Jones revealed after his rough outing Wednesday night against the Indians that he has been pitching through shoulder pain. The 40-year-old right-hander had been feeling it for the last six weeks, by his estimation, but it reached the point Wednesday that he couldn't loosen up properly or extend through his pitches. His admission after the game confirmed a suspicion manager Jim Leyland said he'd had for about the last two weeks.
The timetable coincides with Jones' struggles, which eventually led to Leyland's decision last weekend to start using Fernando Rodney as closer. Jones has allowed 25 hits over 16 2/3 innings since June 15, during which he has a 6.48 ERA. That includes Kelly Shoppach's home run Wednesday night.
Jones was scheduled to undergo an MRI exam in Cleveland on Thursday afternoon While the Tigers finished up their four-game series against the Indians at Progressive Field.
Detroit recalled sidearming lefty reliever Clay Rapada from Triple-A Toledo to take Jones' place on the roster for Thursday only. Rapada made the drive from Toledo to Cleveland in the morning in time for the first pitch and was one of the few fresh relievers the Tigers had for the game after Wednesday's 13-inning victory.
Rapada allowed three runs, two earned, on three hits over 1 2/3 innings on Thursday, raising his ERA to 4.30 in 15 appearances. He was optioned back again after Thursday's game to make room on the roster for Kyle Farnsworth, who was acquired Wednesday from the Yankees in the Ivan Rodriguez trade. Farnsworth will join the team Friday at Tampa Bay.
"I'm looking forward to it," Leyland said, "because we need the help."
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.