July 5th, 2012

Thursday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Twins

Leyland told reporters in his office this morning that he had a tough time weighing whether to start Quintin Berry today against Scott Diamond, who has given up a .324 batting average and .940 OPS to left-handed hitters this year. Ultimately, the fact that Raburn has seen Diamond before — and he’s supposed to hit lefties — won out.

“I tossed and turned with it today to play Berry or Raburn. I ended up playing Raburn,” Leyland said. The thought process is if Raburn doesn’t help us against left-handers then we have issues. You give him the benefit of the doubt to see if you can maybe get him going a little bit.”

It sounds very much like Leyland is sticking with the idea of using this stretch to see if Raburn can turn it around.

“I’m kind of playing the string out right now to see if Raburn’s going to do something,” Leyland said.

TIGERS

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Ryan Raburn, LF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
  4. Prince Fielder, 1B
  5. Delmon Young, DH
  6. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  7. Brennan Boesch, RF
  8. Gerald Laird, C
  9. Ramon Santiago, 2B

P: Rick Porcello

TWINS

  1. Denard Span, CF
  2. Ben Revere, RF
  3. Joe Mauer, DH
  4. Ryan Doumit, C
  5. Justin Morneau, 1B
  6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
  7. Darin Mastroianni, LF
  8. Brian Dozier, SS
  9. Jamey Carroll, 2B

P: Scott Diamond

Verlander wants to be judged on 2012, not 2011 for All-Star start

Now that Justin Verlander is done for the first half, he’s thinking about his All-Star assignment, and he’s thinking about the field of potential starters. And as he waits to see how AL All-Star manager Ron Washington calls it, he made it clear he’s not expecting anything based on his Cy Young and MVP awards from last year.

“Yeah, it would be nice. It would be fantastic,” Verlander said. “But I know there are some other guys out there having exceptional years. In my opinion, the All-Star Game is year-to-year. This is the halfway point of 2012, not the end of 2011.

“Yeah, I had a good year last year, but I shouldn’t be [awarded] for that. If I get to start in the All-Star Game, I want to know it’s because I’ve been the best pitcher up to this point.”

The fact that he wasn’t available to pitch in the All-Star Game last year, having pitched in the Tigers’ final game before the break, shouldn’t factor in, he said.

“You’re not owed anything in this game,” he continued. “Whoever’s the best pitcher up to this point is owed that. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity last year. And who knows if I’d have had it anyway? [Jered] Weaver was really good up to that point as well. It would be nice. I’d like to have that on the resume, but like I said, there are some other guys out there having fantastic years as well.”

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