DETROIT -- The Tigers sent shortstop prospect Danny Worth on a rehab assignment to Triple-A Toledo earlier this month with the idea of making him a September callup. Now, his continued heel problems might put the rest of his season in question.
Worth has played in only one rehab game since going out on assignment with Toledo. He aggravated his bruised left heel on Aug. 12, after which the Tigers recalled him from his rehab assignment. He has yet to heal sufficiently enough to return since.
With the Mud Hens' regular season ending on Labor Day, time is running out.
The 24-year-old Worth batted .255 in 39 games for the Tigers with five doubles, two home runs and eight RBIs.
Tigers recall Figaro, send Weinhardt down
DETROIT -- The Tigers decided to stick with an extra reliever for the time being. They just decided to change the reliever, recalling right-hander Alfredo Figaro from Triple-A Toledo and sending Robbie Weinhardt back to the Mud Hens.
The move is as much about getting Weinhardt out of his Major League struggles as it is about getting a reliever back. Weinhardt remains a relief prospect for Detroit, but the 24-year-old had been hit hard lately, allowing 13 earned runs on 12 hits over 4 2/3 innings in his past seven appearances. His slider and sinker, the pitches that made him an effective ground-ball specialist in the Minors, had been up in the zone lately.
"Weinhardt needed to go down," manager Jim Leyland said. "He was just a little frustrated."
The 26-year-old Figaro gave up two runs on three hits over two-thirds of an inning in his lone Tigers appearance of the season on May 12, but he has been in the Hens rotation all season, going 10-6 with a 4.14 ERA in 23 starts with 112 strikeouts over 124 innings.
The Tigers left New York on Thursday expecting to go back to seven relievers and four position players this weekend -- even planning on it. After a Friday morning talk between Leyland and team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski, however, they decided they still needed the extra arm.
A lot of that has to do with Detroit's rotation and a lack of innings from Tigers starters. Justin Verlander, Jeremy Bonderman and Rick Porcello lasted just five innings each over the past three games at New York, as did Armando Galarraga last Sunday at Chicago.
Damon, Inge not worried about waivers
DETROIT -- Both Johnny Damon and Brandon Inge had the same reaction to rumors on Friday that they had been placed on waivers: they weren't shocked, but they weren't worried.
As they agreed, it's part of the business, and it doesn't necessarily mean they're going anywhere.
"It could be something, or it could be nothing," Inge said. "Nobody really needs to worry about it, because nearly every player gets put on waivers."
By rule, club officials aren't allowed to comment publicly on waivers, and the Tigers are adhering to that policy. ESPN's Buster Olney reported on Twitter that both Damon and Inge were placed on waivers on Thursday.
Waivers are essentially a procedural move unless something happens from there. After the non-waiver Trade Deadline on July 31, players must clear waivers in order to be traded, or can be traded to the team that claims them. Otherwise, a team can pull them back off waivers and keep them.
Teams out of contention, and some teams in contention, will often put several players on waivers, some with little to no chance of being traded, others to see which teams might be interested. Players up for free agency at the end of a season are frequently placed on waivers. And teams will frequently put in a claim for a player on waivers with no intention of acquiring them, simply to block another team from getting them.
That could easily be the fate on Damon and Inge. Though Inge has been rumored to draw interest from some National League contenders, he would have to pass without a claim from any American League team and most NL clubs in order for an NL contender to have any chance at him.
Damon has a clause in his contract that requires his approval for a trade to all but eight Major League teams on a list he provided going into the season. Like Inge, Damon has expressed his interest in staying with the Tigers next year, though both are free agents.
"I'm not too concerned about it," Damon said. "I kind of knew it possibly would happen, but that doesn't mean something will. I know Detroit likes me. I know they would probably like to keep me, but if this is a way they can possibly save a little bit of money this year and get a prospect, then that's something they have to do.
"I made it clear that I would like to be back next year, but maybe the money that they'd save is something they can use to help this team be better next year."
Magglio undergoes exam on fractured ankle
DETROIT -- Veteran Tigers outfielder Magglio Ordonez returned to Comerica Park on Friday for a follow-up exam on his fractured right ankle, the results of which should determine how soon -- or maybe if -- Ordonez will be back.
Ordonez underwent repeat X-rays and a CT scan Friday, and was referred to noted foot and ankle specialist Dr. Phillip Kwong of the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles.
Ordonez fractured his ankle on an awkward slide at home plate on July 24. The initial diagnosis called for him to be out for six to eight weeks. That was about four weeks ago. His ankle had been in a cast ever since.
That cast was removed Friday, and his ankle was placed in a removable boot. However, he remains on crutches, since he can only put a limited amount of weight on his foot right now.
Ordonez was batting .303 with 12 home runs and 59 RBIs this year at the time of the injury. His loss has had a big impact on the Tigers lineup, where he would usually be batting in front of American League MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.