Sunday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Giants
With Tim Hudson giving up somewhat more damage against left-handed hitters compared with righties (.277 to .236 on batting average, .748 to .607 on OPS), Brad Ausmus shakes up his lineup a bat and adds three left-handed bats (Andrew Romine is a switch-hitter, but fits the purpose). Alex Avila’s return was expected after he had a symptom-free day Friday, but Eugenio Suarez and Rajai Davis sit in favor of Romine and … Don Kelly.
Ausmus said he went with Kelly over Ezequiel Carrera, who hasn’t started since Monday in Cleveland, and Tyler Collins, who is an option in center but — like Kelly — not really a center fielder. Whether Carrera has dropped from occasional starter to defensive replacement based on his recent at-bats is another question, because this is the first start for Kelly in center since June 18, and just his fourth all season.
A few pregame injury tidbits to throw in …
- Anibal Sanchez did some light throwing this afternoon, playing catch for the first time in a while. It’s basically a first step, and nobody’s putting a timetable on where it’s going to lead. Nobody’s writing off Sanchez coming back this season, but with the usual timetable to ramp up from playing catch to throwing off a mound to pitching to hitters, it’s not hard at all to reach the expectation that the Tigers are going to have to at least find a way to get into the postseason without him.
- Tigers officials aren’t flat-out defining Monday’s simulated game as the final test for Joakim Soria before he can return from the disabled list, but Ausmus said that he could be game-ready after that. He’d get at least a day of rest afterwards, and he could get one more simulated game if he wants it, but he could be ready to return as soon as Wednesday.
- As Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported in his Sunday notes, Joel Hanrahan will not need another Tommy John surgery, though his 2014 season is done. He’s working out in Lakeland since his contract runs through season’s end, but he’s not throwing. The timetable calls for Hanrahan to rest his arm and resume throwing this offseason with the expectation he should be ready to join a team in time for Spring Training.
- Though Luke Putkonen fared well during his minor-league rehab assignment at low Class A West Michigan, his season appears to be over with the Whitecaps’ elimination from the Midwest League playoffs. He won’t be returning from the disabled list this month. “We’ve got him back to where he’s pitching,” head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said. “He’s not to the level where we’d like to see for him to be ready for here, so probably that’ll be it. At least he’s going forward knowing that he’s OK. He should be ready to compete in Spring Training.”
TIGERS (career numbers off Hudson)
- Ian Kinsler, 2B (1-for-2, double, walk, K)
- Torii Hunter, RF (10-for-35, 2 doubles, HR, walk, 9 K’s)
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B (12-for-28, double, triple, walk, 4 K’s)
- Victor Martinez, DH (2-for-4, K)
- J.D. Martinez, LF (1-for-3, K)
- Don Kelly, CF
- Nick Castellanos, 3B
- Alex Avila, C
- Andrew Romine, SS
P: Kyle Lobstein
- Angel Pagan, CF
- Joe Panik, 2B
- Buster Posey, C
- Hunter Pence, RF
- Pablo Sandoval, DH
- Adam Duvall, 1B
- Joaquin Arias, 3B
- Gregor Blanco, LF
- Brandon Crawford, SS
P: Tim Hudson