KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Detroit Tigers' walk-off celebration on Opening Day is the source of the painful thumb injury that has left Javier Baez unharmed for the last three games.
Baez said he inserted his right thumb in the scrum that followed the delayed celebration.
Baez didn't hit any time initially, but a few days later he aggravated the injury while on the plate.
On Wednesday and Thursday, he was a late scratch from the start line.
"I'm feeling quite good, but I'm super sore," Baez said, demonstrating reporters the swollen thumb in the clubhouse Friday afternoon.
According to Baez, X-rays revealed no fracture or other serious issue.
"I talked to A.J. (Hinch) and he knows I don't want to be out. But I didn't want to get jammed again and miss two weeks," he said.
Baez gained grounders before Friday's game, and he hopes to return to the lineup on Saturday.
During the celebration of last week, who was the exuberant teammate who caused the injury?
Baez jokingly asked for Jeimer Candelario, his nearest teammate. "It was that guy," he said with a smile.
'No, it doesn't matter. I'm just grateful that it's not broken.'
The Tigers are also concerned that outfielder Robbie Grossman might return on Saturday.
Grossman said he was sick in his groin, but tests suggest his illness is linked to his lower back or hip.
Grossman will do a long day before Friday's game, and if things go smoothly, he may even be available off the bench.
Hinch said that "all signs are pointing in the right direction."
After completing one outing at Class A Lakeland and two in Triple-A Toledo, left-hander Wily Peralta is expected to join the Tigers' bullpen as early as Saturday.
To add Peralta, the Tigers will have to make a 28-man and 40-man roster transaction.
The veteran right-hander, who after the conclusion of the lockout,.
Peralta earned 18 starts and scored a 3.07 ERA over 93 2/3 innings for the Tigers last season, assisting them in avoiding a depleted rotation in the middle of the summer.
Peralta will likely pull out of the bullpen in 2022, as the Tigers don't have a vacancy in the rotation.