Iglesias scratched after taking line drive off right shin

LAKELAND, Fla. — Of all people to get hit during batting practice and then for the ball to hit in that spot is almost unbelievable.

J.D. Martinez had just stepped into the cage to take his round of swings in batting practice after Miguel Cabrera finished.

There was a loud cry and everyone turned to look.

There was Jose Iglesias crumpled to the ground after a line drive hit him in the right shin, the same shin that he had bruised with a bad slide on a stolen base two days ago in Port St. Lucie.

"Taking some ground balls from Omar (Vizquel), threw to first base and I just hear, ‘Watch out,’ so (Ian) Kinsler’s screaming at me but when I look it was too late," Iglesias said as he sat by his locker during Sunday’s game. "JD (Martinez) hit it, he hit it pretty hard."

Iglesias missed all of last season with stress fractures in both shins so the fact that he’s injured his right shin twice in a span of three days is ludicrous.

"Exactly the same spot," Iglesias said. "It’s swelling, it’s a little painful, bother me to walk and everything but like I said, we ice it down all night long and see how it feels tomorrow morning."

Needless to say, Iglesias was dumbfounded that his shin would get hurt again.

"I don’t know what to say, it’s really weird, it’s really rare that it happens," Iglesias said. "Got hit on the slide and then (two) days after get hit by a line drive on the same particular spot, this is really rare."

Trainers had to help Iglesias to the clubhouse.

The Tigers announced shortly thereafter that Iglesias was scratched from the game with a right shin contusion. Dixon Machado started at shortstop in Iglesias’ place.

During the game, the Tigers said X-rays on Iglesias’ shin were negative and he is day-to-day.

"We were glad the X-ray was negative, that’s great news," Iglesias said. "It’s just painful now but I’ll be fine in a couple days or hopefully tomorrow."

It may be time for Iglesias to consider protective gear for his shins.

"We just talked about that, wear like a padding or something in there, game time, player slides or any type of hit on the shins, we avoid that," Iglesias said. 

Ironically, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus was asked before batting practice about Iglesias.

"I think the next step really is playing back-to-back days," Ausmus said. "In my mind, it’ll be the body of playing time in spring training, hopefully he makes it through unscathed. Then I’ll be a lot more comfortable. Doesn’t mean he won’t need a day here and there when the season starts. It’s more the idea he gets through the entire spring of being out there on almost a daily basis. Even if he’s not playing, he’s out there hitting."

The Tigers had been hoping to have Iglesias play with second baseman Ian Kinsler this spring.

Iglesias didn’t rule out playing Monday but it would probably be surprising if he did.

"It just depends on how I feel tomorrow morning," Iglesias said. "I want to get some at-bats, I want to be up there but I gotta be smart as well."

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