially placed on the 15-day disabled list with a tweaked hamstring, an injury sustained during his own rehab assignment in Toledo.

"Hamstring just grabbed him," Ausmus said of the injury, which happened during warmups. "They're saying a minimum of two weeks."

Rondon is still working his way back after a tumultuous two years. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2014 and was dismissed from the team because of his "effort level" last September.

Chris Abshire is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.