DETROIT — Detroit center fielder Austin Jackson has been put on the 15-day disabled list because of a pulled right hamstring, leaving the Tigers without a talented leadoff hitter who also covers a lot of ground defensively in spacious Comerica Park.
The team announced the move Monday. It is retroactive to Sunday, when Jackson missed a game against Cleveland following the injury.
“You want to make sure it’s right. No sense fooling with it,” manager Jim Leyland said. “The way they’ve got to treat it, it’d probably be five, six days for sure. We just want to make sure that it’s done right.”
The Tigers recalled outfielder Avisail Garcia from Triple-A Toledo.
Jackson is hitting .272 with a team-high five steals. Garcia hit .319 in 47 at-bats toward the end of last season, playing well enough that he made Detroit’s postseason roster. Leyland said Garcia is a candidate to play center field in Jackson’s absence, although Don Kelly was in the starting lineup there for Monday night’s game against Houston.
Left fielder Andy Dirks could also be moved to center if need be. One thing Leyland ruled out was the possibility of moving Torii Hunter from right field to center.
“We’ll have a guy out there who can cover a lot of ground out there,” Leyland said. “Kelly’s pretty good at covering a lot of ground — not to the extent of Austin Jackson, obviously — and Garcia will cover a lot of ground when he plays.”