July 3rd, 2013

Wednesday’s lineups: Tigers at Jays

More Toronto 004

Miguel Cabrera is in the lineup for now, but Jim Leyland said he’ll watch Cabrera in batting practice to make sure he’s moving around all right. At this point, though, he’s a go.

The Blue Jays, meanwhile, get Adam Lind back in the lineup, which moves Jose Bautista to the second spot. J.P. Arencibia is back behind the plate.

Fielder’s numbers off Josh Johnson are very tempting in Beat the Streak. Yet he isn’t the same pitcher these days, so who knows how well these numbers apply now? Putting the 17-game streak on line with Cabrera again tonight.

TIGERS (career numbers off Josh Johnson)

  1. Austin Jackson, cf (1-for-2)
  2. Torii Hunter, rf (3-for-4)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3b (1-for-1, walk)
  4. Prince Fielder, 1b (5-for-12, 3 walks)
  5. Victor Martinez, dh (1-for-1)
  6. Jhonny Peralta, ss (1-for-1)
  7. Andy Dirks, lf (0-for-1, K)
  8. Omar Infante, 2b (2-for-8, walk, 2 K’s)
  9. Alex Avila, c (1-for-1)

P: Max Scherzer

BLUE JAYS (career numbers off Scherzer)

  1. Jose Reyes, SS
  2. Jose Bautista, RF (6-for-11, HR, 3 walks, K)
  3. Adam Lind, DH (1-for-5, HR, walk)
  4. Colby Rasmus, CF (1-for-5, walk)
  5. Rajai Davis, LF (2-for-10, 2 walks, K)
  6. Maicer Izturis, 3B (3-for-10, 2 walks, 2 K’s)
  7. Mark DeRosa, 1B (0-for-2, K)
  8. J.P. Arencibia, C (1-for-4, walk)
  9. Emilio Bonifacio, 2B (2-for-3, K)

P: Josh Johnson

Why Tigers could time Porcello’s appeal right

Dodgers utility player Skip Schumaker had his appeal heard Tuesday in his two-game suspension, according to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick. On almost every other day of the year, that wouldn’t be news to Tigers fans.

But Schumaker’s appeal Tuesday was in regards to the suspension he received from the Dodgers-Diamondbacks brawl in mid-June. That timing should interest Tigers fans now that Rick Porcello is appealing the six-game suspension MLB issued yesterday for hitting Ben Zobrist on Sunday at Tampa Bay.

Likewise, Eric Hinske’s appeal from that same brawl was heard last week.

The Tigers can tweak their rotation out of the All-Star break so that Porcello doesn’t miss any starts during his suspension, but that hinges on Porcello making his next two starts Friday in Cleveland and Wednesday against the White Sox. If his appeal is still ongoing next Thursday, he could drop it, serve four days before the break, then miss the first two games out of the break in Kansas City.

Cabrera leaves with back stiffness, expects to play Wednesday

The Tigers will play just two series this regular season on artificial surface, but they’re playing them back-to-back on this trip. With that in mind, they had to figure seven consecutive games on the turf in Tampa Bay and Toronto might produce some aches and pains.

Miguel Cabrera, however, is the last player they could afford to have them. When he left in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s 7-6 win over the Blue Jays with back stiffness, it raised concerns.

Cabrera, however, said after the game that he expects to be fine for Wednesday.

“Hopefully it’s not a big deal and I can come tomorrow, get treatment and get ready to play,” Cabrera said.

Cabrera said he felt some tightness in his back before the game, and his diving attempt on Emilio Bonifacio’s first-inning double exacerbated it on the Rogers Centre turf.

“I dove on my side and felt a little something,” he said. “I was tight, too, in batting practice. It was still sore in the game.”

It wasn’t a problem on his home-run swing in the next inning off a Chien-Ming Wang sinker, but it became more of an issue later in the game. An inside pitch from Neil Wagner that forced him to get out of the way in the eighth inning made it worse.

“When he tried to get out of the way of that pitch, it kind of bothered him a little bit, got it out of line a little bit,” manager Jim Leyland said.

That led to the rare move for Leyland: A defensive replacement for his everyday third baseman. He made a point when Cabrera moved to third base to never replace him late in games, noting how much pride Cabrera takes in his position. In this case, though, it was a health issue. Ramon Santiago took the field at third base for the ninth inning.

That pride from Cabrera might well have shown through when Leyland asked him after the game about his status.

“He said no rest tomorrow, he’ll be ready,” Leyland said, “but I’m going to play that one by ear.”