Cliff Lee is eligible to return from the disabled list Friday, but Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that the left-hander’s strained oblique muscle hasn’t healed enough for that to happen.
According to Zolecki he’s “improving” but will have to throw at least two bullpen sessions before being cleared to return and the first of those sessions hasn’t even been scheduled yet.
In other words, next week is seemingly now the best-case scenario for Lee, who initially wanted to avoid the DL. As usual, oblique injuries are much bigger deals than they seem at first.
The Tigers are expected to hire Ron Gardenhire as the team’s new manager upon completion of a contract, per Ken Rosenthal and Katie Strang of The Athletic. Gardenhire, 59, spent the 2017 season serving as the bench coach for the Diamondbacks.
Gardenhire managed the Twins for 13 seasons between 2002-14, amassing a 1,068-1,039 (.507) record in the regular season and reaching the playoffs six times.
According to Strang and Rosenthal, Gardenhire was one of 10 candidates to interview with the Tigers. Others included Alex Cora, Mike Redmond, Fredi Gonzalez, Joe McEwing, Hensley Meulens, Dave Clark, and Omar Vizquel. Apparently, GM Al Avila wanted a manager with previous major league managing experience.
The Tigers parted ways with previous manager Brad Ausmus at the end of the 2017 regular season, his fourth year at the helm.