August 2010

Saturday: Tigers vs. White Sox

Friday’s lineup was posted on the door leading from the clubhouse to the dugout steps. Saturday’s lineup was posted on the wall. If the Tigers win tonight, I’m guessing Sunday’s lineup will be posted on the wall as well. Anything to break up the skid. These are the nuances of baseball superstition.

As far as changes to the lineup itself, Jhonny Peralta gets a day off. Ramon Santiago starts at shortstop.

TIGERS

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

P: Rick Porcello

WHITE SOX

  1. Juan Pierre, LF
  2. Omar Vizquel, 3B
  3. Alex Rios, CF
  4. Paul Konerko, 1B
  5. Mark Teahen, DH
  6. Carlos Quentin, RF
  7. A.J. Pierzynski, C
  8. Alexei Ramirez, SS
  9. Gordon Beckham, 2B

P: Edwin Jackson

Friday: Tigers at White Sox

Normally, left-handed hitters like Brennan Boesch and Johnny Damon wouldn’t be playing against White Sox lefty Mark Buehrle. With a hot, humid night in Chicago and the ball threatening to fly (though the flags atop the scoreboard are blowing in), however, Leyland wants to get his power guys in the lineup. Thus, Boesch and Damon play. Ramon Santiago is off.

TIGERS

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

P: Jeremy Bonderman

WHITE SOX

  1. Juan Pierre, LF
  2. Omar Vizquel, 3B
  3. Alex Rios, CF
  4. Paul Konerko, DH
  5. Mark Teahen, RF (just activated from DL today)
  6. Alexei Ramirez, SS
  7. A.J. Pierzynski, C
  8. Mark Kotsay, 1B
  9. Gordon Beckham, 2B

P: Mark Buehrle

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

Tuesday: Tigers vs. Rays

This should be an interesting matchup. The Tigers haven’t seen Rays fill-in starter/top starting prospect Jeremy Hellickson before, but they have a matchup against the Twins and some footage from Triple-A Durham to watch on video.
It’s now becoming apparent that Jim Leyland is going to stick with Brennan Boesch in the third spot for a while and see how he responds. Dave Dombrowski was on MLB Network Radio this afternoon and he mentioned the adjustments Boesch has made to counter the adjustments pitchers made against him.

TIGERS
  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Damon, DH
  3. Boesch, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Guillen, 2B
  6. Peralta, SS
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Raburn, LF
  9. Avila, C
P: Max Scherzer
RAYS
  1. John Jaso, C
  2. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  3. Carl Crawford, LF
  4. Evan Longoria, 3B
  5. Matt Joyce, RF
  6. Willy Aybar, DH
  7. Dan Johnson, 1B
  8. B.J. Upton, CF
  9. Jason Bartlett, SS
P: Jeremy Hellickson

Monday: Tigers vs. Rays

Jim Leyland gets into a stretch now and then where he doesn’t want to answer questions about his lineup, in part because he knows the questions that are going to come up. He was like that last week when Brandon Inge came back from the disabled list and the question of Jhonny Peralta’s role at shortstop came up. He was like that today, when he put Ramon Santiago at designated hitter.

This will be Santiago’s first Major League game at DH, and the Tigers’ 10th different DH this season. Santiago will have as many games at DH this year as Miguel Cabrera.
TIGERS
  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Santiago, DH
  3. Raburn, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Guillen, 2B
  6. Peralta, SS
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Frazier, LF
  9. Laird, C
P: Armando Galarraga
RAYS
  1. John Jaso, C
  2. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  3. Carl Crawford, LF
  4. Evan Longoria, 3B
  5. Manny Aybar, DH
  6. Dan Johnson, 1B
  7. Matt Joyce, RF
  8. B.J. Upton, CF
  9. Jason Bartlett, SS
P: David Pirce

Saturday: Tigers vs. Angels

UPDATE: Angels lineup has changed. MLB suspended Torii Hunter four games for last night’s incident, and Hunter decided not to appeal.

As Jim Leyland said he would do, Brennan Boesch and Johnny Damon are sitting against wild left-hander Scott Kazmir. Ramon Santiago gets his first start at shortstop since Brandon Inge came off the DL, while Jhonny Peralta gets a game at DH. Jeff Frazier starts in left field, batting seventh.

TIGERS

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

P: Jeremy Bonderman

ANGELS

  1. Bobby Abreu, LF
  2. Erick Aybar, SS
  3. Alberto Callaspo, 3B
  4. Torii Hunter, RF Hideki Matsui, DH
  5. Hideki Matsui, DH Maicer Izturis, 2B
  6. Maicer Izturis, 2B Juan Rivera, RF
  7. Mike Napoli, 1B
  8. Bobby Wilson, C
  9. Peter Bourjos, CF

P: Scott Kazmir

Tigers collecting for Gloves for Kids tonight

The Tigers will be collecting new and gently used baseball and
softball equipment for their annual Gloves for Kids drive Saturday
afternoon at Gate A at Comerica Park.

The collection will run from 5:30 p.m. ET through the end of the second
inning near the “Big Tiger.” Fans do not need a game ticket to come and
make a donation.

The Tigers started the Gloves for Kids program to help support youth
sports in the Detroit area, providing kids the sports equipment they
need to play organized baseball and softball.

In addition to the donation drive, Major League Baseball’s Baseball
Tomorrow Fund will provide a $5,000 grant to purchase new gear for a
local youth baseball organization.

Tigers shuffle batting order for weekend

Jim Leyland said mainly trying to “change things up” and try to get something going by switching up his batting order. The way they’ve been hitting lately, he figures, it’s worth trying something.

The revamped order switches up slumping rookie Brennan Boesch from fifth to second. Instead of trying to protect Miguel Cabrera in the lineup, Boesch will be trying to set the table for him. Jhonny Peralta moves up from sixth to fifth. Johnny Damon moves from third to sixth where he hasn’t hit in the order since 1999. Ryan Raburn slots into the third spot.
TIGERS
  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Boesch, RF
  3. Raburn, LF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Peralta, SS
  6. Damon, DH
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Avila, C
  9. Rhymes, 2B
P: Justin Verlander
ANGELS
  1. Bobby Abreu, LF
  2. Erick Aybar, SS
  3. Alberto Callaspo, 3B
  4. Torii Hunter, RF
  5. Hideki Matsui, DH
  6. Maicer Izturis, 2B
  7. Howie Kendrick, 1B
  8. Bobby Wilson, C
  9. Peter Bourjos, CF
P: Jered Weaver
ANGELS

Chadd, Rojas, Pleis promoted

The Tigers announced a few moves in their player development and scouting departments today:
  • After six years of running the Tigers’ draft efforts, David Chadd is being promoted to vice president of amateur scouting as well as special assistant to the general manager. He’ll still oversee the Tigers’ draft efforts but also take on some other responsibilities during the year, which he was already doing to some degree. He did some pro scouting for the Tigers this summer.
  • Scott Pleis, who had been a national crosschecker, takes over the role of amateur scouting director. He’ll handle the day-to-day amateur scouting work and draft prep while reporting to Chadd.
  • Mike Rojas will fill the player development director role that had been open for the past couple months since the Tigers and Glenn Ezell parted ways. Rojas had been the minor league field coordinator since the start of the 2008 season, but has been with the organization in some capacity or another since 2004.
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