DETROIT -- Adam Wilk was one of the first cuts from the Tigers' fifth-starter competition in Spring Training. But after one turn through the rotation at Triple-A Toledo, he had by far the best start. Thus, Wilk is getting the call to fill the latest void for the Tigers.
In the process, Wilk will get his first Major League start. He'll don a Detroit uniform again to face the White Sox on Saturday in Chicago as he fills the void left by Doug Fister's left rib cage strain.
The decision came out of a Tuesday morning meeting between manager Jim Leyland and team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski in Leyland's office, hours after the manager had watched lefty prospect Casey Crosby give up six runs, four earned, on five hits in four-plus innings for the Hens on Monday night.
One night earlier, Andy Oliver walked five Indianapolis Indians over 3 2/3 innings with Tigers officials in attendance. Both starters were under consideration.
In the end, the Tigers stuck to Leyland's stance of going with whoever's performing the best at Toledo and whoever earns the recommendation of the coaches down there. Wilk's start was last Friday, when he tossed five scoreless innings on one hit with six strikeouts.
Wilk will be pitching on seven days' rest unless he makes a relief appearance for the Hens in the next day or two.
The one in-house candidate was Duane Below, the current Major League leader in wins after picking up victories in relief on Saturday and Sunday. He was the runner-up to Drew Smyly for the fifth spot in the rotation out of Spring Training, but he will remain in the bullpen.
Inge begins rehab at Toledo on Tuesday
DETROIT -- Brandon Inge felt last week like he could've been ready for Opening Day, but couldn't take the chance that his strained left groin might be aggravated into something worse. There was little question, though, that he'd be ready for a rehab assignment soon enough.
Inge will go on rehab with Triple-A Toledo on Tuesday night, when he'll be the designated hitter for the Mud Hens against Louisville. He'll play second base for the Hens on Wednesday and Thursday, stretching out to seven innings.
Inge is eligible to be activated from the disabled list on Saturday. If all goes well on rehab, he will likely be activated then.
Avila gets first day of rest in opener vs. Rays
DETROIT -- After catching all 29 innings in the Tigers' three-game opening series against the Red Sox -- and battling a cold in the process -- Alex Avila got a well-deserved day off Tuesday as the Tigers open up a three-game series against the Rays.
Gerald Laird, who won a World Series with the Cardinals in 2011 and then signed a one-year contract in the offseason to come back to the Motor City, replaced Avila and batted eighth.
Avila had a breakout year in 2011, but eventually wore down from catching an American League-high 1,157 innings. He hit .169 from Sept. 10 on, including batting at an .073 clip in the postseason.
"Last year, we beat the [heck] out of Alex all year long," manager Jim Leyland said. "Don't be shocked if you see Gerald Laird catch from time to time. That's why he's here."
Ramon Santiago, also fighting off a cold, was a late scratch from Tuesday's lineup and was replaced by Danny Worth -- also making his first start of 2012. Worth has been used as a pinch-runner and pinch-hitter so far this season and scored the winning run on Austin Jackson's walk-off single in a 3-2 win against the Red Sox on Opening Day.
"I'm trying to get in there and do anything I can to help us win," Worth said. "If they want me to bunt him over, hit and run, get on base, draw a walk, see a lot of pitches, get some knocks, hit a homer -- whatever. Just try to do whatever I can."
Scherzer still trying to fix mechanical flaw
DETROIT -- When Max Scherzer struggled through the Tigers' Spring Training finale a week ago, he looked on the bright side, that he was able to identify a flaw in his delivery out of the stretch before the regular season. Until then, his spring had been solid enough that he hadn't noticed.
Scherzer knows the problem, but Sunday's struggles suggest he's still trying to find a way to fix it.
"He just had a terrible day," manager Jim Leyland said at the time. "I can't explain it any different."
Leyland didn't have any additional thoughts on it Tuesday. With Scherzer moved up to Sunday's series finale at Chicago, he'll now have one less day to work on the issue. That's the tradeoff of pitching on regular turn and staying in a routine.
"He hadn't had to pitch out of the stretch basically all spring, because he threw the ball well," catcher Alex Avila said Sunday. "And that just kind of got him of sync. He was falling behind guys, walking guys, and that just kind of carried over. We just weren't able to make the adjustment.
"He's going to be fine. Once he figures out what he's going to have to do mechanically to get himself back into rhythm, he'll be just fine."
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Anthony Odoardi is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.