MINNEAPOLIS -- The Tigers are hopeful that they'll have Jose Iglesias back in their lineup for Friday's series opener in Miami. The injured shortstop, sidelined since taking a fastball off the base of his left hand last Thursday, took batting practice Wednesday for the first time since the injury.
Iglesias has been fielding ground balls at short during pregame work for the past few days. Swinging a bat has been his main limitation, an obstacle he cleared when he began hitting soft-toss pitches on Tuesday.
Iglesias' ability to field brought him into the ninth inning of Wednesday's division-clinching win to close the game at shortstop. He did not have to make a play, thanks to back-to-back strikeouts from closer Joaquin Benoit.
His return would ease a major concern for Tigers officials, who watched what was initially hoped to be a day-to-day injury linger. When team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski talked about Jhonny Peralta's return for Friday's series opener, in fact, he referenced Peralta as a "safety net" at shortstop.
If there's a bright side from Iglesias' absence, it's that the shin splints that bothered him earlier this month haven't been an issue. The rest should do him some good, while still giving him three games to get his timing and agility back.