DETROIT — Jose Iglesias is likely to be activated off Detroit's disabled list Friday, which will prompt some dexterity in the handling of the situation by Tigers manager Brad Ausmus.
Iglesias was scheduled to play for Toledo on Thursday night in a final rehab game with no complications from the left hamstring strain that landed him on the disabled list two weeks back.
“There's no guarantees,” Ausmus said after Detroit completed a sweep of the Minnesota Twins on Thursday with an 8-5 victory. “If his hamstring doesn't feel good he definitely won't be activated (Friday).”
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Detroit hosts the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night for the start of a three-game weekend series. The Angels won the final two contests of a three-game series in Toronto — their first road victories since July 26.
“Anytime you play well, you hope your team starts gathering confidence and gaining confidence,” Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said prior to Thursday's game. “That's a good club we played and we did a good job on the offensive end. You hope you're going to build confidence with some things you want to do on a regular basis.
“We're not always going to go out there and (score) eight runs, but we did a lot of good things.”
The Tigers picked up Erick Aybar, an ex-Angel, earlier this month to help provide some offense to a Detroit team that was struggling.
Ausmus is likely to want to take advantage of any extra juice Aybar might get from Los Angeles letting him go to Atlanta prior to this season. The Tigers traded with the Braves to get Aybar.
There is some wiggle room and Ausmus is likely to exploit that.
He could shift Aybar over to third, where veteran Casey McGehee has been filling in for injured Nick Castellanos, who is likely to be out until mid-September recovering from a broken bone in his left hand. Aybar has made just a couple appearances at third in his career but wouldn't be the first shortstop to move over.
“Aybar hasn't played much at third, not that he couldn't handle it,” Ausmus said.
McGehee has supplied some hits but nothing in the way of driving in runs. He may look at matchups with the three to see which two play.
“Iglesias will get time at short but if Aybar is playing well, it's not like we're going to not play him,'' Ausmus said. “If he's producing, he's going to play.
“It's just going to boil down to who we think is going to help us win. Pretty simple.”
Detroit brings home a four-game winning streak after taking three in Minnesota.
“To come into any town and sweep them, it's tough to do,” Ausmus said. “It's just the nature of the game. But our bats started to get hot and the pitching held up.
“Maybe it was the start of it but I'd like to seem them keep rolling. We have Anaheim coming in. That's how this team is built, it's built to slug. Our pitching is solid, especially the second half, but we're built to slug and it's nice to see it.”
Justin Verlander (13-7, 3.38 ERA) starts the first game of the series for the Tigers against the Angels' Ricky Nolasco (4-11, 5.22 overall; 0-3, 5.70 for Los Angeles).
Verlander lost to Los Angeles in his only start against it this season, allowing four runs on four hits in 7 1/3 innings. Over his career, the Angels have handled him for a 5-7 record and 3.77 ERA and he has given up seven home runs to them in his 15 starts.
Nolasco was picked up in a deal with Minnesota with manager Scioscia's team stripped of starting pitching by injuries. He's 0-2 in three starts against Detroit this season with a 4.32 ERA.
For his career, Nolasco is 2-3 with a 3.86 ERA and the times he's been successful against the Tigers, he's stayed away from his fastball.
The injury bug that decimated the Angels' rotation has now chomped on the bullpen.
Closer Huston Street underwent surgery Tuesday on a knee that has bothered him for months and is through for the season.
On Wednesday, Los Angeles learned that Cam Bedrosian, his eventual replacement who hasn't pitched since Aug. 2, has a blood clot in his upper right arm. He will see a specialist to determine the next course of action.
“I think any time you have a young pitcher that has an issue that is lingering, you want to make sure that you check all the boxes and make sure that everything is taken care of,” Scioscia said. “You're always concerned about every player when they're banged up.”
Bedrosian had a 1.12 ERA in 40 1/3 innings of relief this season with 51 strikeouts.