Porcello scratched, Alvarez to start tonight

With a division title wrapped up and a Division Series looming, the Tigers shifted their rotation for the opener to their season-ending series against the Marlins. Lefty Jose Alvarez will make a spot start in place of Rick Porcello.

No official reason was given, but the move is not believed to be an injury situation. More likely, it sets up a Porcello move to the bullpen for the postseason, when the Tigers need just four starters.

The Tigers rotation for the rest of the series remains the same. Anibal Sanchez will start Saturday before Justin Verlander starts Sunday’s regular season finale.

For Alvarez, it’ll be brief return to his old role, but a departure from his potential playoff role. The 24-year-old made five starts from early June to July 1 while Anibal Sanchez was injured. More recently, Alvarez has been a valuable lefty out of the bullpen, making himself an option for manager Jim Leyland’s playoff roster if Phil Coke can’t come back from his flexor tendinitis.

Don’t expect Alvarez to deliver an abundance of innings. Friday is being classified as a bullpen start, which will allow them to line up relievers and get them work.

Porcello’s scratch likely will cost him a chance at a third 14-win season. It also halts the momentum of what has been a stellar stretch for him over his last three starts: 21 2/3 innings, 18 hits, four earned runs, three walks, 24 strikeouts. He pitched a complete-game seven-hitter in Chicago on Sept. 10, struck out 10 Mariners over six innings of one-run ball Sept. 16, then took a no-decision against the White Sox last Saturday for 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball with nine strikeouts.

On many pitching staffs, it’s the kind of run that would send a starter into a postseason rotation with momentum. The Tigers, however, have a talented enough rotation that somebody is going to have to be the odd man out. Porcello has always been the expectation in that regard.

96 Comments

Dan, you called it. JL must read your comments after all. :)
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Go Tigers.
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— Bob

and I was wrong on the other thread…. MAybe setting up scenarios for next week or is this Alvarez’ test to be on the post season roster.
Is Coke available this weekend? Rondon? Those are the bigger questions.

@Bob
You beat me to it. That was my first thought too

so this means Porcello is pitching tonight – but just out of the pen…and maybe 3 instead of 6 innings…yeah? Alvarez I’m sure won’t go more than 3-6 innings

It would be great if Alverez could go 4 and then JL gives RP the next three and the Tigers win the game and the scorer deems RP the pitcher to receive the W and get his 14th victory after all.
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— Bob

tis what i was thinking!

Bob, exactly what I was going to post when I saw this! Let Alvarez go 4 (hopefully with a lead) and unless the guy is throwing a no-no or something, put in RP to get some innings and a W if it works out that way.
I am definitely glad to see them thinking this way. Just seemed to make sense.
Peralta needs some reps in the infield (both positions) and not exclusively in LF. Oakland is predominantly RHP rotation so we’ll likely be seeing Dirks there anyway until he indicates he isn’t hitting.

Great opportunity for Jose as the Marlins was the team that released him. For Rick, two or three innings on Friday followed by one inning on Sunday might be the way to go.

Cy Koehler tonight!

Play Dirks in RF and give Torii some time off

i like the idea of having him on the bench for a PHer…along with Miggy

This is a business trip to Miami. We need to win three games just in case Oakland has some trouble in Seattle. Stealing homefield advantage could be huge for us.

“Cabrera wanted to play tonight, Leyland said. “He wants to play,” he said, “and I’m not going to not play him if he wants to play.” Jason Beck
Lineup:Austin Jackson CF, Andy Dirks RF, Miguel Cabrera 3B, Prince Fielder 1B, Jhonny Peralta LF, Alex Avila C, Hernan Perez 2B, Jose Iglesias S

Schmehl:
“Leyland said he has no intention of playing Victor Martinez at catcher this series.”

So he just sits the entire weekend?

Same source:”Peralta is batting fifth, starting in left today. V-Mart is not in starting lineup, but expected to replace Fielder at first at some point”

RIP Gater Brown. Before my time and I never saw him play. I am sure some of more “mature” fans have some fond memories.
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— Bob

Yes. Strangely enough, it’s scoring from secondbase with the tying run in the 9th inning on a Don Wert single to left in 1966. Gator started the rally with a pinch……..walk.

Brown managed shortly in Venezuela during the 1980-1981 season. He was replaced midseason by Jim Leyland who left the team for Xmas

Jim’s on the radio right now. Miguel is going to play because Miguel wants to play. I’m not going to take out the best hitter in baseball. I know it’s a touchy subject with fans. Blah, blah, blah and Omar has the night off.

Still excited to see them together again. Go Tigers!!!!!!!!

It’s late in the game around 1970 . We need a run to tie it up. Gator is up with a man on third and one out. The pitcher is trying to K him with a curve. Gator fouls off at least five or six of them before he gets the sac fly. For the 68 season, Gator hit like Ty Cobb close to .370 I believe.

.370 is correct and .462 as a pinch hitter. It’s a lot more fun doing it from memory rather than looking it up, right?
Not many seem to remember Gates coming up in 1963 and being a semi-regular outfielder up until 1968.

The game will be the free game of the day at MLB.com

Well ……other than seeing what Peralta can and cannot do well enough I think this might be a real dud of a game.

I remember coming to my first Tigers games back in the mid 80’s. (I did not grow up in Detroit but mid-Michigan ). So it was special and not common. We were walking around the concourse walking through those very narrow corridors who do we run into but Gates Brown roaming the corridors..my Dad was freaking out. Oh my god that’s Gates. He turned around and smiled and shook my Dads hand. My Dad was thrilled. Good guy.

I remember Gates Brown. He was at spring training maybe 2 years ago. Talked about living conditions back in the 60’s down in Florida. There was a nice family in the Lakeland area, I think, that let the black players stay at their home when the team was in the area.

Poly looks pretty healthy.

3 run double. thanks ricky!

But, Jhonny hit the cutoff man.

Oh my. Gates Brown. He was mainstay in our organization and a true success story. We can marvel about Ron LeFlore but Gates Brown paved the way for him
beyond that, Gates made a name for himself on his own merits.. I must be getting old. we have lost so many of those ’58 Tigers already.

Alvarez did OK. Kinda lost his way there in the 4th.
Peralta looked like a displaced infielder on the bases clearing double. C’mon JP, hustle is part of the game.
Meant to mention this some time ago but kept forgetting. Pena behind the plate does a 100% better job of giving his pitchers a target…….and holding it there. Avila flicks his glove then drops it. He does not hold a target which is very important for pitchers..
Where oh where is our hitting? Completely vanished.
Miggy should not be calling the shots on this ball team. He should be sitting and watching this game.

You know, Dan, Miggy loves playing in Florida. That espn article that didn’t get published because Miguel walked away after being asked to talk about the arrests, said he wasn’t exactly thrilled that the Malins traded him to Detroit. He loved it there.

Dick Trazewski (sp) and his wife in a terrible accident today. Jim Price just reported it.

I read that on Twitter.

Um……I think that Peralta was playing deep and hit slowly down the line, there were two outs so everyone was running. I’d like to see it again because I don’t know if it is exactly fair. A little slower maybe but I think three runs score regardless,
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A lot more concerned that these Tigers still aren’t able to hit a damn thing that’s the thing that really really concerns me, in fact it scares the hell out of me. Heck they already aren’t hitting what are they going to do with essentially 4 days off. What’s the hitting going to be like then if it’s this crappy now?

The game isn’t over, yet.

It’s been like this for several weeks now…it’s not tonight necessarily it’s just the general level of hitting. Which is abismol.

knock on wood!

At least they had the sense to take Miggy out. Now, keep him out except for PHing

heck yea JHONNY! YEEEEESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!

the cat looks good, with the bat

The batting tittle was his one week ago. 0 for 4 and he would be 342

2E@1B!

My initial reactions on possible roster:
2E- waste of spot
Kelly- bench role
Perez-can run and play IF
NC- no chance
Peralta-recovery mode, maybe a few big hits
Dirks-way too up and down. Good D but can’t afford the non-hitting
Pena-gonna surprise some people
Avila-if he can’t hit the RHP of Oakland he needs to sit
Miggy-huge question mark
Biggy-I think he will respond
Iggy-Will be fine but need to play small ball
Ciggy-Gotta make no mistakes with his bullpen
AJ-Light my Fire. Needs to assert himself and believe in stardom. Be Creative.
Torii-dependable, productive, dangerous, needs to focus defensively.
Max-Cy Young.
JV- Get Back Jack, Do it again.
Fister-Pound the strike zone
Anibal-Be a number 1
Smyly-Turn it on and forget the nonchalance
Benoit-Be yourself.
Veras-Bueno Suerte.
Al Al-Don’t walk anyone and remember the fastball. It’s not bad after all.
Ramon-Drive ‘em crazy with your bunts and keep your throws up.
Omar-make them forget Marco Scutaro
Ricky P-You could be as important as anybody
Alvarez-we need a LHP in our pen
Brookens-not sure you have a good sense of who and when. Focus on your job.
Shoulda sent Peralta home tonight.
Mike Illitch-you’ve done your best and deserve it more than most owners.

Geez, another 1 run game.

Look at that play by Placido.. We don’t have one guy who will vault themselves into the stands to catch a ball.

Game right now turns on two plays. Peralta taking a circular route to that double instead of charging it, and Brookens inexplicably holding up Peralta when their RFer had to turn to make that throw. The way we struggle to score runs, neither of these things can happen.

For all the jokes about Young, he leaded MLB in assistances for yeasr. And played RF. He was slow and his arm was not strong but I dont remember him taking bad routes

He already batted

That is why he could be the 2B if Infante walks away

I would rather have Infante who hits and plays defense a little worse and hits than a guy who plays defense but at this point who can’t hit. Can’t sacrifice everything for defense.

That is true. I was just pointing at the pretty good defense.

Excellent defense..infact I’m like oh he saved a run…but he also got the out. It was great.

They didn’t try nor did they give a crap if they won or lost this game. It’s unfortunate. I’m sorry a playoff team should be able to manage more than that. It’s really disappointing to me. Not this particular loss just the fact they just seem outmatched by competition especially teams with so-called inferior competition, The way this team is playing right now I don’t expect to be watching the tigers play too much longer. Unless there is a switch they are going to flip?

Iggy not getting very good wood on the ball at all. Needs to hit some line drives not weak grounders.
Horrible stinking offense and JL seemed as disinterested as his players.
Best thing I saw was Peralta and Alvarez.
When is this team going to hit again? 2014?

Unless they catch a starter having a bad day, yes, 2014. Miggy’s homers have turned into singles off the wall. Crazy.
This is why they can’t afford to give up any runs that aren’t earned by the opposition.
Peralta would need an entire spring training to learn the outfield.
Perhaps Brookens is just out of practice coaching third for lack of runners with a chance to score.
I hate that Fielder’s consecutive game streak is already an issue. What happens when he starts to fade?

I agree Jhonnys bat looked pretty good…Alvarez though isn’t he the guy who allowed the two walks and hits in that inning were they scored their three runs. I do think there are glimpses of something there though.

By the way I know Peralta took a bad route to the Stanton hit but I do think the ball was hit soft enough it gets in three possibly….,??

No way. Absolutely no way.

Ya I just saw it again…two runs score but more than likely not the third.

King Felix is pitching against the A´s.

And promptly gave up three runs to the A’s at home. I’m very afraid of the A’s.. They certianly aren’t packing it in just because they clinched. A’s are hitting a good pitcher yet we can’t hit a guy who is average.

Felix is coming form an injury.He pitched 4 inning in his last outing. He SO 10 but he is still out of shape

All I’m saying is they have something right now we got nothing.

It was a disturbing loss. If the team doesn’t start hitting……….well, we don’t win. It’s pretty simple arithmetic.
Peralta misses a third of the season and hits better than the rest of the team.
Iglesias left a lot of opportunities stranded. I sure hope he can find his bat again. Looked good in the field.
It was a longshot that the A’s would lose home field advantage. But our Tiger team played before the A’s game and should have had some desire to win what could be a big game.
May as well play Castellanos in left and Peralta on 3rd tomorrow (or vice versa)-they are playing like it doesn’t matter anyway.
I guess about the only thing we have to look forward to is JV in the batter’s box on Sunday.

Better start hitting….unless you want to be three and out in the playoffs. No excuses there are plenty of other guys on this team who can do a whole lot better. Your facing poor pitching for the most part the last few weeks, if you can’t hit them what are you going to so against the A’s?

Good pitching beats good hitting. I hope our pitchers are up to the task, because they will need to be very, very good. Cleveland could end up with more wins, yet we beat them handily many times. Boston and Oakland are a different story. I’m very concerned about Miguel. Sure he’s starting to drive the ball, but unless it’s a HR, he can’t get past first base and don’t think Oakland and/or Boston won’t take advantage of him playing 3rd base. They will.

I’d put Jhonny at 3rd base and DH Miguel, mix and match him in the lineup unless he magically is cured of the injury. Harsh, I know.

In order to get Jhonny’s bat in the lineup you have to put him in a position to succeed and LF isn’t it. Just my opinion.

So far, only KC has bunted to Miguel. I dont see any of the possible rivals showing that lack of sportsmanship. Maybe a personal bunt but not ordered by the manager
There were no bunts against a hobbled Bill Buckner in 1986. The E was on a well hit grounder.
There are not many ways to mix and match thanks to Fielder,he cant play any other position. Having Miguel playing means losing VMart who is the hottest hitter for the team ( third best in the AL since the ASG) or Avila. And the biggest problem would be the WS.
Supposedly they considered playing Victor at third like they were thinking too with Avila in 2011.
That problem will carry into the next season

Lack of sportsmanship? To win, you do what you have to do. The good teams exploit the weaknesses of their opponent. Now, if it was 10-1 in the 8th inning, OK that’s pretty unsportsmanlike, but this is the playoffs. I’d hope our team would do the same if they know a particular player cannot get to the ball.

Just like some teams exploit our pitchers and catcher because they know they can steal bases on us without much trouble.

The unwritten rules of baseball . There is a limit what you can do.Of course,hitting in the back the next batter would help them to remember the rules ( and I expect JL not to talk about that).

JP is not a whole lot more agile than Miggy at 3rd. We’re in trouble at 3rd. we’re also in trouble behind the plate. AA has become AAA.(The Anti-Alex Avila). He doesn’t know how or can’t throw out a runner to save his life. One suggestion would be to close his left eye when throwing and perhaps that will at least ensure the throw goes to the right side of the bag. It’s hard to tag a runner out when you are backhanding the throw.
Oh, yeah, there is that small detail about JP in LF too. I’m hoping that Andy Dirks becomes Super Neck again, hitting with average and gap power. If JP HAS to sit on the bench because of Andy’s hitting —-it is a good thing.
With JP in LF we have Miggy, Biggy, VMart, Peralta,Avila all hitting in a row. It might take 5 straight singles to produce 1 run.

We all know what happens to our team when they have days off before a big series. This year they will have 4 days off. What is JL going to do to get his hitters hitting? Maybe they need to hit off MLB calibre pitching. Could they not have Bonderman, Coke, Downs, Crosby, Dotel, and Valverde throw to them? Ohhhh, I guess that was a major contradiction of terms! Sorry.

I don’t think it would make much difference. They can still take BP and maybe look at film of themselves not hitting and then look at film when they were hitting. I think it’s more of a mental thing with this team.

lmao @ valverde

Fear of an injury prevent them from having simulated games.

About last nigh game.
VMart and Fielder had one AB but the injured Miguel had 3? If Fielder was replaced early why not Victor in 1B the rest of the game?

Good question…..unless he’s just rotating it this weekend. All major players going to be shortened up. We’ll see I guess.

I found that Weird too. VMart 1st seems to have been a logical move.

Next year are there any ball players from around baseball that you would like to see on the Tigers?
Me? There are a few but it would mean some of our guys have to be gone or move positions.
I like Hernan but I don’t think he is going to be a really good big league hitter.
Do I want Cano? No. too much money and too big an ego.
I wouldn’t mind a McCutcheon, a Lawrie, a Trout, Harper, a Gordon, a Brantley, an Ellsbury, an Altuve etc. To name a few.
As much as I like Omar Infante I think it is time to let both him and Peralta test the Free Agency waters.
I think if any team shows interest in Prince Fielder that angle should be seriously pursued. The vacating of 1st base has a positively cascading effect on the likes of Miguel, VMart and Castellanos and perhaps a bona fide MLB corner outfielder yet to determined.

Wow Dan. You’re the author of the term hope and dreams and your suggestions are just that. :-) Those are all franchise players. And nobody is going to take Fielder at that salary.
I’d like to see Omar return. I’m not sure Hernan won’t learn to hit better but it’s going to take some time. He’s really lost at the plate this year.
I hate to be the first here to say this, but I think many fans are overrating Castellanos. Big leaguer for sure, a star not so sure.

One could argue that any game Bonderman, Coke, Downs, Crosby, Dotel, and Valverde are in IS a simulation.

Enough is enough. Play Castelllanos. Play Pena. Sit Miggy

No way they get rid of Prince…….

Who’d want him?
Our guys gotta start hitting. The Pirates have 6 home runs in 6+ innings today. That’s what I’m talking about!

I don’t see any offensive improvement happening. They can catch a struggling pitcher and rack up some runs, but this club is terrible at building a lead over several innings. Cleveland has been doing that.
Funny that Cleveland is only 3 games behind Detroit.
None of this means I’ve given up on postseason success.

I want the Tigers to win it all. But, when you see The A’s, Boston, Pirates, even the Indians, play with such fervor and determination, it’s not easy for me to feel real optimistic that this team has the “whatever” to get it done. Surprise me, Tigers. Play like you’re on fire!

One of VMart, Miguel and Fielder is one too much.
Fielder “Estimated Cost to Trade: $48 million”

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2013-anti-trade-value-the-five-worst-contracts/

That wont happen. So there is only one reasonable option, to do what every pundit was expecting the Tigers to do in 2012 , trade VMart and Fielder and Cabrera share 1B/DH. I would DH Fielder, the worst 1b in MLB8 and one of two good plays here and there dont change the numbers). But that wont happen either.
Victor´s trade value is at the maximum now even if other teams know they would need to do it. Keep playing Miguel at third and his career is done and the Tigers still owe him 44 MM. If they extend him and keep him at 3b…..

Cecil was at the game last night sitting right above the Tiger dugout. He and Prince shook hands and it was a good thing to see. Torii was standing right next to Prince. God bless him!

Rule #1 – Anything can happen in the postseason. Just get there.
Rule #2 – See Rule #1.
For all we know, the Tigers playoff hardened veterans have an inate ability to elevate their game as they did in Cleveland in August. One can hope, anyway.
I don’t expect Detroit to win a single game, but I think that every year. From my position in front of the TV in the family room, I just hope the season gets extended, thereby shortening winter. Granted, I don’t have anyone in these parts to brag to. They’re all football fans here.

I can hardly believe my eyes any longer when I see JL’s lineup at the end of this season.
Unfair to Castellanos—totally.

No Pena either. What’s up with that? This guy bailed us out big time this year,

Anibal is going to throw a No-No and Castellanos is going yard.

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