Saupold rejoins Tigers' bullpen

Righty called up as Maybin makes expected move to DL

Saupold rejoins Tigers' bullpen

SEATTLE -- The Tigers made an expected move official Wednesday when they placed center fielder Cameron Maybin on the 15-day disabled list because of a Grade 2 left thumb sprain, retroactive to last Thursday. They recalled right-hander Warwick Saupold from Triple-A Toledo.

Maybin got a second opinion on his CT scan results and the sprain was confirmed. Manager Brad Ausmus said the club is hoping that Maybin will be able to return when eligible in 10 days. In the meantime, Saupold helps shore up the bullpen the night after the Tigers went 15 innings in a 6-5 loss to the Mariners.

The Tigers once again started Tyler Collins in center field and will likely continue to do so while Maybin is out. Ausmus said he was aware that the Houston Astros designated for assignment veteran center fielder Carlos Gomez but that Gomez had not yet been mentioned to him as a potential replacement for Maybin by general manager Al Avila.

"If it turns out that Cam needs more than the 15 days, finding preferably a right-handed-hitting center fielder that could help out would be something that would be discussed," Ausmus said.

In the meantime, the Tigers figure to go with Saupold until right-hander Bruce Rondon is back from paternity leave, which should occur over the weekend in Texas. This will be the 26-year-old Australian's second stint with the Tigers. He pitched in five games for Detroit this year, posting a 10.80 ERA.

"He throws strikes," Ausmus said. "He can mix it up. He's got four pitches he can throw. When he first came up, he did a real nice job for us."

Club careful with Greene

Ausmus expanded on the late Tuesday news that reliever Shane Greene is dealing with a posterior oblique injury and that the team is trying to avoid the disabled list.

Greene told reporters on Tuesday that he hopes to pitch through it, but Ausmus said with the club's off-day on Thursday, it seemed sensible to keep Greene unavailable Wednesday barring another extra-innings situation.

"First of all, you've got to know Shane Greene," Ausmus said. "He'd tell you he could pitch if his right arm was falling off. And then you've got to be smart about what you're doing. … I firmly believe that he will be ready to pitch on Friday. We would like to not pitch him tonight."

Rotation switch

The Tigers had to use scheduled Friday starter Matt Boyd in the 14th inning on Tuesday night, so they flipped Boyd and Anibal Sanchez in the rotation. Sanchez will now open the series in Texas on Friday against right-hander Yu Darvish, with Boyd starting opposite lefty Cole Hamels on Saturday. Tigers righty Michael Fulmer will make his scheduled Sunday start against Texas righty A.J. Griffin.

Surgery for VerHagen

Tigers head trainer Kevin Rand confirmed that right-hander Drew VerHagen had surgery on Monday for right shoulder thoracic outlet syndrome.

"Everything went fine," Rand said. "He's in rehab now and will be cleared to start throwing somewhere at the 6-8-week mark."

Doug Miller is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.