Detroit OF Boesch tweaks oblique
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — This is a crucial spring training for Brennan Boesch, whose spot on the Detroit roster is far from certain.
After tweaking an oblique muscle, the 27-year-old outfielder knew better than to take any chances.
"I'd say I'm optimistic that I'll be able to be out there in the next day or two," Boesch said Sunday. "The most important thing is not rushing it, so I get all the at-bats I need in spring to compete and prepare for the season."
Boesch definitely doesn't need a nagging injury right now. He was left off the Tigers' postseason roster after hitting .240 last year. Now he's in the mix for playing time in left field, but Detroit has other options who, like Boesch, hit left-handed. Andy Dirks and Quintin Berry are competing for playing time at that position as well.
The Tigers saw enough in Boesch's potential that they signed him to a $2.3 million deal to avoid arbitration. He's hit 42 homers in three seasons with Detroit, and at 6-foot-4, he can be a powerful presence in the batter's box. But hasn't quite had a year when everything came together.
In 2011, he hit .283 with 16 home runs in 115 promising games, but he missed the entire postseason that year because of a right thumb injury that required surgery.
At this time last year, he was penciled in to hit second for Detroit, right in front of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. But Boesch wasn't at his best in 2012. Not only did his batting average slip, but he struck out 104 times and drew only 26 walks.