Tigers, Reds rained out

The Tigers have kept their expectations tempered for Justin Verlander since his return from the disabled list. They’ve never expected him to command the weather.

What was shaping up to be a long rain delay at Great American Ball Park quickly became a postponement of Thursday’s series finale between the Tigers and Reds. The forecast called for rain off and on for much of the evening, but what was hoped to be a window in the radar quickly closed.

The rain hadn’t arrived at the scheduled game time of 7:10 p.m., but rolled in by 7:30. Considering both teams had used their bullpens heavily the previous couple innings, including eight innings apiece Wednesday thanks to a sixth-inning rain delay and a 13-inning game. Given the circumstances, the idea of losing both starting pitchers after an inning or two was less than appealing.

No makeup date was announced. The two teams have common off-days on three Mondays in August — the 3rd, 17th and 24th. Aug. 3 is the Tigers’ return from a three-city road trip at Boston, Tampa Bay and Baltimore. Aug. 17 is the Reds’ return from a West Coast trip. Aug. 24 is in the middle of homestands for both teams.

The Tigers have yet to announce their rotation. If they simply push back their starters as expected, Verlander would get Friday’s series opener at Yankee Stadium, followed by Alfredo Simon and Anibal Sanchez.

Thursday’s lineup: Tigers at Reds


In a stunning surprise, Bryan Holaday gets the start at catcher, giving James McCann the night off after catching 13 innings (OK, 12 2/3 innings) on Wednesday. Other than that, it’s a pretty standard lineup (sans DH) against Mike Leake.

The Reds, meanwhile, are giving Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce a night out of the lineup after extra innings last night.

Gameday | TV: FS Detroit, MLB.TV | Radio: 97.1 FM, AM 1270, Gameday Audio

tigers1957logoTIGERS (career numbers off Leake)

  1. Anthony Gose, CF
  2. Ian Kinsler, 2B (0-for-4)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  4. Yoenis Cespedes, LF (1-for-3)
  5. J.D. Martinez, RF (2-for-6, walk)
  6. Nick Castellanos, 3B
  7. Bryan Holaday, C
  8. Jose Iglesias, SS
  9. Justin Verlander, P

mrredlogoREDS (career numbers against Verlander)

  1. Skip Schumaker, LF (2-for-6, double)
  2. Ivan De Jesus, 3B
  3. Joey Votto, 1B (1-for-2, double, walk, K)
  4. Brandon Phillips, 2B (0-for-2, walk)
  5. Chris Dominguez, RF
  6. Eugenio Suarez, SS
  7. Tucker Barnhart, C
  8. Mike Leake, P
  9. Billy Hamilton, CF

Wednesday’s lineups: Tigers at Reds


No Rajai Davis or Tyler Collins tonight against Johnny Cueto, with no DH slot available. On the flip side, David Price was hacking in batting practice the last few days, and he’s been watching a lot of college ball thanks to Vanderbilt.

Speaking of Cueto, the Reds have their pitcher batting eighth. Meanwhile, Joey Votto gets the night off.

Gameday | TV: FS Detroit, MLB.TV | Radio: 97.1 FM, AM 1270, Gameday Audio

84tigerslogoTIGERS (career numbers off Cueto)

  1. Anthony Gose, CF
  2. Ian Kinsler, 2B (0-for-1)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  4. Yoenis Cespedes, LF
  5. J.D. Martinez, RF (0-for-2, walk)
  6. Nick Castellanos, 3B
  7. James McCann, C
  8. Jose Iglesias, SS
  9. David Price, P

oldmrredlogoREDS (career numbers against Price)

  1. Brandon Phillips, 2B (3-for-8, 2 doubles, 2 K’s)
  2. Ivan De Jesus, LF
  3. Todd Frazier, 3B (0-for-3)
  4. Jay Bruce, RF (0-for-6, 2 K’s)
  5. Brayan Pena, C (1-for-2, walk)
  6. Chris Dominguez, 1B
  7. Eugenio Suarez, SS (1-for-3, walk)
  8. Johnny Cueto, P (0-for-1, K)
  9. Billy Hamilton, CF (0-for-4, K)

Ausmus on replay: “The system needs to be fixed”

Brad Ausmus and Matt Martin thought they had another run when they saw the replay of Anthony Gose’s slide into home plate Tuesday night. Ausmus’ postgame frustration had to do with more than that call.

What began as a review about the replay challenge in Ausmus’ postgame session shifted into a lengthy challenge from Ausmus about the replay system itself, and what constitutes enough video evidence to make a play worth challenging.

“In my mind, instant replay has regressed this year. It’s gone backwards,” he said. “And I know I’m not the only one across baseball who feels that way.

“Very quickly in 2014, you kind of had an understanding of where that line was between sufficient and insufficient evidence. That line is blurry now. There’s been a number of calls this year that I think a year ago would have been overturned. I’m not sure I have a solution for it, but I think it’s moving backwards.

“And I’ll say this: I was a big fan of instant replay last year. I thought it was a good thing. I thought for the most part, they changed calls in order to get the play right, and they did that on a regular basis. I’m not seeing that this year.”

The Tigers, Ausmus said, had to decide whether to challenge the tag or whether Pena illegally blocked the plate. They could not challenge both.

“I thought you could make the argument that he might have blocked the plate as well,” he said. “That’s a much more amorphous rule, and even harder to get overturned on a challenge, so we went with the play that we thought had a better chance of being overturned, which was the actual tagging of Gose as he slid into home.”

Said Martin: “It was probably both. He looked safe and that’s what you are going to challenge. But once [Pena] caught the ball, he jumped to block the plate and he over-shot it and Gose slid in between. But he looked safe initially and that’s what you want to challenge. The other is so much up to interpretation. Safe or out is not up to interpretation.”

The review lasted 3 minutes, 38 seconds.

“Once it kept dragging on,” Martin said, “and David Price was like, ‘Oh, I like it!’ Brad and myself go, ‘No, if it’s dragging on like that, they’re not going to overturn it. They’re going to keep it the same.’ David’s like, ‘No, no, he’s safe. You can see it on the video, he’s safe.'”

After the lengthy review, the call stood. It was not confirmed. That got Ausmus going after the game.

“I’d like someone to explain to me what sufficient and insufficient evidence is,” he said, “because last year we had a pretty good idea what that was, and I can’t tell you what it is this year. I really can’t.”

Asked if that has affected the challenges they make, Ausmus continued.

“There’s been so many that we thought were clear that there’s been no change, where we thought there should’ve been a change,” Ausmus said. “That’s what I’m saying: We don’t know where the line is. We do not understand when they’re going to overturn a play unless it is absolutely blatant. And that’s a problem.

“So sometimes we’re just throwing a Hail Mary. We think it’s conclusive and we’re throwing a Hail Mary, and they come back and they say they can’t confirm, or it’s unconfirmed. I just don’t know what the line is. Last year, we knew what the line was. We had a pretty good idea when we were challenging, whether we had a shot or not, and sometimes we took risks when we weren’t sure if we had a shot. But generally speaking, when we challenged and we knew it was going to be overturned, it was overturned. I think the system needs to be fixed.”

Tuesday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Reds

tigerhitterlogoTIGERS

  1. Anthony Gose, CF
  2. Ian Kinsler, 2B
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  4. Yoenis Cespedes, LF
  5. J.D. Martinez, RF
  6. Tyler Collins, DH
  7. Nick Castellanos, 3B
  8. James McCann, C
  9. Jose Iglesias, SS

P: Kyle Ryan

mrredlogoREDS

  1. Brandon Phillips, 2B
  2. Ivan De Jesus, LF
  3. Joey Votto, 1B
  4. Todd Frazier, 3B
  5. Jay Bruce, DH
  6. Brayan Pena, C
  7. Chris Dominguez, RF
  8. Billy Hamilton, CF
  9. Kristopher Negron, SS

P: Michael Lorenzen

Tigers sign first-round picks

A week after the Tigers wrapped up their work in the First-Year Player Draft, they got to business signing their top picks. Both high-school right-hander Beau Burrows and University of Tennessee outfielder Christin Stewart agreed to terms on deals Tuesday.

Burrows, the 22nd overall selection last Monday, announced his agreement on Twitter.

Burrows, who had previously committed to play his college ball at Texas A&M, agreed to terms for $2,154,200, the exact slot value of the pick, according to Jim Callis of MLB.com. Jon Heyman of MLB Network and CBSSports.com first reported the value. Stewart, the 34th overall selection, also agreed to terms, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis. He, too, reportedly received slot value, $1,795,100.

Also signing Tuesday was Michigan State outfielder Cam Gibson, the Tigers’ fifth-round pick. The son of former Tigers great Kirk Gibson tweeted a photo of him signing his contract at the Tigers’ player development offices in Lakeland.

Monday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Reds

Anthony Gose and Rajai Davis flip-flop spots in the batting order. Nick Castellanos returns to the lineup after getting Sunday off, as does James McCann.

The Cincinnati lineup has two former Tigers in it. Neither are Brayan Pena. Eugenio Suarez has taken the bulk of the shortstop duties over the past week since Zack Cosart’s season-ending injury, and Brennan Boesch is starting in left field.

Gameday | TV: FS Detroit, MLB.TV | Radio: 97.1 FM, AM 1270, Gameday Audio

tigerslogoTIGERS

  1. Anthony Gose, CF
  2. Ian Kinsler, 2B
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  4. Yoenis Cespedes, LF
  5. J.D. Martinez, RF
  6. James McCann, C
  7. Nick Castellanos, 3B
  8. Jose Iglesias, SS
  9. Rajai Davis, DH

P: Anibal Sanchez

redslogoREDS (career numbers off Sanchez)

  1. Brandon Phillips, 2B (2-for-8, double, K)
  2. Skip Schumaker, DH (3-for-11, 2 walks, K)
  3. Joey Votto, 1B (0-for-2, walk)
  4. Todd Frazier, 3B
  5. Jay Bruce, RF (2-for-5, 2 K’s)
  6. Eugenio Suarez, SS
  7. Tucker Barnhart, C
  8. Brennan Boesch, LF
  9. Billy Hamilton, CF

P: Jon Moscot

Tigers activate, option Rondon

Bruce Rondon is going to stick in Toledo for now. He’s just no longer doing so on a rehab assignment. The Tigers activated their hard-throwing right-hander from the 15-day disabled list and immediately optioned him to the Mud Hens, where he’ll try to work through the struggles that marked his rehab stint there over the past few weeks.

Rondon joined the Hens on rehab May 21 after spending the first month and a half of the season on the DL with bicipital tendinitis. From there, the results have been mixed. While Rondon has shown himself to be healthy, which is the biggest issue, he has not shown consistent effectiveness. He has given up 10 earned runs on 15 hits over 8 2/3 innings with five walks and nine strikeouts. He realistically had two truly good, clean outings in nine appearances.

That doesn’t mean the Tigers have given up on Rondon, but he has work to do to get back to the Tigers bullpen. For all the importance he has carried to Detroit’s relief hopes, he still has barely a half-season of Major League experience under his belt, and that was two years ago.

The move means that for now, the Tigers are sticking with a three-lefty bullpen for their upcoming series against the Reds, Yankees and Indians, all of whom have left-handed hitters to match up. Tom Gorzelanny, Blaine Hardy and just-recalled Ian Krol appear safe as a trio for at least the next week or two.

Sunday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Indians

Nick Castellanos gets a day out of the lineup amidst an 0-for-9 slump and a 3-for-15 homestand. Andrew Romine gets the start at third base over Josh Wilson. Bryan Holaday, having finishing hobnobbing with the stars such as Sir Richard Branson, gets the start at catcher.

Meanwhile, Francisco Lindor is supposedly in transit to Detroit this morning, but he’s not in the lineup. Perhaps Detroit really did pick a good weekend to close Interstate 75 near the ballpark. Mike Aviles is back at short.

TIGERS (career numbers off Corey Kluber)

  1. Anthony Gose, CF (1-for-3, HR, 2 K’s)
  2. Ian Kinsler, 2B (4-for-18, triple, walk, 4 K’s)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (19-for-33, 2 doubles, 4 HR, 2 walks, 6 K’s)
  4. Yoenis Cespedes, LF (4-for-10, double, HR, 2 K’s)
  5. J.D. Martinez, RF (5-for-12, double, HR, K)
  6. Tyler Collins, DH
  7. Bryan Holaday, C (2-for-6, 3 K’s)
  8. Andrew Romine, 3B (1-for-4, walk, 2 K’s)
  9. Jose Iglesias, SS (0-for-4)

P: Alfredo Simon

INDIANS (career numbers off Big Pasta)

  1. Jason Kipnis, 2B (3-for-11, double, walk, 2 K’s)
  2. Carlos Santana, 1B (4-for-14, 3 walks, 3 K’s)
  3. Michael Brantley, LF (10-for-15, 4 doubles, walk)
  4. Brandon Moss, RF (1-for-7, 2 K’s)
  5. David Murphy, DH (4-for-9, double, 2 walks)
  6. Yan Gomes, C (0-for-5)
  7. Giovanny Urshela, 3B
  8. Michael Bourn, CF (4-for-9, 3 K’s)
  9. Mike Aviles, SS (2-for-6, walk)

P: Corey Kluber

Verlander Day lineups: Tigers vs. Indians

Same as yesterday.

tigerpitcherlogoTIGERS (career numbers off Carrasco)

  1. Rajai Davis, DH (3-for-12, double, triple, 2 K’s)
  2. Ian Kinsler, 2B (7-for-19, 3 doubles, walk, 4 K’s)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (8-for-21, double, HR, 3 walks, 5 K’s)
  4. Yoenis Cespedes, LF (1-for-3, walk, K)
  5. J.D. Martinez, RF (4-for-13, double, HR, 2 K’s)
  6. Nick Castellanos, 3B (3-for-8, 2 walks, 4 K’s)
  7. James McCann, C (0-for-2)
  8. Jose Iglesias, SS (2-for-3, K)
  9. Anthony Gose, CF

P: Justin Verlander

clevelandlogo2INDIANS (career numbers off Verlander)

  1. Jason Kipnis, 2B (3-for-34, double, 6 walks, 13 K’s)
  2. Carlos Santana, 1B (9-for-44, double, 5 HR, 6 walks, 9 K’s)
  3. Michael Brantley, LF (18-for-54, double, triple, 3 walks, 7 K’s)
  4. Brandon Moss, RF (5-for-21, double, 2 HR, 3 walks, 11 K’s)
  5. David Murphy, DH (10-for-33, double, triple, 5 walks, 7 K’s)
  6. Yan Gomes, C (6-for-16, 2 doubles, walk, 3 K’s)
  7. Giovanni Urshela, 3B
  8. Michael Bourn, CF (12-for-33, 2 doubles, 4 walks, 10 K’s)
  9. Mike Aviles, SS (6-for-26, double, 2 K’s)

P: Carlos Carrasco

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