Results tagged ‘ Ramon Santiago ’
In all the hubbub over Max Scherzer’s 13-0 start and Colby Rasmus’ slide on Omar Infante, this kind of got overlooked. Now that everyone has calmed down, I’m giving you a heads-up now: Miguel Cabrera won’t start tonight.
Jim Leyland made the announcement after the game Wednesday night, after he subbed him out in the ninth inning for the second consecutive game with tightness in his back.
“I think it probably tightened up on him,” Leyland said. “Like I said, I don’t know how it happens like it does, but it does seem to happen. We’ve been on turf now for six straight days. Guys aren’t used to that. I think there’s probably something to that. You’re on the dirt, and then on the turf, and you’re running the bases on the dirt and then you hit the turf. I don’t really have an answer for it other than the back’s bothering him and I’m not going to play him tomorrow.”
Cabrera didn’t say a whole lot after the game. He suggested his back felt OK, but that’s not really a surprise from him.
Cabrera has missed one game in each of the last two seasons. He last sat out a game last Aug. 26 against the Angels, a game the Tigers actually won, 5-2, when Max Scherzer outpitched Ervin Santana. Jeff Baker started at third that day.
The Tigers won the one game Cabrera missed in 2011, too. That day, he was on paternity leave to be with his wife for the birth of their child, and the Tigers called up Omir Santos to give Alex Avila a much-needed day off. Doug Fister pitched well and the Tigers won a getaway game at Tampa Bay.
Cabrera was also out of the starting lineup in two other games in 2011, but ended up making a pinch-hit appearance.
Don Kelly will start at third base tonight. The only other guy on the Tigers bench who can play third is Ramon Santiago, and he’ll be starting for the injured Infante.
The final roster move to set the Tigers roster was the move everyone was kind of expecting: Infielder Danny Worth will open the season at Triple-A Toledo.
The Tigers announced the move after Thursday’s loss to the Astros at Osceola County Stadium. Worth, who finished the game at third base, headed back on the team bus and will head over to minor-league camp on Friday.
Worth shuttled five different times between Detroit and Toledo last year alone, so no one knows better than him that this isn’t a long-term banishment. Still, the fact that the move was the last of camp, and it came at almost the very end, had to have hurt.
“It was a good conversation, because he’s such a respectful kid. It wasn’t a fun conversation,” manager Jim Leyland said. “I’m not going to elaborate, but I can tell you that in reality, we had 27 guy this year that we tried to fit on a 25-man squad, and we just couldn’t do it. Because he deserves to be on the team. But at this time, that did not work out. With [Quintin Berry] and Danny Worth, we had two guys that probably deserved to be on the team.
“He played great. He’s hitting better than I’ve ever seen him. He’s playing better than I’ve seen him. He looked like a big leaguer and he is a big leaguer, but that’s not much consolation for him today.”
Though Worth was initially thought to be in competition for the final spot on the 25-man roster, he stuck around on the chance of winning the utility infield spot held by Ramon Santiago for the past several years. Santiago signed a two-year contract before last season to fill it, but the Tigers were by all indications checking the market to see if there was trade interest. Santiago will make $2.1 million guaranteed this season, so the Tigers would’ve had to eat a bulk of that salary to facilitate a deal.
Much like last year’s Winter Meetings, when Santiago’s name first popped up in trade rumors, any interest was limited by the contract. Thus, Worth is a Mud Hen again.
Ramon Santiago is in the Tigers lineup for the first time this spring after missing nearly two weeks with a strained right calf. He’ll get a few at-bats today against Mets starter Dillon Gee, but the bigger test for him will be at shortstop. He felt well going side to side on ground balls the last couple days, which was the last hurdle for the medical staff to clear him to play.
The Mets didn’t bring a ton of players from their projected Opening Day roster, but they did bring the venerable LaTroy Hawkins, a two-time teammate of Torii Hunter.
- Ramon Santiago, SS
- Torii Hunter, RF
- Victor Martinez, DH
- Brennan Boesch, LF
- Andy Dirks, CF
- Brayan Pena, C
- Don Kelly, 3B
- Matt Tuiasosopo, 1B
- Hernan Perez, 2B
P: Max Scherzer, Luke Putkonen, Phil Coke, Bruce Rondon, Jose Alvarez, Jose Ortega
- Ruben Tejada, SS
- Jordany Valdespin, LF
- Colin Cowgill, CF
- Mike Baxter, RF
- Travis D’Arnaud, C
- Zach Lutz, 3B
- Andrew Brown, DH
- Brandon Hicks, 1B
- Brian Bixler, 2B
P: Dillon Gee, Josh Edgin, Germen Gonzalez, LaTroy Hawkins, Cory Mazzoni, Bobby Parnell, Hansel Robles
For all practical purposes, Jim Leyland’s question over whether to bunt the potential winning run over to second base in the ninth inning Thursday was academic, since the signal never got to Ramon Santiago at the plate and Santiago swung away. Still, Leyland said, the question over whether to go for the win or tie the game stuck with him all night.
He had a different conclusion today than he did yesterday.
“I thought about it all night, and I came to the conclusion I [messed] up one thing: I should have never even thought about bunting Santiago,” Leyland said.
He didn’t change his thoughts on how the inning played out from there. With no outs, he was not going to call for a squeeze bunt, nor was he going to have Omar Infante try to steal second and risk a line drive double play.
“Not with nobody out,” Leyland said. “If he hits a line drive, it’s a double play. In fact, if I had sent him with Santiago, it would’ve been a double play. First and third, nobody out, for the most part, no matter who’s hitting, you’ll very rarely see me send a guy, because a ground ball, you get the run.”
Nor was he going to use either of the two hitters on the bench, Delmon Young, or Jeff Baker to pinch-hit in that situation.
“All we needed was contact, anywhere on the ground. Contact, or fly ball, contact anywhere, and we get the tying run in,” Leyland said. “And I was worried about the strikeout, because that guy’s real nasty. …
“The funny part about it was I had Delmon Young ready to pinch-hit, but as the inning played [out], it played totally different than what I needed him to pinch-hit for. I was only going to pinch-hit for him if there was like two outs and nobody on, because it was Avila, Infante and Santiago. With two out, nobody on, I was going to let him take a shot at maybe hitting a homer. But [not] after all we needed was a ground ball or a fly ball.”
The big regret, he said, was thinking about having Santiago bunt, and planting the idea in Santiago’s head beforehand that they might call for the bunt.
“When he went up there, I said look for this first pitch to hit, just like he did to Infante. We didn’t bunt, but I knew he’d lay something in there thinking we were bunting. And I told Santi the same thing. Well, he took the first pitch, and I was actually trying to get the bunt on, which we didn’t. But I should’ve just let him [hit], because I told him afterwards that he might bunt.
“We had the tying run. If he just hits a ground ball or a fly ball or anything, we’ve got the tying run. I should’ve just let him think about hitting all the way, not even mention bunt. Because if he gets the run in with a fly ball, you’ve still got a guy on first. You’ve got Berry hitting. You’ve got Dirks coming up. You might hit and run, you might do something. I mean, we had the tie right there. If he hits a ground ball to second [for a] double play, we’ve got the game tied. I shouldn’t have even been thinking bunt. That’s where I messed up.”
Ramon Santiago tested the market for a long-term deal and a potential starting role, but in the end, he always had an interest in returning to Detroit. So did the Tigers, though not quite in the everyday role he might have wanted. There was enough in common for a deal, and that got done on Wednesday with a new two-year contract.
This doesn’t end the Tigers’ search for infield help. Both manager Jim Leyland and team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski conditioned their statements with the possbility of more moves to come. Right now, though, it looks like Santiago would get at least a timeshare at second base, as well as starts backing up Jhonny Peralta at shortstop.
“Santiago and Ryan Raburn will be playing second base as the club stands today,” Leyland said. “He will probably [also] get time at short.”
Dombrowski’s answer was much the same.
“We are set to open with Santiago and Raburn,” Dombrowski said. “However, we will see what happens.”
Click here to check out the full story on Santiago posted on the site.
Lot of updates from president/GM Dave Dombrowski today in his talk with reporters. More in-depth stuff coming, but here’s the rundown …
- Dombrowski said there won’t be a “real strong push” to bring a lot of their free agents back. Most likely, he said, Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen are done as Tigers. “I would say in their case it’s highly unlikely they’re going to be back. In both cases,” said Dombrowski, who said he let both of them know that in the last month of the season.
- Brad Penny also won’t be back. “With the young pitching we have coming, I would doubt we would re-sign him,” Dombrowski said.
- Dombrowski wasn’t completely clear on the fifth starter situation. Ideally, he said, they’ll have a veteran as “protection” in case Jacob Turner or one of their other young guys aren’t ready. At another point, though, he said that if they sign a veteran for the job, Turner would start the season at Triple-A Toledo.
- Here’s the main quote on the rotation: “The most likely scenario would be that those young guys come to camp with the four guys that are set and compete for the fifth spot, and we have protection of a veteran type pitcher that can fill that if they’re not ready. But I also would say that, hey, if there’s some great starting pitcher that we really liked and was available for us, and we thought it was the type of move that made the most sense to get us better, would we be open to it? Yes. We like them all. We like every one of those pitchers. But can I tell you 100 percent that they’re ready? No. Now, can they be ready? Yes.”
- Ramon Santiago is basically in a bad situation, at least as far as returning to Detroit goes. There’s mutual interest, but Santiago wants a more regular role, and the Tigers don’t see him that way. “I think our feeling has been that we just don’t see him as the guy going out there and playing – we may be wrong – 150 games a year,” Dombrowski said. “We just don’t happen to see him as that guy, and we may be wrong. He’s done a very fine job for us and we like him a lot, but that’s not the role we see him in. If we thought he was our everyday second baseman, we’d go out and we’d make that move.”
- This quote from Dombrowski on the market for free agents at second and third base is pretty telling: “I don’t think they’re real strong. And that’s why, too, not only free agents, you’d also have to talk about the possibility of trades, too.”
- His evaluation on how slow this market will move compared with the way they took care of business quickly last year was also telling: “I don’t think we’re going to be rushing out like we did last year. We’re in a different situation than we were last year, where we identified a couple guys right off the bat in [Victor] Martinez and [Joaquin] Benoit. We’re still prepared; I don’t mean to say that we couldn’t make a move if the right move came about. But I wouldn’t think we would make a real quick move. I think we’ll take more time to go through it and let it work itself out.”
- The Tigers are open to re-signing Joel Zumaya, but it would have to be a minor-league contract with a Spring Training invite. At this point, it sounds like the Tigers expect Zumaya to wait and see if another team offers him a Major League deal. “He’d like to come back, and we would like to have him back,” Dombrowski said.
- While Dombrowski didn’t anoint Delmon Young as the starting left fielder, he said he looks at his outfield being Young alongside Austin Jackson and Brennan Boesch. But he left open the possibility they could try to upgrade in left, and he acknowledged they have time before they have to decide whether to tender a contract to the arbitration-eligible Young.
- Tigers will look at both free agents and trades to upgrade at second. They will look at possibilities at third as well. That said, Dombrowski left open the possibility they upgrade at one spot and platoon at the other. They could also go with grinders there. “You can never have enough good players,” Dombrowski said, “but you don’t want all star players. You want some of those gritty role-type players. Jim likes those on his club and is very successful at fitting them into his club.”
- Dombrowski confirmed that the Tigers will look for a backup hitting catcher, preferably a right-handed hitter, to back up Alex Avila. The challenge, Dombrowski acknowledged, is convincing a good catcher to sign with a team where he isn’t likely to play very often. Even with a drop in playing time, Dombrowski said Avila could catch 120-125 games next year. He is an All-Star, after all.
- The Tigers are open to possibly beefing up their bullpen with one more veteran, Dombrowski said, but he probably wouldn’t be a seventh- or eighth-inning setup guy. They like the core they have with Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit, Phil Coke, Al Alburquerque and Daniel Schlereth.
- No chance of Phil Coke returning to the rotation.
- Dombrowski basically threw down the challenge to Ryan Perry. ” He’s at the point where he needs to step it up for us,” Dombrowski said.
- The door is open for the Tigers to add a leadoff hitter, but that isn’t a sure thing. “We need to get better offensive production out of Austin [Jackson],” Dombrowski said. “We think he’s capable of doing that. Will he be our leadoff hitter next season? We really can’t answer that question.”
- Chances of the Tigers shifting Jhonny Peralta to third base and pursuing Jose Reyes or Jimmy Rollins? Not likely. Peralta is sounding very likely to stick at short. “I would think so,” Dombrowski said. “Would I say 100 percent? No. Would I say most likely? Yes.”
- Another factor seemingly working against a Reyes pursuit: The Tigers have their quota of $20 million players for the foreseeable future. “I would think so,” Dombrowski said.
- The entire coaching staff will be back for next season, Dombrowski announced, unless somebody gets hired for a managerial job elsewhere. Dombrowski said he has not received any calls so far asking permission to talk with McClendon for such a job, but he would have no problem granting permission.
Pick and choose your Tigers second baseman with good numbers off Gavin Floyd. Ryan Raburn (12-for-32), Ramon Santiago (4-for-15, 2 HRs) and Will Rhymes (3-for-4) all have them. But keep in mind two factors: Lefties are batting .276 off Floyd this season compared to .220 from righties, and Jim Leyland wants to start Ramon Santiago on Wednesday with Brad Penny on the mound. Add in the fact that Leyland was looking for a spot to get Rhymes a start, and today was the day. He’ll bat second, where he began the season.
- Austin Jackson, CF
- Will Rhymes, 2B
- Delmon Young, LF
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B
- Victor Martinez, DH
- Alex Avila, C
- Jhonny Peralta, SS
- Wilson Betemit, 3B
- Andy Dirks, RF
P: Justin Verlander
- Juan Pierre, LF
- Alexei Ramirez, SS
- A.J. Pierzynski, DH
- Dayan Viciedo, 1B
- Alex Rios, CF
- Alejandro De Aza, RF
- Tyler Flowers, C
- Brent Morel, 3B
- Gordon Beckham, 2B
P: Gavin Floyd
To Brandon Inge, second base was the only option on Elliot Johnson’s ground ball, as you might have heard already.
“It’s very cut-and-dry: A ball hit to the left of you, you go to second base,” Inge said. “A ball hit dead at you, if you have the time, you go step on third, or go across the infield. But a ball to your left, you go to second base. That’s a fact.”
To manager Jim Leyland, Inge had other options.
“I thought there was an out probably at first, or probably at third,” Leyland said. “But that’s part of the game.”
To Ramon Santiago, he had to cover the bag.
“No doubt about it, I have to cover,” Santiago said. “Bases loaded and nobody covering, [Rodriguez] got a big lead off first. I got there as quickly as I can. It was close, but I think he was out.”
Somewhere in that mix, a potential inning-ending ground ball ended up being a walkoff fielder’s choice. Where that happened is up for debate.
Inge made a quick decision based on where he was positioned and what he saw. Whether he saw where Santiago was positioned when making his throw wasn’t clear. He threw it to the base, but Santiago was behind it and trying to catch up. I didn’t see a replay where Santiago was positioned and when he broke for the bag, but he said it was his immediate thought.
Sean Rodriguez, who beat Santiago to the bag, seemed to lean towards the covering the base part of the play.
“Inge got rid of it pretty good,” Rodriguez said, “but Santiago didn’t get there early enough, because the ball beat me there but he didn’t. His foot didn’t beat me there. … When I went to slide, I knew he wasn’t there yet.”
Regardless, it looks bad for everybody, of course. Inge and Santiago are the defensive options in the platoons at their respective positions. It doesn’t mean either of them are bad defenders, but it didn’t look like good execution. If it was, the game probably continues.
Pretty standard lineup going against Wade Davis. That now includes Ramon Santiago at second base.
- Austin Jackson, CF
- Brennan Boesch, RF
- Delmon Young, LF
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B
- Victor Martinez, DH
- Alex Avila, C
- Jhonny Peralta, SS
- Wilson Betemit, 3B
- Ramon Santiago, 2B
P: Max Scherzer
- Desmond Jennings, CF
- Johnny Damon, DH
- Evan Longoria, 3B
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Matt Joyce, RF
- Casey Kotchman, 1B
- Sam Fuld, LF
- John Jaso, C
- Reid Brignac, SS
P: Wade Davis
The Mariners made no secret they were going to be aggressive on the basepaths and take advantage of the Tigers napping. Brendan Ryan took second base in the series opener when the Tigers forgot to cover it after his single. Chone Figgins stretched out a double the next night when the Tigers outfield didn’t expect it.
Come the fifth inningSaturday, when Greg Halman dribbled a slow grounder to short that both Jhonny Peralta and Don Kelly tried to charge, Peralta and Ramon Santiago were thinking what Figgins was thinking.
“I was anticipating Peralta, he made a good fake,” Santiago said. “Nobody’s on third base, because Kelly and Peralta both went to get the ball. But Peralta knows he doesn’t have a chance at first, so he kind of faked, and that was the key play.”
Figgins fell for it and rounded second, leaving Peralta with a rundown to execute for the third out. It was a huge play, because it turned what would’ve been an at-bat for Ichiro with two men on into Ichiro leading off the sixth inning and having to start something. If Ichiro’s triple happens in the fifth rather than the sixth, it’s a whole different ballgame.
It was one of the better displays of awareness all season from the Tigers by a double-play combo that doesn’t get to play together very often.
“Figgins, he’s a very good baserunner. He likes to take advantage of mistakes. When you don’t pay attention to them, they take advantage.”