July 1st, 2012

Prince sounds like a go for Home Run Derby

Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera have a home-run derby opposite each other every day in batting practice. They hit in the same group, and they tend to put on a show for a round or two when they’re on the road.

“We don’t count,” Cabrera said. “I think he wins every time.”

Fielder wasn’t taking that compliment easily.

“It’s a tie,” he said.

Could they match up a week from Monday in the State Farm Home Run Derby? That sounds iffy.

Fielder was playing coy, but it sounds like he’s in.

“I don’t know,” he said when asked. “I think so.”

Fielder said earlier in the week that he would be interested.

Cabrera said he has not been asked, and he sounded noncommittal about it. The strong commitment he sounded was that he expects Fielder will do it.

“If they ask me, I’m going to think about it,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ll do it or not. They don’t ask me yet.”

If they don’t, or if they do and he says no, then he says he’ll watch Fielder. But a lot of fans, no doubt, would like to see him do it.

Fielder won the Home Run Derby in 2009 when the All-Star festivities were held in St. Louis.

Verlander slotted to face Sox, Indians later this month

Is it too early for the Tigers to plan out their pitching rotation for division matchups? In this situation, with a gap to make up against both the Indians and White Sox, it is not, and the result will have Justin Verlander pitching the third game out of the All-Star break.

Doug Fister and Max Scherzer are slated to pitch the first two games in Baltimore, with Verlander pitching Sunday. By doing that, Verlander falls in line to pitch the series opener against the White Sox at home on July 20, then pitch in Cleveland July 25 or 26. It’ll also put him in line to pitch in Boston at the end of the month.

Could it cost him an extra start at the end of the season? Perhaps, though they can tweak that by how they use their off-days. But at this point, you can argue it’s more important who he starts against than how many starts he gets.

Sunday’s lineup: Tigers at Rays

A little bit of a Sunday lineup against Alex Cobb. Brennan Boesch, 1-for-3 with a double off Cobb from last year, sits in favor of Don Kelly. Ryan Raburn starts at second base, while Ramon Santiago gives Jhonny Peralta a day off at shortstop. Still no start for Danny Worth, who hasn’t had a plate appearance since June 15.

TIGERS

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Quintin Berry, LF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
  4. Prince Fielder, 1B
  5. Delmon Young, DH
  6. Alex Avila, C
  7. Ryan Raburn, 2B
  8. Don Kelly, RF
  9. Ramon Santiago, SS

P: Drew Smyly

RAYS

  1. Desmond Jennings, LF
  2. Sean Rodriguez, 2B
  3. B.J. Upton, DH
  4. Jeff Keppinger, 1B
  5. Ben Zobrist, RF
  6. Brooks Conrad, 3B
  7. Hideki Matsui, LF
  8. Jose Molina, C
  9. Elliot Johnson, SS

P: Alex Cobb

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