The Tigers had a fairly calm roster for the first 60 games, rather unusual for a major league club. There were few injuries, and the position players were performing. That has changed. Jose Alvarez was recalled to pitch last night for Anibal Sanchez. Bryan Holaday is filling in at catcher while Alex Avila heals. Jose Valverde was just designated for assignment, and Avisail Garcia recalled. And now Jason Beck tweets that Matt Tuiasosopo strained his intercostal muscles while hitting in the cage.
Tuiasosopo became the answer to the question "who can platoon with Andy Dirks" with a strong spring training, after asking Dave Dombrowski for a non-roster invitation to camp. He tied for the team lead with four homeruns and beat out such luminaries as Jeff Kobernus and Kevin Russo for the right-handed hitting left fielder role. While his prior 61 games of big league experience made Don Kelly look like Miguel Cabrera, the decision has born fruit. Big Squiggles is hitting .338 with a .466 on-base percentage and a .563 slugging percentage. We must grudgingly admit that Jim Leyland has used him optimally, as I can’t image Tui can possibly perform any better.
So if he is gone for 15 days, who can replace him? Avisail Garcia was already recalled and starting tonight, so he should now stick. The question is who takes Valverde’s roster spot. Could it be time for Rondon? Rumor is Al Al is back.