Results tagged ‘ Clete Thomas ’
UPDATE @ 7:10: The tarp is now off. Game is expected to start around 7:40. The radar suggests they should be fine the rest of the night now that this storm cell has passed north.
When it does start, Clete Thomas will be batting cleanup for the first time in his career. Jim Leyland weighted the lineup with left-handed hitters against Mariners starter Felix Hernandez, who has given up a .305 batting average and .842 OPS to lefties compared with a .241 average against righties.
- Granderson, CF
- Polanco, 2B
- Cabrera, 1B
- Thomas, RF
- Thames, DH
- Anderson, LF
- Raburn, 3B
- Laird, C
- Santiago, SS
P: Armando Galarraga
- Ichiro Suzuki, RF
- Russell Branyan, 1B
- Jose Lopez, 2B
- Ken Griffey, DH
- Wladimir Balentien, LF
- Ryan Langerhans, CF
- Rob Johnson, C
- Jack Hannahan, 3B
- Ronny Cedeno, SS
P: Felix Hernandez
As manager Jim Leyland said after Tuesday’s game, they’re kind of trying to catch lightning in a bottle with Thomas, who has heated up with the Hens.
“He’s done pretty well,” Leyland said. “He’s still going to have his moments. He’s a young player, but he’s an aggressive young player.”
The Tigers announced after the game that they’re optioning OF Clete Thomas to Triple-A Toledo and purchasing the contract of Don Kelly from the Hens to take his place in Pittsburgh.
Thomas started out as a spark for the Tigers after joining the team in early May, but he was batting under .200 since May 16, including 0-for-4 with two strikeouts Thursday. His grand slam last Sunday was one of just three hits for him in 29 June at-bats.
“Thomas has to work on shortening his swing,” manager Jim Leyland said. “This is not a punishment. This is a player that we love.”
Kelly, meanwhile, has been a versatile piece for the Mud Hens. He’s batting .341 for Toledo with three homers, 22 RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 17 tries. Moreover, he has added center field to his defensive acument, allowing him to play around the outfield as well as the infield.
“He’s come back and really done well,” Leyland said. “You like to reward people who do well.”
Kelly will join the team in Pittsburgh, which is fitting since he was born and raised in nearby Butler, Pa.
Some of you might know this already, but we’ve moved away from the mailbag as a published article on the site every week. Quite a few of you seem to like the format, though, so I’m going to try to move it over to the blog in a smaller format and crank out some answers every so often, hopefully once a week. I think it makes more sense on the blog, anyway. It’s more conducive for feedback, and since it’s not actually an article, hopefully there will be less hassle on why I selected certain questions or didn’t answer others.
As a Tiger fan outside of Michigan, I am excited about the MLB Network. Should I be? Are the Tigers going to be featured on it ever or will it be the same Red Sox/Yankees/Cubs/Dodgers games that have been on Fox and ESPN?
- Jeremy H., Hartford, Wisc.
Actually, you’re in luck. The network will be re-airing some 2006 postseason games this weekend, starting with Game 4 of the ALCS Saturday at noon ET and continuing with the first two games of the World Series that night at 6 and 9 p.m. ET. They’ll show Games 3-5 on Sunday starting at 1 p.m. ET, if you wanted to relieve those games, too. Another neat item will be highlights of the 1945 World Series between the Tigers and Cubs on Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 11:30 p.m. ET.
You can go here for the TV listings.
Okay, say Brent Clevlen does clear waivers and the Tigers outright him to Toledo. What happens with his “options” then, or does he have to clear waivers every time he gets sent down?
- Nick R., Mayville, NY
Clevlen would have to be outrighted and clear waivers each time. Once the options are done, they’re done.
I was sad to see Matt Joyce go, but if Tampa had Andy Sonnastine open for trade talks why not go after him instead of getting Edwin Jackson? He had a better record.
- Ryan C., Greenville
First, Jackson is eligible for arbitration, while Sonnanstine is not. The Rays had more motivation for dealing Jackson and clearing up payroll to add another outfielder. Second, Jackson is arguably more of a stuff pitcher than Sonnanstine. He throws harder and has more in his repertoire. That doesn’t make him more successful, of course, but he fits the profile of the pitcher the Tigers like. And while plenty of people have said this about Jackson over the years, you can still make the case that he has a ton of upside if/when he puts everything together. Pitching coach Rick Knapp’s resume of building strike-throwers fits Jackson very well.
With the signing of minor league free agent Alexis Gomez, do you think that he has a shot of making the team since Matt Joyce is gone?
- Gareth R., Okemos
Probably not at the start of the season, unless the roster picture changes with injuries or other moves. I think moving Joyce means Jeff Larish is the Tigers’ best option for a left-handed bat off the bench, if he wasn’t already, and even he could be in a roster squeeze. Gomez gives the Tigers some depth if they need help during the season, but I think that depends on Clete Thomas (another left-handed hitting outfielder) and how quickly he returns.
Clete Thomas was a nice surprise for the organization last year. He proved that he could hit consistently, and field very well at the Major League level. What do you think will become of Clete this year? Will he earn a roster spot?
- Alan F., Grosse Pointe Woods
If he’s healthy after Tommy John surgery last fall — and keep in mind that position players return from that procedure quicker than pitchers — Thomas is in a very good spot in the organization. He can play all three outfield spots, bats left-handed, has some speed and plays solid defense. Does that mean he can make the team out of Spring Training? It would be tough. Marcus Thames and Ryan Raburn would seemingly have the edge on the reserve outfield spots, especially since Raburn can fill in on the infield as well.
Braden Looper is still unsigned as a free agent picther. Looper had some good years in Florida as a closer and might be a great option for Detroit’s closer. What are the chances of that happening?
- Frank A., Livonia
Not much, by all accounts. Enough teams are looking at Looper as a starter that he’ll probably sign as such. It’s his better route financially, and he has enjoyed starting for the last two years.
Want to submit a question? Let’s make it easy. Click on the link here and ask away. Just try to include your name — first name and last initial is fine — and hometown.
He’s optioned to make room for Magglio Ordonez, who will be activated from the disabled list tomorrow.
Still no definitive word yet on Monday’s starter, though it’s expected to be Bonine. The interesting part about the Thomas move, though, is that it leaves Jeff Larish around as the extra bat for the Orioles series. That could also be insurance for a first baseman in case Miguel Cabrera’s hip is still bothering him and he needs to DH, but we’ll see.
Friday’s lineup is pretty much the same as yesterday, including Michael Hollimon at SS and Clete Thomas in LF. Jim Leyland said he was starting Thomas over Marcus Thames because Thames hasn’t looked like himself at the plate the last few games, that the run of homers might’ve gotten him out of sync. Leyland didn’t go into the reasons for not playing Edgar Renteria today, but Renteria said that he’s feeling fine, and Leyland said Renteria will be back in the lineup on Saturday, so it’s not an injury. Thames also is expected to start again on Saturday.
Here are the full lineups:
- Granderson, CF
- Polanco, 2B
- Guillen, 3B
- Ordonez, RF
- Cabrera, 1B
- Thomas, LF
- Sheffield, DH
- Rodriguez, C
- Hollimon, SS
- Willy Taveras, CF
- Scott Podsednik, DH
- Matt Holliday, LF
- Brad Hawpe, RF
- Garrett Atkins, 3B
- Jeff Baker, 1B
- Chris Iannetta, C
- Troy Tulowitzki, SS
- Clint Barmes, 2B
The Tigers activated outfielder Clete Thomas from the DL after the game and optioned Brent Clevlen back to Toledo. Basically, Leyland said they wanted Thomas’ left-handed bat and speed available. However, Leyland said, “I think Clevlen is really, really close to being a Major League player for sure.”
Also, Leyland said he lifted Magglio Ordonez from the game in the seventh because he had a spasm in his right side. He was on the field slapping hands with teammates when the game ended, and he said after the game that he should be OK. With this team and side injuries, though, Leyland didn’t want to take a chance in a game with a big lead.
With Matt Joyce essentially out of a starting job, the Tigers optioned him back to Toledo so that he can play every day. Clete Thomas will be recalled in time for Friday’s game at Seattle.