Nick Castellanos might want to consider a weekly, rather than monthly, apartment lease at Toledo.

You could make a case for the Tigers calling their top prospect to Detroit. Soon.

Austin Jackson’s hamstring is still healing and, from what we know about hamstrings and their stubbornness, delayed recoveries and recurring tweaks are often the case when a muscle so temperamental is strained.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland needs lineup help even beyond Jackson’s leadoff spot. Victor Martinez and Alex Avila have been leaving too many runners on base and too many innings wanting for a base hit that neither Leyland’s designated hitter nor his starting catcher have been delivering.

It means the Tigers are wasting a lot of well-pitched games. They are losing when starters go deep and when those same starters and relievers are imperfect. They are losing because they lack a single, or double up the gap, or a ball over the fence, the brand of hits Avila and Martinez, in concert with Jackson, were supposed to bring with regularity in 2013.

Castellanos will be no savior when and if the Tigers decide a talented right-handed hitter is ready for Detroit. He is 21. He is not quite a year into a new position, left field, which was mandated when the Tigers last year shifted Miguel Cabrera to Castellanos’ more natural position, third base.

Castellanos, though, can hit. And it’s possible a prospect of his acknowledged skill and potential could help a lineup that looks as if it will badly need another bat if the Tigers are to lock up their division and survive October’s playoffs.

The Tigers have known since spring camp that Castellanos would probably reach Detroit in 2013, even before roster limits expand in September. He is a 6-foot-4, 220-pound athlete regarded as one of the purer young hitters on the cusp of playing in the big leagues.
On the right course

Heading into Tuesday’s game, Castellanos had a 10-game run in which he was hitting .368, with two home runs, two doubles — and two strikeouts — in 38 at-bats. He hit .259 in April, .282 in May, and, during the early days of June, was hitting .333.

They are not numbers that empirically say a player is ready for the big leagues. But factored with his track record, his hitting pedigree, and with his projected path to Detroit, he is on course.

At the end of spring training, a personal guess was that Castellanos would be in Detroit in June. That still seems possible, even reasonable, especially if Leyland’s offense shows too few signs of compensating for Jackson’s absence, and for Avila’s and Martinez’s frustrations.

Dave Dombrowski, president and general manager for the Tigers, was asked Tuesday if Castellanos might be gaining on that Comerica Park debut.

“He is doing better, offensively and defensively,” Dombrowski said in an email exchange, “and continues to improve.

“However, we have no time frame on him being ready.”