Sunday’s lineups: Tigers at Twins

Torii Hunter returns to the lineup as expected, making for a pretty standard lineup. Prince Fielder is DHing today, something Jim Leyland has been looking to do for a game since Kansas City.

Meanwhile, Alex Avila makes his third consecutive start behind the plate, his slump now at 0-for-19 and his average down to .163 — his lowest since mid-April. His 0-for-8 history against P.J. Walters doesn’t bode well for breaking that today. After alternating starts with Brayan Pena for stretches over the last few weeks, this might be Plan B.

No Josh Willingham again for the Twins. MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports he received a cortisone shot in his left knee yesterday.

Those who have seen the Tigers against P.J. Walters would not be surprised by the numbers. Prince Fielder is the major exception. He was the obvious Beat the Streak pick, which of course might leave him hitless. You can see other picks around the league here.

Gameday | TV: FS Detroit, MLB.TV | Radio: 97.1 FM, AM 1270, Gameday Audio

TIGERS (career numbers off P.J. Walters)

  1. Austin Jackson, CF (1-for-6)
  2. Torii Hunter, RF (1-for-5, K)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B (4-for-16, HR, 4 K’s)
  4. Prince Fielder, DH (5-for-11, 2 HR, 3 walks)
  5. Victor Martinez, 1B (1-for-3)
  6. Jhonny Peralta, SS (4-for-12, HR, 3 K’s)
  7. Andy Dirks, LF (4-for-10, HR, 2 K’s)
  8. Omar Infante, 2B (1-for-4, walk)
  9. Alex Avila, C (0-for-8, 2 walks, K)

P: Doug Fister

TWINS (career numbers off Doug Fister)

  1. Clete Thomas, CF
  2. Joe Mauer, C (7-for-27, HR, 3 walks, 5 K’s)
  3. Ryan Doumit, DH (2-for-9, K)
  4. Justin Morneau, 1B (8-for-22, HR, 5 K’s)
  5. Oswaldo Arcia, LF
  6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B (2-for-14, HR, K)
  7. Chris Parmelee, RF (2-for-5, walk, K)
  8. Brian Dozier, 2B (3-for-6, K)
  9. Pedro Florimon, SS (0-for-6, 3 K’s)

P: P.J. Walters

59 Comments

So excited to see Avila getting yet another start……he is the obvious choice ahead of Pena (sarcasm). Really tired of him and Dirks getting so much of the time.

I think a lot of fans are frustrated with the skipper trying to make things work that don’t. Avila, and I alluded to this in the previous BLOG heading, really could benefit from a constructive demotion where he can restore his confidence. I actually tink they are being unfair to him to keep throwing him to the wolves, so to speak.
Holaday could split the time effectively with Pena who has come into his own at the plate, and behind it, quite nicely. It wouldn’t take Alex more than 2 or 3 weeks on the farm to find himself again.

The Tigers dont care about that, but after July the first , Castellanos can claim his spot from dirks without triggering super-two status

“this might be Plan B? ” That is , giving him time to find his rhythm with regular AB or allowing him to make the hole even deeper?

F-Rod can put some good numbers up, but he will drive you crazy in the process. He is not easy to watch.

Alex Avila seems to be a really nice person. He has been one of my favourites since 2010. Loads of power, can hit line drives to the gaps, good eye at the plate, sweet swing. But first Leyland destroyed his body and now he is destroying his mind.
Obviously not deliberately, but effectively. I wish Leyland could see the obvious here.

The more we question him, the more stubborn he gets If AA was hitting .050, he’d still be the starting catcher. We went through the same thing with Brennan and I expressed my thoughts about that very clearly. The man will not change. Take it or leave it. And, if DD is willing to accept that, so be it. All they are talking about is the All-Star game.

Well poor Fister has received a total of 4 runs of support over his last 4 games pitched…….that’s just unacceptable for this supposed monster offense. He’s done his job now these hitters need to do something. Really tired of these guys right now.

On Papa’s day, no less. #300!!!

Nice job Torii congratulations on #300

First and second in the line up get us rolling?? Good start today anyway. Now do we add on and how many and how soon???

2 chances for VMart in the first inning

AJ is hitting the ball well and playing far better than I expected he would be able to. Great surprise.
Fabulous for Torii. Nice to see the reaction to it. And nice for Fister too.

Does anyone think we’ll get anymore runs for Fister or are they done?

It’s not looking promising.

Fourth and fifth innings are the best for Tigers:0.85 and 0.76 runs in avg.

Wow! That was a blast by Austin.

Action jackson baby. Oh how we missed u. What a sweet swing. He absolutely crushed that ball.

He has swung the bat really, really well since coming back. When he gets in a groove he is fascinating to watch. Maybe that is happening?

Its like he never left. Definately a welcome site.

Maybe our offense will go back to scoring consistently again with him back. He really is the piece that makes this offense go.

Dirks has played LF very well lately. Very reliable defensively. His hitting has tailed off to a point where JL needs to play 2E more.

Btw happy fathers day to all u dads out there!

Looks like Doug is finished for today. Now, we have to survive the BP.

A lttle late but <ok

Papa on fathers day

Oh, man. I can’t stand it.

Fister has been incredible. I hope Benoit can save this impressive effort for this guy who gives his heart every start.

When your best reliever comes that way….

Plan B worked today

so far. 1 more inning.

Papa is up and warming..

Better tack on some more runs, guys.

Benoit didn’t do as much as I had hoped but I hope we see him in the 9th. I don’t even want to think about the alternative.

Dan & Jim said Papa is warming up. Now, that doesn’t mean that he will pitch….but it doesn’t mean that he won’t.

Stress-free!

Leyland did the right thing. It was the perfect time to leave Benoit handle the 9th.
Omar played a very nice game. As did Hunter.
Miggy is struggling big time right now. Hopefully coming home will fix that in a hurry.

I have been one of those voices extolling the virtues of Castellanos. The guy was on fire recently—-up until yesterday. He has now struck out 7 times in two games and this one today isn’t quite finished yet. Whoever said baseball (and fandom) is humbling?

Five saves this month. Three for Valverde. Two for Benoit. Tandem closers. Let’s do it. Go Tigers!!!!

Still a lot of problems out in that pen. Villarael doesn’t appear to coming back anytime soon. I’m thinking we are very likely to get a sniff of Rondon and/or A2 or Ortega. Reed doesn’t belong up here. Downs and Coke will stay but only because of their lefthandedness. Putkonen needs to stand stall and assert hmself. The stooping posture kinda shows he is not comfortable with himself yet. He has very good stuff. Very good.

Missed the game but saw the highlights. Good to see AJ coming back. Maybe Torii needs a day off to re-group. AA rebounding? Too soon to tell. And Fister. Wow! These starters don’t need 10 runs every game but 2 is a little tight. Didn’t they lose 3 games this past week when only scoring 2 runs? If Sanchez can get back to form, you have a starter every day who can win for you. But, oh, that bullpen Saturday.
Has Smyly worn out?

Bottom of the 9th. Angels have scored 4 and the tying run is at the plate. Rivera is struggling to preserve the victory.

Runners now at first and third. Winning run is at the plate.

Another hit off Rivera. Angels are now down by 1 and Trout is at the plate. Tying run on second.

This is fun! Trout walks. Bags are drunk and Pujols is up.

Game over. Pujols swung at a pitch which nearly hit him. 6-5 final.

Yankees were in a sweat at the end. Angels would not quit with their 5-run 9th and challenged Rivera mightily.

I guess the upshot here is if you like baseball you had to like the drama and the star actors in this play.

Saw MLB.com News featured this game as a news item posted under “Yanks Hold On.”

Nice Victory Tigers. Nice Father’s Day present Torii. Really nice swing Ajax. Great job on the mound Mr. Fister.
1. Scoring first in this game was very important for Doug. Nice to get some offensive support.
2.Great 12 pitch at bat by Torii gets us back to a 3 run lead, and maybe keeps JVV off the mound. Thanks Torii.
3. Great defense by Andy, Omar, and Even Victor; I bleieve he was having a good time at first.

Kudos to Alex for the 2 hits; hope the wrist is okay. Good ninth for Benoit.
Welcome back to Comerica. We got our .500 on the road. Good evening all!

‘Is Benoit the closer?’ I’m not going to get into all that. I’m going to do whatever I think it takes for the Tigers to win the game, and today I felt like my best option was Benoit.”

He was right about that. Not sure what he was thinking on the double steal with Avila up though??? Avila strikes out a ton, PLUS he bats LH. a new pitcher on the mound, the top of the order up next, Peralta a slow runner on 2nd??
How easy do you want to make it for Mauer?
Those are the kind of things Leylands does that just make me shake my head.

I agree that was a stupid move especially the way avila is struggling right now. I can see if there was a better hitter up there but not avila.

Interesting. I agree with much of it. But, runners on 1st & 2nd with nobody out and a weak hitter up with strong hitters on deck. That’s a different story. Remember that a .200 hitter is only gonna be successful 20% of the time. There’s an 80% chance he will fly out, pop up, hit a ground ball out (DP? force?) or whiff. None of those outs are likely to advance a runner to 3rd..
So you have a 20% chance of hitting safely and getting a runner to 3rd or around 90% if you sacrifice.. That 90% I just plucked from a hat.
Anyway, my point is there is a time and place for this to be solid baseball strategy.

Here’s the bad news. Once again we are near the bottom of the pack in stolen bases. Who else is down there with us??. The Cards, Reds, Braves, and D-Backs.
Like the Tigers, three of these teams lead their divisions while the Reds are probably the best second place team in MLB. So I guess the good news is some other teams are successful without stealing a lot of bases. On the other hand, we now play two AL teams that have improved their offense by stealing more bases. The Orioles have outfielders Nate McClouth and Adam Jones. Then come the Red Sox with Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia as their top base stealers. We must stop the opponents from stealing bases. Are Alex and Brayan AND our pitchers ready???

It was a treat to watch AJ go yesterday, I must admit. It seems like it has been a long time since we have had a dominant base-stealer who also can handle an everday role in the field. I wouldn’t categorize AJ nor Granderson as that type. Not that they couldn’t, just that they were never really encouraged to run like they can.
I think with the proper tutelage and mindset, AJ could steal 40. Granderson could have too.
Hernan Perez in the minors can run and will be up here soon. (2014?). Will they let him run?
My immediate concern is our bullpen. Valverde is issue number one. This has to be resolved soon. I do think they are gong to be addressing this. How can you not?
The only reliable guy out there is Benoit. I think they could close with him. But I think I am like Leyland here, in the sense that why upset the applecart? He is providing much needed relief in the 8th and would a change be too much of an adjustment for him?
Smyly is someone who the skipper needs to trust more. Seems to me that JL takes advantage of the younger guys and doesn’t give them the rope that he gives to veterans. Kind of like “taking it out” on them”, so to speak. They make a mistake like a hit or a leadoff walk and he gruffly trudges out to the mound and takes the ball. He doesn’t handle VV or Coke that way.
Coke? No way, can’t be trusted at all. We all know the difficulty he has with RHB. He is really only effective against LHB despite his 6.00+ ERA against them. He can get LHB out. He should be strictly a Lefty specialist (LOOGY if you will).
Putkonen has quality stuff. Needs to be able to assert himself. Seems pretty timid and unsure of himself. Too bad.
Downs is a 3 inning middle of the game lefty. Eat you some innings but not a shut-down lock to get you out of trouble.
Reed is not MLB caliber..
We have talent still in Toledo. Ortega could be a good reliever.
We have ALAL throwing in Toledo, as well as Rondon. They should both be on this roster. A2 has not given up a single regular season homerun in his CAREER.
He has a sparkling ERA and strikes people out. Yes, he gives up an uncomfortable amount of walks. But, when he is on that mound and he has his slider working, he is unhittable. He is equally tough on LHB as RHB. We need him back here.
Rondon is being groomed. For what? To excel at AAA? The kid was given a very short time to exhibit his wares in the show. 2? 3? innings maybe. I would suggest there is difference of opinion and potential power struggle involved here between JL & DD. JL is dead set against the idea IMO. Why not give him another chance?
Do we really want to hog-tie the GM with improbable budget constraints by giving up the farm for a guy like Papelbon?
I’d love to have Papelbon but not at the cost of Smyly and Castellanos or Porcello and Garcia. Cause that is what it would take.
Off Topic: What are the Tigers going to do with Jordan Lennerton?

If Sanchez’ shoulder forces him to the DL, do you go with Smyly as a starter or Alvarez?

I’d go with Smyly. I know it goes against the logic of having him (as Rich says) “stretched in” but he is being under used. Mis-used actually. Some would argue ABused.
The problem of course is what to do with him when Sanchez was to return. It would be the same story having to be retold..
I just think it would be good for him mentally to get “back in the game”. He looks lost to me in his role as whatever it is he is. Seems to be looking over his shoulder, waiting for the hook if he does anything wrong.
Eventually Smyly is going to need to be in our rotation. As good as a rotation as we have it is an advantage to have a southpaw in it. It won’t be this year.
It’s a conundrum and one that almost every other team wishes it had.

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