CLEVELAND -- The Tigers felt positive enough about getting center fielder Austin Jackson back that they posted a lineup shortly before batting practice with Jackson back in his usual spot atop the batting order. That didn't last long.
By the end of Tuesday night, the Tigers had purchased Quintin Berry's contract from Triple-A Toledo as a fill-in, designated reliever Collin Balester for assignment and were staring at the possibility of placing Jackson on the disabled list if things don't improve in the coming days.
"We can take this opportunity to try to buy a little more time, but not a whole lot more, to be honest with you," manager Jim Leyland said of the Berry move. "We thought we could buy a couple more days with Austin, but right now, as we speak, it doesn't look particularly good."
Jackson said Tuesday afternoon that he felt good taking swings in the batting cage at Progressive Field and was going to take full batting practice, run bases and shag fly balls in the outfield as a final clearance. After one round of swings, however, he felt more pain and shut himself down.
"It's the initial movement once I go to hit the ball, that's just kind of grabbing a little bit," Jackson said. "It grabs at the moment, right before you make contact, and I have nothing behind it. I know it's definitely getting better, because I was able to run more freely, but just trying to hit 92-95 [mph fastballs] right now, I don't think it's ready for that."
Berry will start in center field Wednesday against Cleveland starter Zach McAllister, Leyland said. He hit .270 (43-for-159) in 39 games at Toledo with eight doubles, no home runs and 11 RBIs. He has stolen 19 bases in 22 attempts.
"He's got real good speed and he's a real good defender," Leyland said. "We'll just have to wait and see, but I'm going to put him in the lineup tomorrow night."
Balester, the return from Washington in last winter's Ryan Perry trade, allowed 13 earned runs on 14 hits in 18 innings, walking 11 and striking out 12. He's out of Minor League options, so he would have to clear waivers for the Tigers to outright him to Toledo.