LAKELAND, Florida — Slowly, the Detroit Tigers are starting to get healthy again. They got some good news before Monday's 6-4 win over the split-squad Toronto Blue Jays and, after a tough first weeks of spring training, they're on the mend.
First, shortstop Jose Iglesias is expected to be in the lineup on Tuesday when they face Philadelphia.
Iglesias missed all of 2014 with stress fractures in both shins, and was hit in his right sin by a batting practice line drive on Sunday. Iglesias had said he could have played on Monday, but he was left out as a precautionary measure.
Next, potential closer Bruce Rondon has been throwing and is expected to make his spring debut on Thursday against the Phillies. Rondon missed all of the 2014 season with a torn ligament in his elbow. He underwent Tommy John surgery and Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said that Rondon is ready to go.
"We are keeping our eyes on the prize this season," Ausmus said. "We aren't going to be rushing anybody."
Anibal Sanchez was shaky in his second start of the spring for the Tigers, giving up a home run to Jose Bautista.
Sanchez gave up two runs on four hits and a walk in 2 1-3 innings. He was went 8-5 with a 3.43 ERA in 22 starts for the Tigers last season.
Blue Jays starter Daniel Norris allowed three earned runs in two innings. He is contending for one of the final spots in the Blue Jays' rotation.
Anthony Gose doubled and stole a base, keeping up his strong spring start for the Tigers. Yoenis Cespedes also doubled for Detroit.
Ramon Santiago doubled and singled for the Blue Jays.
Blue Jays: Manager John Gibbons said he wasn't concerned that Norris has a 7.36 ERA after two starts.
"He was OK," Gibbons said. "He just has to get it over the plate. I see progress every time he goes out there."
Tigers: Sanchez said he wanted to go three innings but he reached his pitch count early in the second inning. He expects to go four innings in his next start.
"I feel great," he said. "The only thing I am concerned with are little things. I am just working on stuff that I will need when the season starts."
Tigers: RHP Joakim Soria is recovering from a blister on his throwing thumb. He is still day-to-day.
Blue Jays: R.A. Dickey will start against the Minnesota Twins. It will be his second start of the spring.
Tigers: Alfredo Simon will get his second start of the spring against the Philadelphia Phillies.
ON A MISSION
Detroit reliever Joe Nathan says he's not ready to call in a career. The 40-year-old came to the Tigers last season with hopes of being the closer that the team has been searching for. Instead, he finished with a 4.81 ERA in 62 games.
"I have something to prove," Nathan said. "At least that is according to what everybody is saying. I am working as hard as I can in spring training, but it's a building process. People think I am done, and there are bumps along the way, but I've been doing this long enough."