Although he was technically not needed in relief over the last three days, Detroit Tigers reliever Brayan Villarreal was reportedly unavailable during the entire Baltimore series according to manager Jim Leyland.
Leyland told the Detroit Free Press after Sunday's game that Villarreal suffered a strained neck muscle while shagging a fly ball during a Thursday workout in Baltimore. The veteran manager also revealed that he is slightly worried about his talented right-hander right now, even while Tigers trainer Kevin Rand described the injury as essentially a stiff neck. "I have concern," Leyland said. "Others don't."
The 25-year-old Venezuelan-born pitcher has made 25 appearances for the Tigers this season, sporting an impressive 1.55 ERA. He has also fanned a whopping 40 batters in just 29 innings during what amounts to his sophomore campaign, and truly looks to be morphing into one of the American League's top set-up men. Hopefully for both he and the Tigers this neck injury will only keep him on the sidelines for a few days and not bleed into a DL-stint.