Friday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Angels

Jose Iglesias is back with the Tigers, but not yet back from the disabled list. He’s getting the night off after his four-game minor-league rehab assignment, then will be activated from the 15-day DL for tomorrow’s game. Look for him to be in the lineup Saturday, but with no guarantees he’ll be the everyday shortstop down the stretch over Erick Aybar.

“Whoever plays better is going to play,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “Simple as that.”

Gameday | TV: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV | Radio: 97.1 FM, MLB Gameday Audio

tigerpitcherlogoTIGERS (career numbers off Nolasco)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (9-for-26, 3 doubles, 2 K’s)
  2. Cameron Maybin, CF (5-for-9, 2 walks)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (5-for-18, double, 4 walks, 7 K’s)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH (7-for-17, 2 doubles, 3 walks, 2 K’s)
  5. J.D. Martinez, RF (7-for-21, triple, walk, 3 K’s)
  6. Justin Upton, LF (9-for-22, HR, 2 walks, 6 K’s)
  7. Casey McGehee, 3B (1-for-8, 3 K’s)
  8. James McCann, C (0-for-2)
  9. Erick Aybar, SS (1-for-6, double, K)

P: Justin Verlander

angelscalilogoANGELS (career numbers vs. Verlander)

  1. Kole Calhoun, RF (0-for-10, walk, 4 K’s)
  2. Mike Trout, CF (1-for-12, HR, 2 walks, 4 K’s)
  3. Albert Pujols, DH (8-for-22, 3 doubles, HR, 6 walks, 5 K’s)
  4. C.J. Cron, 1B (3-for-9, double, K)
  5. Andrelton Simmons, SS
  6. Nick Buss, LF
  7. Jett Bandy, C
  8. Kaleb Cowart, 3B (0-for-2, walk, 2 K’s)
  9. Cliff Pennington, 2B (3-for-21, 2 walks, 7 K’s)

P: Ricky Nolasco

 

Thursday’s lineups: Tigers at Twins

Ian Kinsler returns to the lineup as Cameron Maybin gets a day off. Erick Aybar is also off. Tyler Collins starts in center, his first start since last Saturday, while Andrew Romine starts at short. Not that it makes a vast difference, but Twins rookie starter Jose Berrios has given up six of his seven home runs to right-handed hitters in nearly the same number of plate appearances, though both sides hit him for a high batting average.

On the Twins side, Joe Mauer is out of the lineup for a second consecutive game.

TIGERS (numbers off Berrios)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (1-for-1, HR)
  2. Tyler Collins, CF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (0-for-0, walk)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH (0-for-1)
  5. J.D. Martinez, RF (0-for-0, walk)
  6. Justin Upton, LF (0-for-1, K)
  7. Casey McGehee, 3B
  8. James McCann, C
  9. Andrew Romine, SS

P: Daniel Norris

TWINS (numbers vs. Norris)

  1. Brian Dozier, 2B (0-for-2, K)
  2. Jorge Polanco, SS
  3. Robbie Grossman, LF
  4. Trevor Plouffe, 1B (0-for-1)
  5. Miguel Sano, DH (0-for-1)
  6. Max Kepler, RF
  7. Eduardo Escobar, 3B (0-for-1)
  8. Juan Centeno, C
  9. Danny Santana, CF

P: Jose Berrios

Wednesday’s lineups: Tigers at Twins

Ian Kinsler gets a day off amidst a 1-for-29 slump over the last eight days, dropping his batting average from .290 to .275, and a 1-for-9 history against Twins starter Tyler Duffey. Andrew Romine gets the start at second base. Cameron Maybin, who moved from second to ninth in the batting order Tuesday to help monitor his swings and ease the pain on his sprained left thumb, will bat leadoff tonight after a stellar performance Tuesday.

Kinsler isn’t the only star player getting the night off. Joe Mauer is out of the lineup while riding a 1-for-16 skid. He’s batting .235 against left-handed pitching this season, 54 points below his career mark off southpaws. He’s also 0-for-5 in two career games against Tigers starter Matt Boyd.

Gameday | TV: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV | Radio: 97.1 FM, MLB Gameday Audio

84tigerslogoTIGERS (career numbers against Duffey)

  1. Cameron Maybin, CF
  2. Erick Aybar, SS (0-for-3, walk, K)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (3-for-8, double, walk)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH (4-for-9, 2 doubles, 2 K’s)
  5. J.D. Martinez, RF (3-for-8, double, walk, K)
  6. Justin Upton, LF (1-for-3, HR, K)
  7. Casey McGehee, 3B
  8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C (0-for-3, 2 K’s)
  9. Andrew Romine, 2B (1-for-3, double)

P: Matt Boyd

twinsoldtimelogoTWINS (career numbers vs. Boyd)

  1. Brian Dozier, 2B (0-for-5, walk, 3 K’s)
  2. Robbie Grossman, LF (0-for-0, walk)
  3. Miguel Sano, DH (1-for-5, walk, 3 K’s)
  4. Trevor Plouffe, 1B (0-for-2, walk, K)
  5. Jorge Polanco, SS
  6. Eduardo Escobar, 3B (0-for-1)
  7. Max Kepler, RF (1-for-2, double)
  8. Kurt Suzuki, C (1-for-3, walk)
  9. Eddie Rosario, CF (1-for-4, triple, K)

P: Tyler Duffey

Tuesday’s lineups: Tigers at Twins

Cameron Maybin moves down to the ninth spot in the Tigers batting order today as Erick Aybar takes his 4-for-10 history against Kyle Gibson up to second, where he batted for much of last week before Maybin came back from the disabled list Sunday. Maybin said after his two-run single Sunday that his thumb still hurts, including when he swings, so batting lower could also be a way to conserve his swings.

Justin Upton hasn’t faced Gibson before, since Gibson hasn’t faced the Tigers since last year, but he’s 15-for-35 against Minnesota this season. J.D. Martinez has a very good history against Gibson, and he’s 30-for-68 in August. Gibson, for his part, threw a complete-game victory over Atlanta his last time out, allowing three runs on eight hits with three walks and six strikeouts.

Anibal Sanchez will try to build off the momentum of his no-hit bid last week against Kansas City. He has had quality starts in his last five meetings with Minnesota dating back to June 2014, including 10 strikeouts over six innings of three-run ball last month at Comerica Park. He’ll face a Twins lineup that scored six runs over three games against the Royals over the weekend, including an 0-for-12 series for Joe Mauer. Miguel Sano is hitless in his last 16 at-bats.

Gameday | TV: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV | Radio: 97.1 FM, MLB Gameday Audio

tigerslogoTIGERS (career numbers vs. Gibson)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (9-for-21, double, HR, 3 walks, 2 K’s)
  2. Erick Aybar, SS (4-for-10)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (5-for-15, double, HR, 2 walks, 3 K’s)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH (4-for-20, double, 3 walks)
  5. J.D. Martinez, RF (8-for-19, double, 2 HR, 2 walks, 5 K’s)
  6. Justin Upton, LF
  7. Casey McGehee, 3B
  8. James McCann, C (0-for-3, 2 K’s)
  9. Cameron Maybin, CF

P: Anibal Sanchez

twinslogoTWINS (career numbers off Sanchez)

  1. Brian Dozier, 2B (2-for-23, 2 walks, 6 K’s)
  2. Jorge Polanco, SS
  3. Joe Mauer, 1B (7-for-29, 2 walks, 6 K’s)
  4. Trevor Plouffe, 3B (4-for-21, HR, 2 walks, 5 K’s)
  5. Max Kepler, RF (0-for-2, walk, K)
  6. Miguel Sano, DH (1-for-3, double, 2 K’s)
  7. Eddie Rosario, CF (0-for-3, 3 K’s)
  8. Juan Centeno, C
  9. Danny Santana, LF (6-for-14, 4 K’s)

P: Kyle Gibson

The Fulmer innings conservation plan begins

Michael Fulmer made his Major League debut a little less than four months ago, on a Friday night in Minnesota. Had he stayed on turn in the Tigers rotation, he’d be on track to return to Minnesota to face the Twins on Thursday afternoon. Obviously, as we’ve chronicled for a while, that’s not happening.

With today’s off day, two starters — Anibal Sanchez and Matt Boyd — will get an extra day of rest before their start against the Twins. Daniel Norris and Justin Verlander move up a day and pitch Thursday and Friday against the Twins and Angels, respectively. The team will wait until Saturday, the day they need a fifth starter, to send Fulmer back to the mound against the Angels at Comerica Park.

It’s a way to buy Fulmer extra rest without actually pulling him out of the rotation or, as the Blue Jays are doing with Aaron Sanchez, optioning him to the minor leagues for a brief spell. And depending on how aggressively the Tigers want to push Fulmer back, it could save him two starts’ worth of innings by the end of the regular season compared to keeping him on turn the rest of the way.

Part of that difference depends on the next couple weeks and how the Tigers use their next off-day. It’s next Thursday, before the Tigers begin a big three-game series at Kansas City. It’s also five days after Fulmer faces the Angels on Saturday. If the Tigers want to use that off-day to push Fulmer back again, they could wait until Sept. 6, the following Tuesday, before pitching him again on nine days’ rest. If they used the next off-day to push him back once more, he would pitch again a week later, Sept. 13, against the Twins at home.

Go down the calendar, map out the off-days and how long the Tigers can wait before needing a fifth starter, and Fulmer could end up with just six starts the rest of the way, including two of the last three against Cleveland. If he were to average six innings a start, that would be 36 more innings to his current total of 141 between Detroit and Toledo, or 177 innings total for the season. That would be a 42 percent increase from his 124 2/3 innings pitched in the minor leagues last year.

If the Tigers kept him on turn next week and had him face the Royals on Sept. 2 to open the series in KC, however, he would not be in position to be pushed back on a couple of other off-days in September. He’d be in line for seven starts the rest of the season, still facing the Indians twice and White Sox and Twins once, but with the KC start added in.

That would still save Fulmer innings compared to if the Tigers had simply not pushed him back at all and had him face Minnesota this Thursday and go from there. He would have been in line for eight starts the rest of the season, including the Oct. 2 regular season finale at Atlanta.

All of these are theoretical scenarios. Brad Ausmus said Friday they’ve mapped out the rotation through next Thursday’s off-day with the pitchers they currently have, so they haven’t necessarily decided on the Kansas City series yet. That also doesn’t include injured starters Jordan Zimmermann and Mike Pelfrey, either of whom could give Ausmus an opportunity to skip Fulmer for a full turn if he so chooses.

Zimmermann is expected to make three rehab starts for Triple-A Toledo, beginning Friday and culminating on Labor Day, Sept. 5. If the Tigers were to bring him back the following weekend against Baltimore, they could conceivably buy Fulmer a turn off and set him up for the Cleveland series the following weekend. The same could go for Pelfrey, who has to throw a simulated game this week in Minnesota before his rehab schedule is set. He won’t have enough time left in the Triple-A schedule to get three rehab starts, but he could get two. If the Tigers want to be sure to hold Fulmer under 170 innings, using one of the returning starters to skip a turn is one way to get there.

The other factor, of course, is what happens if the Tigers fall out of contention before the final week of the season. When the Tigers clinched a playoff berth with a week to go in the 2006 regular season, Verlander didn’t pitch in any of the final six games, giving way to a Zach Miner spot start in the final weekend. The Tigers could simply play it by ear and see how the race unfolds before planning out Fulmer’s closing stretch.

Sunday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Red Sox

Cameron Maybin felt good enough taking batting practice Saturday that he told manager Brad Ausmus that he felt ready to return. After a few at-bats in Jordan Zimmermann’s simulated game Sunday morning, the Tigers gave him the go-ahead, activating him from the 15-day disabled list. Dixon Machado, who hasn’t started since the Erick Aybar trade, was optioned to Triple-A Toledo to make room.

Meanwhile, Victor Martinez gets a day out of the lineup, which coupled with Monday’s scheduled off-day will give him two days of rest ahead of the upcoming series at Minnesota. Miguel Cabrera gets a day at DH, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia starting at first base.

On the Red Sox side, big lefty Henry Owens gets a spot start with Eduardo Rodriguez injured.

With the Red Sox involved, today is a TBS Sunday afternoon broadcast, for those of you watching outside of Michigan.

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

tigerslogoTIGERS (career numbers off Henry Owens)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (2-for-3, 2 doubles)
  2. Cameron Maybin, CF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, DH
  4. J.D. Martinez, RF (0-for-1, walk)
  5. Justin Upton, LF
  6. Casey McGehee, 3B
  7. James McCann, C (0-for-1, walk)
  8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 1B
  9. Erick Aybar, SS

P: Justin Verlander

bostonlogoRED SOX (career numbers vs. Verlander)

  1. Dustin Pedroia, 2B (2-for-24, walk, 3 K’s)
  2. Xander Bogaerts, SS (3-for-9, double, 2 K’s)
  3. David Ortiz, DH (11-for-34, 4 doubles, 2 HR, 5 walks, 10 K’s)
  4. Mookie Betts, RF (0-for-7, K)
  5. Hanley Ramirez, 1B (2-for-8, walk, K)
  6. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF (1-for-3, 2 walks)
  7. Sandy Leon, C (0-for-2, K)
  8. Travis Shaw, 3B (1-for-5, double, walk, 3 K’s)
  9. Andrew Benintendi, LF

P: Henry Owens

Saturday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Red Sox

Justin Upton returns to the Tigers lineup after three games, including a total game off Friday night. He returns amidst a 1-for-31 skid, but with some success in limited at-bats against Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz. Andrew Romine makes his fourth consecutive start in center field, while Erick Aybar makes his third consecutive start at shortstop, this one against the lefty.

Gameday | TV: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV | Radio: 97.1 FM, MLB Gameday Audio

tigerroarlogoTIGERS (career numbers vs. Pomeranz)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (0-for-3, K)
  2. Erick Aybar, SS (2-for-10, 2 K’s)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (1-for-1, 2 walks)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH (0-for-3, 2 K’s)
  5. J.D. Martinez, RF (2-for-2, double)
  6. Justin Upton, LF (2-for-7, 2 walks, 3 K’s)
  7. Casey McGehee, 3B
  8. James McCann, C (0-for-2, K)
  9. Andrew Romine, CF (1-for-2)

P: Daniel Norris

redsoxlogoRED SOX (numbers against Norris)

  1. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  2. Xander Bogaerts, SS (1-for-2)
  3. David Ortiz, DH (1-for-3, HR, K)
  4. Mookie Betts, RF
  5. Hanley Ramirez, 1B (2-for-2, double)
  6. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF (1-for-2, K)
  7. Aaron Hill, 3B
  8. Andrew Benintendi, LF
  9. Bryan Holaday, C

P: Drew Pomeranz

Friday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Red Sox

The fact that Tyler Collins pinch-ran for Miguel Cabrera was a pretty good sign that Collins wasn’t going to miss a few days as feared. He’s back in the Tigers lineup against former teammate Rick Porcello, who makes his first start at Comerica Park since being traded to Boston two years ago.

Justin Upton, meanwhile, has one more day out of the starting lineup to clear his head and work on his swing mechanics with Wally Joyner and David Newhan. Brad Ausmus has said he’d like to get him a complete day off, but late-game situations have led to him entering the last two games as a replacement for Collins and a pinch-runner for Victor Martinez.

Gameday | TV: MLB Network, FSD, MLB.TV | Radio: 97.1 FM, MLB Gameday Audio

tigerpitcherlogoTIGERS (career numbers off Porcello)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (9-for-17, 2 doubles, triple, K)
  2. Erick Aybar, SS (5-for-27, double, 3 walks, 5 K’s)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  4. Victor Martinez, DH (0-for-6, walk, 2 K’s)
  5. J.D. Martinez, RF (2-for-3, K)
  6. Tyler Collins, CF
  7. Casey McGehee, 3B
  8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C (1-for-5, 2 K’s)
  9. Andrew Romine, CF

P: Michael Fulmer

oldredsoxlogoRED SOX (numbers vs. Fulmer)

  1. Dustin Pedroia, 2B (1-for-3, HR)
  2. Xander Bogaerts, SS (1-for-3, HR)
  3. David Ortiz, DH (0-for-3, K)
  4. Mookie Betts, RF (1-for-4, triple, K)
  5. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF (0-for-3)
  6. Sandy Leon, C (1-for-2, double)
  7. Hanley Ramirez, 1B
  8. Brock Holt, 3B (1-for-3)
  9. Andrew Benintendi, LF

P: Rick Porcello

Wednesday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Royals

Miguel Cabrera returns to the Tigers lineup after missing Tuesday’s game with a strained left biceps. He’s in his customary spot, while Erick Aybar makes his Tigers debut at shortstop and bats second.

On the flip side, Justin Upton gets a day out of the lineup amidst a 1-for-30 slump that has dropped his average from .241 on Aug. 8 to .226, his lowest level in two months. Tyler Collins shifts from center field to left, while Andrew Romine gets the start in center against Yordano Ventura. Steven Moya is available to hit off the bench, who appears to be his primary role after the Tigers optioned lefty Blaine Hardy to Triple-A Toledo to make room for Aybar on the 25-man roster.

The Royals give Salvador Perez a game out of the lineup. He’s 4-for-20 for his career against Anibal Sanchez, who will try to show the form he cultivated in starts here last homestand rather than the form that yielded four home runs last Friday at Texas.

Gameday | TV: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV | Radio: 97.1 FM, MLB Gameday Audio

tigers1957logoTIGERS (career numbers vs. Ventura)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (8-for-23, double, walk, 2 K’s)
  2. Erick Aybar, SS
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B (5-for-16, double, walk, 5 K’s)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH (5-for-22, 2 HR, 2 walks, 4 K’s)
  5. J.D. Martinez, RF (5-for-13, 2 doubles, 5 walks, 3 K’s)
  6. Tyler Collins, LF (3-for-11, walk, 2 K’s)
  7. Casey McGehee, 3B
  8. James McCann, C (1-for-8, K)
  9. Andrew Romine, CF (2-for-9, walk, 3 K’s)

P: Anibal Sanchez

royalsbigrlogoROYALS (career numbers off Sanchez)

  1. Paulo Orlando, CF (3-for-6, double, K)
  2. Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B (0-for-1)
  3. Lorenzo Cain, RF (7-for-27, double, HR, K)
  4. Eric Hosmer, 1B (10-for-34, 3 doubles, HR, 2 walks, 3 K’s)
  5. Kendrys Morales, DH (5-for-18, 2 doubles, 3 walks, 4 K’s)
  6. Alex Gordon, LF (5-for-18, double, 3 walks, 3 K’s)
  7. Alcides Escobar, SS (9-for-33, HR, 5 K’s)
  8. Drew Butera, C (1-for-5, HR, K)
  9. Raul Mondesi, 2B

P: Yordano Ventura

Tuesday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Royals

No Miguel Cabrera in the Tigers lineup tonight as he deals with a left biceps strain. Brad Ausmus said he had to convince Cabrera that an day of caution was the best course. Jarrod Saltalamacchia starts at first base over Andrew Romine. Tyler Collins starts in center against left-hander Danny Duffy, but he’ll bat ninth in the lineup. Essentially, it’s a start for defensive purposes, though Mike Aviles is 5-for-18 off Duffy. Casey McGehee moves up to second, as he did Saturday against Cole Hamels.

The Royals lineup has a lot of history against Justin Verlander. His 30 strikeouts of Alex Gordon are the most by any active pitcher against an active player in the Majors at this point, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Gameday | TV: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV | Radio: 97.1 FM, MLB Gameday Audio

tigerpitcherlogoTIGERS (career numbers off Danny Duffy)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B (5-for-23, double, 2 HR, 2 walks, 3 K’s)
  2. Casey McGehee, 3B
  3. Victor Martinez, DH (9-for-28, double, 2 HR, 2 walks, 3 K’s)
  4. J.D. Martinez, RF (1-for-14, HR, 2 walks, 8 K’s)
  5. Justin Upton, LF (0-for-3, 2 K’s)
  6. James McCann, C (2-for-11, 2 walks, 5 K’s)
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 1B (1-for-1, HR)
  8. Dixon Machado, SS (0-for-2, K)
  9. Tyler Collins, CF (1-for-5)

P: Justin Verlander

royalsscriptROYALS (career numbers vs. Verlander)

  1. Paulo Orlando, CF (2-for-6, double, triple, K)
  2. Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B (0-for-5, walk, 4 K’s)
  3. Lorenzo Cain, RF (9-for-30, 2 doubles, HR, 6 K’s)
  4. Eric Hosmer, 1B (19-for-74, 5 doubles, triple, HR, 5 walks, 14 K’s)
  5. Kendrys Morales, DH (13-for-40, 4 doubles, 2 HR, 11 K’s)
  6. Salvador Perez, C (23-for-49, 8 doubles, 2 HR, 6 K’s)
  7. Alex Gordon, LF (17-for-83, 5 doubles, 2 HR, 12 walks, 30 K’s)
  8. Alcides Escobar, SS (14-for-73, 4 doubles, 2 walks, 7 K’s)
  9. Raul Mondesi, 2B

P: Danny Duffy