SEATTLE -- Omir Santos said he got about 3 1/2 hours of sleep before traveling cross-country to meet the Tigers in the Pacific Northwest. He gladly made that trip to get back to the Majors for the first time in two years.
Santos had to question whether it was going to happen for him when a broken big toe on his left foot ended his Spring Training just as games were beginning. But by working as much as he could while he was out, then rehabbing as hard as he could, Santos got back into action last week. Thus, he set himself up to get back into the big leagues if somebody got hurt, which was the reason the Tigers signed him in the first place.
He couldn't stand in the batting cage and take swings while his toe was healing, but Santos could sit on a stool and work on his swing.
"I tried to do everything I could," Santos said. "I kept hitting, sitting down."
By doing that, Santos set himself up for a quick transition once he could start hitting again, leaving his adjustment to getting his hands in coordination with his feet.
Though he couldn't catch Tigers pitchers, Santos spent as much time as he could in the bullpen, watching them warm up before their Spring Training outings.
The result is a return to the Major Leagues that might not have seemed realistic when he first got hurt. Most likely, it'll also mean some playing time while he's here. Manager Jim Leyland indicated that while Alex Avila will be the primary catcher, he probably wouldn't play every day.