Results tagged ‘ Adam Everett ’

Now pinch-hitting … Dontrelle Willis?

Yes, Jim Leyland said, he really was prepared to let Dontrelle Willis bat in the ninth inning. He was not simply a decoy, though he ended up being a pretty good one at that.

It was a piece of National League strategy that most American League teams never pull out in Interleague Play, especially in a nine-inning game. But Detroit’s bench was down one hitter with Austin Jackson out. Leyland used Ryan Raburn as a pinch-hitter for Rick Porcello in the seventh and lost another bench player when he put Don Kelly into the game as a defensive replacement in left field in the bottom of the eighth.

That left Alex Avila and Adam Everett on the Tigers bench when the pitchers spot came back around for the ninth. Once Brandon Inge drew a leadoff walk, Leyland got Dontrelle Willis ready to hit.

Willis was on deck when Danny Worth’s single put runners at the corners with one out, making it an RBI situation.

“I felt like I wasn’t going to waste a player unless I had to,” Leyland said.

Willis’ hitting prowess from his National League days is well-known, enough that some critics have wondered whether Willis could become a position player if his past pitching struggles proved unshakable. He’s a .232 career hitter with 10 doubles, five triples, eight home runs and 35 RBIs in 354 at-bats. Even better, he’s 5-for-11 in his career with a runner on third and less than two outs, and he’s 6-for-18 as a pinch-hitter.

The vast majority of those chances, however, came in the National League. He has barely hit over the last two years. However, he had two at-bats in his start against the Dodgers Friday, so he was fresh.

It was serious enough that manager Joe Torre went to the mound and replaced right-hander Ronald Belisario with left-hander George Sherrill. Leyland immediately countered by pulling back Willis and sending Adam Everett to the plate.

After swinging at the first pitch and taking two others to get ahead in the count, Everett laid down a well-placed squeeze bunt, scoring Inge. But Leyland said he wouldn’t have hesitated to let Willis hit had Torre kept Belisario in.

“If he hadn’t brought the lefty, I would’ve let Dontrelle hit,” Leyland said. “I felt comfortable with him swinging the bat. He hit what would’ve been two sacrifice flies probably [Friday]. Then if something happens to an infielder, I’ve still got Everett.”

Asked if that could happen again, Leyland said, “I think you could possibly see that in Interleague Play if we were short of players. I doubt that you’d see it in the American League.”

By contrast, he rarely ever feels comfortable with the squeeze bunt, never has. But it was something to try there.

“I hate the squeeze play,” Leyland said. “I’ve always hated the squeeze play. I hate it putting it on. It seems like it’s an hour before the pitch is delivered. But you try it with Adam Everett. We just took a shot. He got a decent pitch to bunt. He bunted it to the middle of the field, which is what you’re supposed to do, and we picked up an extra run on it. We were fortunate.”

Tuesday: Tigers vs. Twins

While the Twins were sound asleep in their team hotel, the Tigers arrived back home from Texas around 3:30 this morning for their big AL Central clash tonight. Still, a lot of them were here around the time they’d normally be at the park anyway, ready to go to work.

“Just getting back here felt awesome, even if it was at 4 o’clock in the morning,” Alex Avila said today.

Adam Everett remains day-to-day with his right hamstring strain, so Ramon Santiago is in the starting lineup once again. Everything else is pretty standard for Detroit’s lineup.

On the Twins’ side, you’ll notice Delmon Young and Jim Thome in at DH against Justin Verlander. Thome’s numbers off Verlander took a dive last year, when he went 1-for-6 with two walks and four strikeouts in two games. That one hit, however, was a home run, giving him seven homers out of 10 hits in 41 at-bats lifetime off Verlander.

TIGERS

  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Damon, DH
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Inge, 3B
  6. Raburn, LF
  7. Laird, C
  8. Sizemore, 2B
  9. Santiago, SS

P: Justin Verlander

TWINS

  1. Denard Span, CF
  2. Orlando Hudson, 2B
  3. Joe Mauer, C
  4. Justin Morneau, 1B
  5. Michael Cuddyer, RF
  6. Jason Kubel, LF
  7. Jim Thome, DH
  8. J.J. Hardy, SS
  9. Brendan Harris, 3B

P: Francisco Liriano

Saturday: Tigers vs. Orioles

Odd seeing the O’s in Lakeland for a game, but a good odd. Never saw them around these parts when they trained all the way down in Fort Lauderdale. In fact, I think the last time we saw O’s third base coach Juan Samuel in Lakeland, he was trying to teach center field to Alex Sanchez. That was his last year as a Tiger in 2005. Now that the O’s have moved their spring base to Sarasota, one would expect this to be a regular matchup.

You’ll notice Austin Jackson isn’t in the starting lineup, but it’s a regular day off. Tigers had him working on his bunting on the practice fields this morning with Adam Everett and Gerald Laird. This session wasn’t about sac bunting so much as bunting for hits.

“You just try to give them another weapon,” manager Jim Leyland said. “And if anything, you try to get the third baseman on top of them [defending the bunt]. It’s an offensive weapon.”

None of those three guys are starting today, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Jackson enter later in the game.

TIGERS

  1. Thomas, CF
  2. Damon, LF
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Guillen, DH
  6. Kelly, 3B
  7. Avila, C
  8. Sizemore, 2B
  9. Santiago, SS

P: Justin Verlander, Brad Thomas, Ryan Perry, Jose Valverde, Daniel Schlereth, Jay Sborz

ORIOLES

  1. Felix Pie, LF
  2. Robert Andino, 2B
  3. Nolan Reimold, DH
  4. Ty Wigginton, 3B
  5. Lou Montanez, RF
  6. Brandon Snyder, 1B
  7. Jeff Salazar, CF
  8. Michel Hernandez, C
  9. Blake Davis, SS

P: Kevin Millwood, Brandon Erbe, Matt Albers, Dennis Sarfate, Alberto Castillo, Cla Meredith

Tigers, Everett agree to one-year deal

What had been negotiations on hold for Adam Everett quickly became a deal Monday evening. The two sides agreed to terms on a one-year contract, bringing back the shortstop credited with helping improve Detroit’s infield defense.

The deal came together quickly, just hours after negotiations seemed to be in a holding pattern and Everett was drawing some interest from the Pirates. The Tigers, meanwhile, had been talking with the agent for fellow free-agent shortstop Bobby Crosby.

It was around the first day of last year’s Winter Meetings that the Tigers reached an agreement with Everett, then coming off an injury-shortened campaign with the Twins. He rebounded in 2009 by retaking his role among the better defensive shortstops in baseball.

Everett’s 8.9 Ultimate Zone Rating, a measure of balls hit into a position player’s area that he should get, ranked fourth among Major League shortstops. He committed 14 errors out of 457 total chances over 118 games for a .969 fielding percentage.

Everett’s offense, never his strength, still ended up better than many expected when he signed. He batted .238 with 21 doubles, three home runs and 44 RBIs, while batting .270 with runners in scoring position. He hit .364 (8-for-22) with a runner on third and two out.

Everett’s return, or some sort of veteran shortstop, became all the more important once the Tigers officially lost free agent second baseman Placido Polanco to the Phillies last week.

“Basically, we have our infield back except for the change at second base,” said team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski, whose team now will count on rookie Scott Sizemore to take over at second.

Everett will continue to take the bulk of the duty at shortstop, with Ramon Santiago being mixed in.

Yes, there's still free agency for Tigers

While trade rumors build around the Tigers regarding players they control, their interest in their own free agents hasn’t gone away, at least not for most of them.

The Tigers have had contact with the agents for relievers Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon, second baseman Placido Polanco and shortstop Adam Everett, but those discussions were believed to be preliminary ahead of follow-up talks later.

Meanwhile, president/general manager Dave Dombrowski confirmed to Booth Newspapers that they will not be pursuing free agents Jarrod Washburn and Aubrey Huff, both late-season trade acquisitions for the Tigers this past summer who struggled down the stretch.

Neither was expected to be a Tigers target. Washburn had told reporters last week that he hadn’t heard from the Tigers other than to check on his knee after surgery.

“We called both Jarrod and Aubrey this week and told them we will not be pursuing them,” Dombrowski told Booth Newspapers. “We wished them well.”

Dombrowski said the team had not made such calls to its other four free agents.

The Tigers acquired Washburn from Seattle at the nonwaiver trade deadline July 31, but knee problems hampered him in August and September until the Tigers shut him down for the final couple weeks. He posted a 1-3 record and 7.33 ERA in eight Tigers starts, compared with an 8-6 record and 2.64 ERA in 20 starts for the Mariners.

Huff batted .189 with two homers and 13 RBIs in 40 games for the Tigers after coming over from Baltimore in a mid-August trade. Detroit’s plans to rotate players between designated hitter and the outfield, including Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen, essentially sealed Huff’s departure.

The Tigers hold exclusive negotiating rights on their free agents for seven more days. Other teams can talk to them now, and all four have drawn interest, but those teams can’t make contract offers or talk contract terms until next Friday.

By then, the Tigers should have a better idea about any trade talks, where they may lead, and what holes any deals could fill.

All four are expected to seek multi-year contracts, according to industry sources, but that’s no surprise. The Tigers didn’t sign any free agent or arbitration-eligible player to a multi-year contract last year, and aside from possibly Justin Verlander, it remains to be seen whether they would do so now.

Prospect Scott Sizemore has been deemed ready for the big leagues, while relievers Cody Satterwhite and Robbie Weinhardt could conceivably be ready within a year. Shortstop is a different situation, and barring a trade acquisition, there’s expected to be mutual interest for Everett to return.

Five Tigers file for free agency

As the veteran Tigers scribe Jim Hawkins likes to say, no sense waiting (yes, I recycled that line from my Twitter account, @beckjason). Five Tigers — Adam Everett, Aubrey Huff, Placido Polanco, Fernando Rodney and Jarrod Washburn — filed for free agency Thursday, the first day players could do so. The only Tiger eligible for free agency who didn’t file Thursday was Brandon Lyon, and that’s more of a formality. His agent and the Tigers haven’t talked yet. Look for a free-agent roundup on the site tonight.

The Tigers have exclusive negotiating rights with their free agents through Thursday, Nov. 20. While those players can talk with other teams, they technically can’t talk contract terms or exchange offers, though agents seem to get around the contract terms part. Starting Nov. 21, it’s a free-for-all.

Also, the Elias rankings that determine compensation for free agents came out today. Polanco qualified for Type A status, meaning the Tigers would receive at least a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds of next year’s draft, and possibly a first-round pick as well, if they offer him arbitration and he signs somewhere else. That leaves the Tigers with a decision to make whether they offer him arbitration, and I’m not sure the Tigers won’t take a chance and offer it. After all, if he accepts it, the Tigers have him for one year.

Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon both qualified for Type B status. If the Tigers offered them arbitration, they’d get a draft pick after the second round if they signed elsewhere.

Tigers at The Trop, Game 2

ST. PETERSBURG — The Tigers and Rays went into the series opener with identical records, but while Tampa Bay looks like a playoff longshot at this point, Detroit is almost on cruise control for another postseason berth. 

After Friday’s win, Tigers manager Jim Leyland had some good things to say about the Rays, a team that’s lost three of its last four and finds itself six games back of the Red Sox for the American League Wild Card lead going into Saturday’s game.
“This is the defending champion of the American League,” Leyland said. “It’s an outstanding team. And everybody says, ‘Well, what happened to the Rays?’ Nothing happened to the Rays, except for the fact that the Yankees were able to do what they can do. 
“They”ve got a great team. They’re very athletic. A lot of action. They can run, they can hit with power. They’re very impressive.”
On to the lineups. Magglio Ordonez is back in there for the Tigers, while catcher Gerald Laird and shortstop Adam Everett get the night off. 
For the Rays, Evan Longoria, who drove in two runs on Friday night and is 2-for-5 with a homer in his career against Tigers starter Armando Galarraga, is batting … sixth?
Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF
Placido Polanco, 2B
Carlos Guillen, LF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Aubrey Huff, DH
Ordonez, RF
Brandon Inge, 3B
Alex Avila, C
Ramon Santiago, SS
SP: Galarraga (RH)
Rays
Jason Bartlett, SS
Carl Crawford, LF
Ben Zobrist, RF
Carlos Pena, 1B
Pat Burrell, DH
Longoria, 3B
Akinori Iwamura, 2B
Gregg Zaun, C
Fernando Perez, CF
SP: James Shields (RH)
– Alden Gonzalez

Leyland on Everett

Noticed a lot of questions after the game about why Leyland didn’t go with a pinch-hitter for Adam Everett with runners on second and third and one out in the eighth. Leyland pointed to Everett being 1-for-2 lifetime off Ramon Ramirez, and the fact that he felt Everett had the best chance to make contact off Ramirez.

“I thought he’d put it play,” Leyland said after the game. “I thought the worst-case scenario would be a ground ball to second maybe, get one run in. Like I said, he’s 1-for-2 off him, and there’s really no other track records. Santiago and Raburn were 0-for-1. Like I said, I thought he’d put it in play, but he didn’t.”

When asked whether he considered using Santiago as a pinch-hitter for Everett, Leyland said, “No. That guy’s stuff is not susceptible to the way he hits, in my opinion.”

Leyland said over the weekend that he didn’t consider rookie catcher Alex Avila a pinch-hitting option, because he’s the only catching option off the bench. If Avila was used up a pinch-hitter and Laird had to leave a game with an injury, that would force the Tigers to go with an emergency catcher. That would be either Ryan Raburn or Brandon Inge, and Inge has no chance of catching with his knee acting up.

Raburn is 1-for-9 as a pinch-hitter this year, but that one hit, of course, was a homer. He’s 5-for-27 with three pinch-hit homers for his career.

Everett latest Tiger to fall ill

They probably mentioned it on the broadcast already, but Ramon Santiago is starting his second straight game at shortstop because Adam Everett is sick. He has the same bug that knocked Gerald Laird out of play Monday, and he was feeling bad enough that Jim Leyland told him to stay home and not come to the ballpark.

There’s another motivation in keeping Everett home, of course, and that’s to try to contain whatever he has from spreading around the clubhouse. With a 10-day, three-city trip coming up, Leyland is clearly worried about the chance of more players coming down with it, especially when they’re all together on the plane tomorrow evening.

Everett ready to get back on track

JUPITER, Fla. — Got a chance to speak with Tigers shortstop Adam Everett on Monday. It’s been a rough last couple of years for the 32-year-old right-handed hitter, who was limited to just 114 total games with the Astros and Twins because of injuries to his right fibula, in 2007, and right shoulder, in ’08. 

But he says he’s finally healthy.
“I feel good, I’m ready to go,” said Everett, who is back in Lakeland, Fla., Tuesday and won’t be present for the Tigers-Cardinals game at Roger Dean Stadium. “I got those two years behind me, thank God, and now I’m ready to move forward. Everything’s been good. Actually, it’s been better than expected — nothing lingering — so it’s exciting.”
During a 1-0 loss on Monday, Everett had the only multi-hit game for the struggling Tigers offense when he went 2-for-3. That’s a good sign for Everett, who came into the game 2-for-16. But the Georgia native is a career .246 hitter who will likely bat in the bottom of the lineup.
And he knows he was brought here particularly for one thing: defense.
“I know it’s an old cliche, but you put pressure on yourself, you don’t do too well,” Everett said. “I’ve been able to play great defense my whole career, and hopefully I can continue to do that.”
Manager Jim Leyland certainly thinks so.
“He’s got tremendous range at shortstop,” the skipper said. “He’s still working on his hitting, but he’s going to be one of those guys that you bunt with, hit-and-run with.
“Now, is he going to knock in 75, 80 runs? No, that’s not going to happen. But we got him to shore up the middle [infield], and he’s definitely going to do that.”
– Alden Gonzalez

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