Maybin injured the thumb while diving for a ball in the outfield last Wednesday night at home against the White Sox. Maybin said his glove got stuck and he hyperextended the thumb, and a Tuesday MRI exam revealed the sprain.
Ausmus said Maybin cannot hit but would be available to pinch-run or be a late-inning defensive replacement in Tuesday night's game against the Mariners at Safeco Field. However, since he hasn't played since Wednesday, if he stayed inactive he would be available to return from the DL in 10 days.
It's another big-time bummer for the Tigers, who already have third baseman Nick Castellanos (broken bone in left hand) and starting pitchers Jordan Zimmermann (neck injury) and Mike Pelfrey (lower back strain) on the DL. It was pointed out to Ausmus before Tuesday's game that the skipper has only had the starting lineup he envisioned out of Spring Training on the field together and healthy for 25 of the club's first 113 games.
"And it's going to be a few more games now," Ausmus said. "We've just got to find a way to win. No excuses. You've got to find a way.
"We're in the thick of it. … We're in a spot to be competing for the Wild Card or the division, and we're going to keep doing everything we can to try to win one or the other."
The Tigers entered Tuesday tied with the Red Sox for the second American League Wild Card spot.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.