Like many non-contenders, the Detroit Tigers are doing a lot of shuffling in the last two months of the season.
Due to a combination of injuries and trades, manager Ron Gardenhire might have to improvise quite a bit during the team's home series against the Chicago White Sox that begins Monday night.
The team's top hitter, right fielder Nicholas Castellanos, has done some major damage against the White Sox this season, batting .342 with three homers, nine RBI and nine runs scored. But he missed Sunday's game with a bruised right foot and his status for the series is questionable.
Center fielder JaCoby Jones exited a 4-2 win over Minnesota on Sunday with right hamstring tightness. He underwent an MRI after the game and could be headed to the disabled list.
"He definitely has a mild strain of the hamstring, so we're trying to make a decision real quick here," Gardenhire said. "Our Triple-A team is coming back to Toledo, so we might have to make a move. We can't play short-(handed)."
Quite a few things needed to happen in order for right-hander Artie Lewicki to start for the Tigers on Monday. Mike Fiers was dealt to Oakland last week for minor leaguers. Detroit signed a replacement, journeyman Jacob Turner, who was rocked for seven runs in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels last week.
When the Tigers signed reliever Zach McAllister, Turner was cut loose. That put Lewicki in the rotation, at least until ace Michael Fulmer (oblique strain) returns from an 10-day disabled list.
Lewicki has made 12 major-league appearances this season, including a three-inning relief outing against the Angels after being recalled from Toledo. He allowed one run and three hits and struck out five.
Lewicki (0-2, 4.76 ERA) was ineffective in two starts, giving up nine combined runs in 9 1/3 innings, though he faced American League Central-leading Cleveland both times.
He had a three-inning relief stint against the White Sox on May 26 and gave up one run and four hits. Lewicki, 26, will be making his fourth career start.
Reynaldo Lopez (4-9, 4.30) will get the nod for Chicago. Lopez has delivered two quality starts this month, though he wound up with no-decisions.
He held the New York Yankees to one run and four hits in seven innings on Tuesday after limiting Kansas City to two runs and five hits in seven innings on Aug. 1.
Lopez relied on his fastball against the Yankees, firing his heater on 68 of 98 pitches. He had a no-hitter through five innings.
"His life was right from the get-go. Velocity was up, attacking the zone, got in some traffic, could have fallen apart but fought right through it," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said during the postgame press conference. "That's a good ballclub and he worked, managed them as well as he could. He did an extremely nice job."
Lopez has faced the Tigers as recently as June 15, when he had another no-decision while allowing three runs and nine hits in six innings. In four career starts against Detroit, he's 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA.
The White Sox have lost five of their last six games. Their late rally against the Indians on Sunday fell short as they wound up losing 9-7.
The Tigers have dominated the series thus far, winning eight of nine matchups.
Tigers deal with roster questions entering series vs. White Sox