July 2012

Berry: “I just wanted to get it over with”

Quintin Berry has done plenty for the Tigers’ fortunes since coming up from Triple-A Toledo, obviously. On Friday, his biggest contributions came without swinging the bat.

It was Jake Peavy’s 0-1 pitch hitting Berry that extended the third inning for the middle of the Tigers order to churn out three straight two-out RBI hits. Then in the ninth, Berry’s diving catch ended it, avoiding what would have been a situation with the potential tying run at the plate in the form of Alex Rios.

Granted, it would have taken quite a hit to get Paul Konerko around the bases, but nobody wanted to take that chance.

“I just wanted to get to it and get this game over with,” Berry said. “Big series, you want to start out on top, and he hit it well enough that I was able to get to it.”

Most of Berry’s big catches seemingly have been to the deep parts of the outfield, forcing him to use his speed to backtrack. This one forced him to come in and angle towards the left-field line.

The catch itself brought out a reaction that made his usual clapping for a base hit seem subdued.

“I was just fired up we got that game over with and got that W,” Berry said. “It’s just big, man. It’s a big series.”

Cabrera fine after tweaking ankle Friday night

Lost in the energy of the sellout crowd over Justin Verlander’s outing Friday night was the minute or so of panic when Miguel Cabrera was limping around third base and head athletic trainer Kevin Rand came out from the dugout to check on him.

Cabrera said he felt it coming into third from first base. However, Cabrera stayed in the game, not only for that inning but also at third base for the ninth, and he said after the game that he was fine.

“My ankle’s OK,” Cabrera said.

That’s a huge relief for the Tigers, who will be counting on Cabrera as they try to find a way to produce some offense off Chris Sale on Saturday.

Friday’s lineups: Tigers vs. White Sox

A lot of career struggles from Tigers hitters against White Sox starter Jake Peavy. Miguel Cabrera is 8-for-35 (.229) for his career off Peavy, but 6-for-13 with five RBIs over the last couple years. Prince Fielder is 8-for-24 off Peavy, including 4-for-9 with two doubles this year.

TIGERS

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

P: Justin Verlander

WHITE SOX

  1. Alejandro De Aza, CF
  2. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
  3. Adam Dunn, DH
  4. Paul Konerko, 1B
  5. Alex Rios, RF
  6. A.J. Pierzynski, C
  7. Dayan Viciedo, LF
  8. Alexei Ramirez, SS
  9. Gordon Beckham, 2B

P: Jake Peavy

Thursday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Angels

Danny Worth gets a second straight start at second despite a right-hander on the mound in Jerome Williams. Peter Bourjos gets a start in a speedy Angels lineup against Max Scherzer.

TIGERS

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Quintin Berry, LF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
  4. Prince Fielder, 1B
  5. Delmon Young, DH
  6. Brennan Boesch, RF
  7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  8. Alex Avila, C
  9. Danny Worth, 2B

P: Max Scherzer

ANGELS

  1. Mike Trout, LF
  2. Erick Aybar, SS
  3. Albert Pujols, DH
  4. Mark Trumbo, RF
  5. Kendrys Morales, 1B
  6. Alberto Callaspo, 3B
  7. Maicer Izturis, 2B
  8. Peter Bourjos, CF
  9. Bobby Wilson, C

P: Jerome Williams

Tigers win pick in Competitive Balance Lottery

Never thought I’d be writing this covering baseball, but the ping-pong balls worked out in the Tigers’ favor Wednesday. Thanks to MLB’s new Competitive Balance Lottery, Detroit picked up an extra pick at the end of the second round of next summer’s First-Year Player Draft. And they might not even have to wait that long to reap the benefits of it.

I wrote yesterday about the rules quirk that allowed the Tigers, with baseball’s fifth-highest payroll, into the Competitive Balance Lottery, and what it could mean for them heading into the July 31 trade deadline. The Tigers were one of eight teams in the lottery for six picks at the end of the second round (six picks were also awarded at the end of the first round, but Detroit wasn’t eligible for those), and they got the last of them. Depending on how many free-agent compensation picks are doled out this coming offseason, the Tigers’ pick should fall somewhere in the mid- to late 70s in the overall order.

By comparison, the Tigers didn’t make their first pick in last month’s First-Year Player Draft until the 91st overall selection. They didn’t come up in the 2011 Draft until the 76th pick.

In those drafts, the Tigers lost their first-round pick thanks to signing free agents under the old rules. Now, not only did they gain a pick, it could help them gain another big-name player if they need an extra trading chip.

That’s right, trading draft picks. That’s the other new quirk about this Competitive Balance Lottery. The picks awarded through the lottery are tradeable, allowing teams to trade draft picks for the first time ever. Moreover, they’re tradeable now, giving the Tigers an extra enticement leading up to the trade deadline.

In many ways, it’s like an extra prospect the Tigers can deal without taking away from the farm system they have. It’s not only about the pick, but the extra draft spending that comes with it. Even if another team isn’t intrigued by where the pick falls, that team could sign somebody under slot and use the money on other picks.

Wednesday’s lineup: Tigers vs. Angels

As you would expect, left-handed batters are hitting just .180 with 35 strikeouts in 113 plate appearances off C.J. Wilson. However, right-handed hitters aren’t much better, batting just .209 (67-for-321) off him. So while Quintin Berry gets the expected night off in favor of Ryan Raburn, who’s 4-for-7 off Wilson (including postseason), loading up on righties doesn’t guarantee success. Jhonny Peralta is just 2-for-19 with eight strikeouts against Wilson, for instance. Delmon Young was just 3-for-15 against Wilson before homering twice off him in last year’s ALCS.

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. Danny Worth, 2B

P: Doug Fister

ANGELS

  1. Mike Trout, CF
  2. Torii Hunter, RF
  3. Albert Pujols, 1B
  4. Mark Trumbo, LF
  5. Kendrys Morales, DH
  6. Alberto Callaspo, 3B
  7. Howie Kendrick, 2B
  8. Erick Aybar, SS
  9. John Hester, C

P: C.J. Wilson

How Tigers qualify for Competitive Balance Lottery

You may have heard about the Competitive Balance Lottery when the new collective bargaining agreement came out last winter, providing a new avenue for smaller market teams to compete against the big boys by awarding them extra draft picks. That draft takes place tomorrow afternoon, deciding 12 picks after the first two rounds among 14 teams.

What you might not have heard is that the Tigers are in the mix for a pick. In fact, the way the lottery works, they have a pretty good chance at gaining a pick.

How is it possible for the Tigers, with the fifth-highest payroll in baseball on Opening Day according to USA Today’s numbers, to be in the Competitive Balance Lottery, you ask?

It’s a complicated formula, but somehow, the Tigers just made it in. Here’s a shot at explaining it, from what I was told:

The picks are divided into two groups — six picks at the end of the first round, six more at the end of the second. The first group of picks are given out among teams with the 10 smallest markets or 10 lowest revenues. That includes 13 teams:  D-backs, Orioles, Indians, Royals, A’s, Pirates, Padres, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Marlins, Brewers and Cardinals.

Six of those 13 teams will end up with a pick. The other seven teams will enter the lottery for the second group of picks. By rule, teams who receive revenue sharing  money and aren’t located among the top 15 markets are also added to that mix. Only one team qualifies this year under those rules — the Tigers. Detroit barely falls outside the top 15 markets, but it does, and the Tigers apparently received a little bit of revenue sharing money last year.

The Tigers will be one of eight teams vying for six picks, so their chances are pretty good. That said, teams’ chances are higher or lower based on their winning percentage last season. So the Tigers’ best shot is if teams like the Royals, Pirates, Padres and Orioles win picks in the first round, pitting Detroit against teams like Milwaukee, St. Louis and Tampa Bay in the second round.

Here’s the kicker to it all: The draft picks awarded in the lottery are tradeable, and according to Jonathan Mayo’s story (link above), teams can deal them as soon as Thursday. If teams are going to trade them, though, they have to do it before the end of the season.

So while we don’t know how clubs will value these picks, since draft picks haven’t been tradeable before, it’s possible they could be like an extra prospect to throw into a trade.

Tuesday’s lineup: Tigers vs. Angels

None of the Tigers have faced Garrett Richards in the big leagues yet, so no numbers to report. However, in Richards’ limited big league time this year, lefties are batting .326 (29-for-89) against him, compared to .231 (12-for-52) for right-handed hitters. Regardless, it’s the same lineup.

TIGERS

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

P: Jacob Turner

 

 

Monday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Angels

TIGERS

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Quintin Berry, LF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B (4-for-11, HR off Ervin Santana)
  4. Prince Fielder, 1B
  5. Delmon Young, DH (3-for-16, 6 K’s off Santana)
  6. Brennan Boesch, RF
  7. Jhonny Peralta, SS (2-for-16 off Santana)
  8. Alex Avila, C
  9. Ramon Santiago, 2B

P: Rick Porcello

ANGELS

  1. Mike Trout, CF
  2. Torii Hunter, RF (3-for-9, HR off Porcello)
  3. Albert Pujols, 1B
  4. Kendrys Morales, DH
  5. Mark Trumbo, LF
  6. Howard Kendrick, 2B (2-for-12, 5 K’s off Porcello)
  7. Erick Aybar, SS (2-for-13 off Porcello)
  8. Maicer Izturis, 3B (5-for-7, HR, 3B off Porcello)
  9. John Hester, C

P: Ervin Santana

Saturday’s lineups: Tigers at Orioles

TIGERS

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

P: Max Scherzer

ORIOLES

  1. Nick Markakis, RF
  2. J.J. Hardy, SS
  3. Jim Thome, DH
  4. Adam Jones, CF
  5. Matt Wieters, C
  6. Chris Davis, LF
  7. Mark Reynolds, 1B
  8. Wilson Betemit, 3B
  9. Robert Andino, 2B

P: Wei-Yin Chen

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