August 11th, 2010

Tigers debated sending down Boesch last week

How close did the Tigers come to sending Brennan Boesch back to Toledo? They had meetings about it last week, manager Jim Leyland said, and they decided to let him play through last weekend.

And it wasn’t a unanimous decision. But Leyland sounds very much like a guy in Boesch’s corner.

“I don’t know what the best solution is. I’m going to be honest with everybody in here,” Leyland said after Wednesday’s game. “I don’t really know if it would’ve been best a few days ago. We were kind of going to give him the weekend, kind of look at it. He kind of came out of it a little bit, hit the home run to right field, hit a home run to left field. And it’s not that a performance [judgment] guy. It’s just that it’s a tough decision.

“But I decided, I think it’s best for the organization right now if we stay with him, because I think he’s part of the future. I see his face is a little bit better right now. I think he’s relaxing a little bit more again. I like him that much. I don’t want to tear the kid up. I don’t want to hurt him in any way, shape or form. But I think he can handle it. I’ll just pick some spots and watch him.”

Those meetings apparently came late last week, and they included front-office folks and the coaching staff alike. The success that Max Scherzer had since coming back was an exhibit in favor of moving him. The idea that the experience will make him better was an argument in favor of keeping him.

“We had meetings,” Leyland said. “Not official meetings, but meetings in here with Dave: What’s best for the kid? What should we do? Is it better for him to go down, let him relax for two weeks down there and bring him back? Some people felt it was best to let him grind it out. Some people felt it was best to send him down. We ended up saying we were going to check the weekend out.

“I didn’t want to get him like a deer in headlights, because we’re not sending him down. But we did discuss it. And you know what? It goes to show you that nobody knew the answer, because there were several different opinions from a lot of people I respect.”

Team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski wasn’t available today, but he said on MLB Network Radio earlier this week that they see Boesch coming out of his slump. So that sounds like a vote of confidence.

So did Leyland’s opinion of his potential.

“I’m going to watch him a little bit,” Leyland said. “I’m going to try to pick spots to let him breathe a little bit. But I want to kind of see him grind it out. I think he’s a real keeper. I like him a lot. I really do. I think he’s going to be a very good Major League productive hitter. I really do. I think right now we’re going to let him kind of grind it out.”

Wednesday: Tigers vs. Rays

Should be an interesting matchup between the Tigers and Matt Garza today. Will Garza go after the Tigers with high fastballs again until Detroit adjusts, or will Garza throw something different at them? How much of a difference will Peralta (9-for-19 lifetime off Garza) make? Can Miguel Cabrera snap out of his forgettable homestand?

TIGERS

  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Damon, LF
  3. Boesch, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Peralta, SS
  6. Guillen, DH
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Raburn, 2B
  9. Laird, C

P: Justin Verlander

RAYS

  1. Dan Johnson, 1B
  2. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  3. Carl Crawford, LF
  4. Evan Longoria, 3B
  5. Matt Joyce, RF
  6. Willy Aybar, DH
  7. B.J. Upton, CF
  8. Jason Bartlett, SS
  9. Kelly Shoppach, C

P: Matt Garza

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