LAKELAND, Fla. — The injury bug has bit the Detroit Tigers, both here and in across the world in Taiwan.
Andy Ibáñez suffered an injury to his left ring finger while preparing to play in the World Baseball Classic for Cuba. He missed his team’s opening game in Taiwan on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, Tyler Nevin reported oblique discomfort while taking batting practice on Tuesday morning. He is undergoing an MRI. There will likely be an update on his status on Friday, when the next team injury report is released.
Both players are considered serious competitors for at least one and possibly two infield spots on the Tigers’ Opening Day roster.
Ibáñez told JIT Deporte Cubano that the injury was evaluated by a doctor on Tuesday and there is no fracture, only a tear.
He’s doing treatment with cold and hot water and hopes to be back in a couple of days.
“It’s been a nice experience (in Taiwan), but I feel a little sad, with some mixed feelings, because I want to play,” Ibáñez said in Spanish.
Cuba lost its opener on Tuesday night to the Netherlands, making their path out of pool play considerably tougher.
Ibáñez, 29, was claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers in November. He has experience at every infield position and is a right-handed bat who hits well against lefties.
Nevin, 25, has a similar profile, although he also has experience as a corner outfielder. He’s shown impressive power early this spring.
Ibáñez and Nevin are competing against players like Ryan Kreidler, Zack Short, Jermaine Palacios, Brendon Davis, Cesar Hernandez and Andre Lipcius for infield and utility roles.