Suarez puts on a show for Dombrowski, Leyland

Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski had seen the reports on Eugenio Suarez’s play, but he hadn’t seen him in person since Spring Training. Jim Leyland had, but discounted what he had seen over a cold April weekend at Double-A Erie.

Both spent Wednesday night at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, where Suarez was batting third in his sixth game at Triple-A. Together, they had seats behind home plate to watch Suarez put on a show, possibly his best in the week or so since he was promoted.

“The kid, he’s been highly thought of,” Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish said. “A game like tonight shows you why.”

Suarez fell a triple shy of the cycle in a 3-for-4, three-run, two-RBI performance, but that was just the start of it. His home run off a 94 mph fastball from hard-throwing lefty Enny Romero was a no-doubt drive that ended up on Monroe Street, well beyond the left-field fence. His double off veteran righty Doug Mathis and a single off another lefty went down opposing lines.

His biggest highlight of the night, however, came in the field, where he went deep into the hole did his best Derek Jeter impression on a jumping throw — his momentum carrying him into short left field — to rob Wilson Betemit of a single.

“That,” Parrish said, “was a highlight play.”

Just as important, certainly to Parrish and probably to Tigers brass, was that he made the rest of the plays hit his way, cleanly turning a pair of double plays.

“Not losing the concentration,” he said.

That was the scouting report on Suarez in the past. It’s something Suarez is aware of, which is why he has been doing extra infield work daily and taking the advice of the great Omar Vizquel, his favorite player growing up.

“He had me working hard every day on my defense,” Suarez said before the game. “He already told me keep playing hard, just complete the routine plays, take the outs. That’s what he told me. You have good defense, good hands, so keep working hard every day. He told me that.”

He also understands the importance of the concentration angle.

“We have the conditioning to play every day. We need the mental conditioning,” Suarez said. “So it’s maybe 60 percent mental, the rest physical.”

Much like Nick Castellanos last year, he’s putting his extra work into his defense, and letting his hitting take care of itself. Right now, it’s taking care of him.

After Tuesday’s effort, he’s 10-for-24 (.417) in Triple-A with four doubles, two home runs, five RBIs and five runs scored. Add in his Double-A numbers, and he’s hitting .301 (54-for-179) with 18 doubles, eight homers, 31 runs and 34 RBIs.

“He’s done very well this year,” Dombrowski said before the game. “Everybody has talked well of him. He’s done good since he’s been here, but he’s only been here a short while. He’s done a nice job.”

He has played his way to the verge of the big leagues. It’ll be up to Dombrowski and the rest of the Tigers front office to decide whether and when the 22-year-old gets his shot.

If he has more games like this, he might make his case regardless of what’s going on at the shortstop position in Detroit.

26 Comments

This is all fine and dandy but they better start looking harder at the starting pitching. Max is not doing well at all tonight. His pitch count is too high. More wear and tear on the bullpen. Max has walked 2 batters, hit a batter and balked in a run. The Tigers are going to have to score more runs to protect the pitching. AND NOW he has lost the lead by giving up a 2-run homer! 84 pitches in 4 innings. He’ll be lucky to get 6 innings. That means 3-4 innings from the bullpen. Can Suarez pitch?

I should have gone to bed when they had a 4-2 lead and slept peacefully. It’s 11pm here and I know you fans in Michigan are reaching midnight. Maybe it will be better in the morning.

Good win. Good TEAM win over a tough opponent in their house. Multiple players contributing. Scratch ‘em out until these starters get straightened around.

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I fell asleep around midnight so did not see the comeback but am thrilled to see they kept working at it. Pitching gave up a lot again but nice to see the hitters keep attacking. I turned on the Mud Hens game and yep, sure enough they were sitting there like 2 regular joe’s watching the game in the 2nd row behind home plate. That is a celebrity sighting for Toledo!

With Ray poor performance, 5 of the 6 starters of the teams struggling at the same time.
Putting aside the fact that injuries have been decimating rotations all around MLB, the common factor for the Tigers is they went high in pitch counts earlier than last year.Specially, Scherzer, from last to debut in 2013, http://beck.mlblogs.com/2013/03/29/fister-to-pitch-home-opener-rotation-order-set/ , to reaching 110 pitches in his first game; he did that in his 5th game in 2013.Above 100 in 11 starts.
Porcello just behind JV and MS in IP/G
And Verlander coming from surgery still projected to pitch 206 and remain the leader since 2006 in IP.
The bullpen forced them to go deep earlier than the prudence would advice

Well woke up to find out they won, turned it off in the 7th right after Kinsler grounded out but before Torii homered. Really happy they won but it doesn’t make me feel much better seeing what the starting pitching is still doing. I mean have you ever seen this many talented pitcher struggle this much…it’s not the losing as much as the amount of runs they are surrendering on hard hit balls.

I watched in a different room and was very pleased to see the outcome and immediately went to sleep after the final pitch. I love to see the Tigers come right out of the gate like they did last night. Had a little fire in their eyes.

hey i stayed up and watched the game!! The booze, smoke and late finish led to some pretty crazy dreams about rajai “crazy man” davis.

As the country preacher whispered to the man confessing his sins before the entire congregation, “Don’t know if I’da told that one.” :)

If JD Martinez could hit like this while playing on a semi-regular basis, that would help a lot. He’s putting up the kind of numbers we’d hoped to get from Dirks. Things can change once the pitchers start paying attention to you, though.

talking about dirks…….hows he doing?

I realize “light baseball activity” but when is regular baseball activity + rehab going to start, I wonder.

Speaking of paying attention, is there a good team that flies under the radar more than the Oakland A’s? It’s like nobody takes them seriously ever. That may be a big part of their success, other than pitching talent.

they have basically no home turf (the A’s)……even in Oakland Giant’s fans outnumber them

Lineup at OAK: Davis 8, Kinsler 4, Cabrera 3, V. Martinez DH, Hunter 9, J.D. Martinez 7, Avila 2, Castellanos 5, Worth 6. Sanchez starting

Kinsler is going to clobber the bal today.
I like the ABs Castellanos has been coming up with lately.
Listened to the A’s announcers last night a bit. Found the colour man to be knowledgeable but very annoying. Actually turned them off so I could listen to Rod Allen!!!
Nice to see the bullpen throw the way they did yesterday. Joba has been very good for us IMO. He just throws strikes and it is incredible at how important that very simple act is. Our starters have been awful with that lately–especially 1st pitch strikes.. I’ve always wondered how good JV could have been if he had the ability that guys like Anibal or Fister have in that regard.
I predicted the other day (after Drew signed) that we will be seeing Suarez. Interesting to see the article that JB wrote about him here. I think we are gonna love the guy.
We need to come up with some arms again soon. Collective velocity on our club has diminished noticeably this year.

Just curious, any of our bloggers here undergone total knee replacements?
My doctor tells me I won’t be playing ball if I get one and I tell him that is SHY I want to get one!

Have a good one tonight.

Sorry for the typo–I meant WHY not SHY!

Dan, if your doctor is advising you this so you can keep playing ball, get another doctor.
My wife had two full knee replacements on each knee before she was 50 which both failed leading to full replacements being done again two years later. Four years down the track, the specialist is now saying full recovery will take three years which we doubt and still in a lot of pain during low pressure, going up and down stairs or doing too much each day.
When a knee replacement is lucky to go 20 years and you can only get it done so many times, suggest you put up with the pain.

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Thanks Dave. No my doctor is basically saying that my playing days will be over.
I do know other fellows that are playing with knee replacements. My understanding is that recent TKR technology is vastly improved and that outcomes are far more favourable than they were years ago.
The knee replacement for me would be a last resort. I am trying other treatments and keeping an open mind.
Thanks again.

Suerez did well when we saw him in West Michigan. I’m hoping he’ll force the Tigers to bring him up (but not before we make it to Toledo next month!). DD was up watching the Whitecaps, too, as Schotts returned to the lineup in a big way!
-Mike

http://minoringinbaseball.com/

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