Sunday’s lineups: Tigers at Twins
Alex Avila returns to the Tigers lineup after not starting Saturday’s game with a left shin contusion. On the flip side, Nick Castellanos and Rajai Davis get a day of rest, at least out of the starting lineup. Unless they enter the game later, they’ll have two days off ahead of Tuesday night’s series opener at Chicago. Don Kelly and J.D. Martinez get the start.
As for the bullpen, Jose Ortega is still on the active roster. The only roster move the Tigers announced was Justin Miller being recalled to replace Anibal Sanchez, who was placed on the 15-day DL. There had been signals Ortega might be returning to Triple-A Toledo, but that hasn’t happened at this point. There also have been sightings of Tigers assistant general manager Al Avila and special assistant Jim Leyland (man, that takes some getting used to typing) at Double-A Erie, where Corey Knebel is pitching, but no immediate signs of a call-up.
The way the Tigers bullpen is going, the fast track is there for Knebel to get to the big leagues in the near future. Before that happens, though, the Tigers are going to have to out where he fits, what kind of role he’ll play, and how to get him the regular innings to learn on the fly without getting him so many innings that he wears down. To call him up as an extra reliever for depth makes no sense. If you’re going to call him up to do something like work setup behind Joba Chamberlain and Ian Krol, mixing him in with Al Alburquerque, that’s another matter.
I’m not in Minneapolis this weekend, but I can read a weather forecast, and it’s not good. There’s a 70 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms all day and evening, as well as a wind advisory. With two more Tigers visits to the Twin Cities scheduled for August and September, we’ll see what the Twins decide to do with this one. A rainout could have a huge impact in getting Detroit’s bullpen back in order, as much as they can at this point.
- Ian Kinsler, 2B
- Torii Hunter, RF
- Miguel Cabrera, DH
- Victor Martinez, 1B
- Austin Jackson, CF
- Don Kelly, 3B
- J.D. Martinez, LF
- Alex Avila, C
- Andrew Romine, SS
P: Justin Verlander