June 30th, 2014

Monday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Athletics

Two things going on today with the lineup: First, Austin Jackson is batting ninth for just the second time in his career, the other time happening way back on May 1, 2011. Brad Ausmus said it was a one-day thing based on the fact that Rajai Davis, who normally would’ve hit ninth, is 9-for-18 off A’s starter Scott Kazmir.

The other spot in play is the cleanup spot, where Victor Martinez has been scratched with back and side soreness. It doesn’t appear to be major; Martinez was moving around decently well in the clubhouse before batting practice. However, Ausmus didn’t want to take any chances.

“He didn’t want to come out,” Ausmus said, “but we can’t lose Vic for an extended period.”

With Victor Martinez out, J.D. Martinez moves into the DH spot and cleanup slot. He was scheduled to get a day out of the lineup for the first time in two weeks.

TIGERS (career numbers off Kazmir)

  1. Rajai Davis, LF (9-for-18, 3 doubles, triple, HR, 6 K’s)
  2. Ian Kinsler, 2B (4-for-33, 2 doubles, HR, 4 walks, 3 K’s)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (6-for-23, double, triple, HR, 4 walks, 5 K’s)
  4. J.D. Martinez, DH (0-for-6, 2 K’s)
  5. Torii Hunter, RF (7-for-24, 2 doubles, HR, 3 K’s)
  6. Nick Castellanos, 3B (0-for-3, 2 K’s)
  7. Alex Avila, C (0-for-3, K)
  8. Eugenio Suarez, SS
  9. Austin Jackson CF (3-for-15, walk, 9 K’s)

P: Anibal Sanchez

ATHLETICS (career numbers vs. Sanchez)

  1. Coco Crisp, CF (6-for-15, 3 doubles, HR, K)
  2. John Jaso, C (1-for-10, 4 walks, 2 K’s)
  3. Yoenis Cespedes, LF (3-for-15, 5 K’s)
  4. Brandon Moss, 1B (3-for-19, double, HR, 2 walks, 7 K’s)
  5. Josh Donaldson, DH (6-for-16, 2 walks, 3 K’s)
  6. Stephen Vogt, RF (1-for-4, triple, 2 K’s)
  7. Jed Lowrie, SS (1-for-16, 2 walks, 3 K’s)
  8. Alberto Callaspo, 3B (1-for-5, HR, walk, K)
  9. Eric Sogard, 2B (2-for-7, double, K)

P: Scott Kazmir

All-Star voting update: Cabrera widens lead, Kinsler and V-Mart fall further behind

While the gap increased for Miguel Cabrera on his way to his second consecutive All-Star voting victory, the gap also opened on Ian Kinsler behind Robinson Cano at second base, as well as Victor Martinez behind Nelson Cruz and David Ortiz at designated hitter.

All three races headed into the final days of All-Star balloting online at MLB.com. Balloting ends Thursday evening at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Cabrera, looking to become just the fifth Tiger ever to be voted into the All-Star lineup multiple times, now has about 1.5 million votes more than his closest competitor at first base, White Sox rookie slugger Jose Abreu. Ivan Rodriguez was the most recent Tiger elected multiple times, voted as the starting catcher three times in a four-year span from 2004 to 2007. Lance Parrish and Lou Whitaker were both voted in three years in a row from 1984-86, while Bill Freehan was voted the starting catcher in 1970 and 1972.

Kinsler’s gap widened from nearly 670,000 last week to more than 871,000 votes now, despite a solid road trip in Texas that included a go-ahead home run with two outs in the ninth inning Saturday against the Astros.

Martinez sits just 120,000 votes behind Ortiz in balloting at DH, but both are about a million votes behind Cruz. At this point, the more realistic race could be which of the two earns a spot on the AL All-Star reserves. Martinez entered this week batting .323, 80 points above Ortiz, with an OPS advantage of 137 points.

Report: Leaked Astros docs suggest Houston wanted Nick Castellanos, Jake Thompson last summer

Deadspin reports that about 10 months’ worth of Astros internal communications surfaced online, including discussions over potential trades. The timeline covers last summer, including the trade that sent Jose Veras to Detroit for prospects. The documents suggest that Houston was looking for a bigger deal before the Tigers talked them down.

According to the documents, the Astros were initially interested in Nick Castellanos when Jeff Luhnow and Dave Dombrowski talked on July 22. The Astros, according to the documents, were willing to trade starting pitcher Bud Norris and Veras for Castellanos, and would consider Norris for Tigers pitching prospect Jake Thompson. Dave Dombrowski, listed as DD on the documents, wasn’t interested in starting pitching at that point.

The next day, according to the documents, the Tigers declined Thompson for Veras. Six days later, the trade talks rekindled. According to the documents, the Astros were willing to consider Danry Vasquez for Veras but would have to include a secondary prospect, such as injured pitcher David Paulino. That deal took on momentum, and was eventually completed.

Since Paulino was coming off Tommy John surgery, the deal was built to include him as a player to be named later. The other option, according to the documents, was Tigers rookie league pitcher Emanuel Chavez.

The Tigers are the only team that comes up in the documents in discussions about Veras. Norris eventually went to the Orioles on July 31.