Injuries wrecked the Detroit Tigers last year and look to be a problem already in 2016, as recently acquired outfielder Cameron Maybin suffered an injury to his wrist.
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Ausmus Comments on Maybin's Timeline, Recovery
Saturday, March 19
Manager Brad Ausmus told reporters Maybin "probably won't" be ready for Opening Day. Ausmus added the follow-up X-rays on the outfielder's hand and wrist showed signs of healing, but not enough for him to be on track to open the season healthy.
Per an official release from the Tigers on March 8, Maybin is expected to miss four to six weeks with a "non-displaced fracture" in his left wrist, which he suffered when he was hit by a pitch against the New York Yankees.
Maybin's Glove Should Stabilize Tigers' Outfield
The Tigers got Maybin in a November trade with the Atlanta Braves, hoping he could provide some stability in center field.
Maybin is not a dynamic hitter, owning a career slash line of .251/.313/.366, but he did hit a career-high 10 home runs last season.
While Maybin's absence does hurt the Tigers, his injury did occur early enough in spring training that it's possible he will only miss the first two weeks of the regular season if he's out for the full six weeks.
The Tigers still have Anthony Gose, who had a Maybin-esque slash line of .254/.321/.367 in 140 games last year, on the roster. He also stole 23 bases in 34 attempts, so there isn't a steep drop in production.
Yet Gose proved last year that he's not a capable leadoff hitter and also struggled against left-handed pitching, posting a .546 OPS. Maybin's career splits against southpaws aren't anything to brag about, but a .645 career OPS is significantly better than Gose's.
Center field is Detroit's one major question mark in the outfield. Justin Upton and J.D. Martinez have the corners locked down. Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler and a healthy Victor Martinez will give the Tigers one of the American League's deepest lineups.
Losing Maybin for up to two weeks during the season isn't a crushing blow to Detroit's chances in the American League Central, but it does highlight the microscope that Gose will be under in 2016.
Stats per Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.
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