The Tigers had planned on starting Alfredo Simon (5-2, 2.67) in Wednesday’s finale against the A’s, but he’s left the team with his father gravely ill in the Dominican Republic and is on the bereavement list.
Detroit had hoped to get lefty Kyle Ryan up from Triple-A Toledo to start, but short of renting a private jet they couldn’t get Ryan here on time, although he is expected to be ready to throw in relief, if necessary.
Instead, the Tigers will have to use their bullpen to cover, beginning with right-hander Alex Wilson (1-1, 2.29).
Detroit manager Brad Ausmus called A’s skipper Bob Melvin late Tuesday to let him know of the switch.
“We do feel for Mr. Simon,’’ Melvin said. “It was nice of Brad to call. Not every manager would do that.’’
–Josh Reddick is in the A’s starting lineup batting second for the first time this year.
With the addition of Ryan to the bullpen, Detroit can throw three lefties in relief of Wilson, and Melvin didn’t want to have lefties batting back-to-back in too many spots, although the Nos. 8 and 9 hitters, Sam Fuld and Eric Sogard, both are lefties.
Melvin said the ability to put switch-hitter Ben Zobrist in between his two biggest RBI produces, Reddick and Stephen Vogt, led to Reddick batting second.
Reddick made five starts batting second last year, without much success, averaging just .111 for his career, he’s made 11 starts there with a .107 average.
–On the health watch, starter A.J. Griffin’s progression back from Tommy John surgery will continue Thursday when he pitches two innings of a simulated game before the A’s take on the Yankees in the first of a four-game set.
Sonny Gray, who took a line drive off his right ankle, says he’s good to go for his next start, which will be Friday against the Yankees. “It hurt a little when I threw off the mound Tuesday,” Gray said. “But there shouldn’t be any problem.”
Reliever Eric O’Flaherty is scheduled to throw Wednesday night in relief for Triple-A Nashville on his way back from a left shoulder strain.
First baseman Ike Davis will take batting practice on the field, but he hasn’t run full out yet as he deals with a strained left quad. “A strain is a ripped muscle,’’ Davis said Wednesday morning. “It’s going to take a little time.’’
Lefty starter Drew Pomeranz, trying to make his way back into the rotation after straining an AC joint in his left shoulder, will throw a bullpen session Thursday.
Reliever Edward Mujica is still wearing a small bandage on his right thumb, which was lacerated and which sustained a minor fracture last Thursday. “It’s big,’’ Mujica said, holding his thumb up for inspection. It’s a crazy spot for a fracture. And it’s a minor fracture, but it’s still a fracture and it needs a little time to heal.’’ Melvin said the A’s are hoping Mujica won’t miss much more than the 15-day minimum.