Thanks to some late-inning heroics from JaCoby Jones — who is becoming synonymous with that sort of thing — and a perfectly adequate first major league start from Blaine Hardy, the Detroit Tigers took the weekend series from the Seattle Mariners. Now, the first place Cleveland Indians come a calling. I can’t believe I can actually say this, but a series sweep by the Tigers could put them in a tie for the top spot in the American League Central.
While we wait for the series to get underway, let’s take a look at what’s happening around TigerTown and the rest of the league.
Victor Reyes is here to stay, for better or worse
As we move further into the still young season, the Victor Reyes situation continues to mystify many a fan, and for good reason. The Rule 5 pick has to remain on the 25-man roster if the Tigers intend to keep him, but it’s becoming painfully obvious that he’s not going to see any kind of significant playing time. Evan Woodbury of MLive does a good job breaking down the entirety of the situation.
In 2019, no longer bound by Rule 5 restrictions, the Tigers can option Reyes to Toledo and get him everyday work. In 2020, maybe he takes over for Nicholas Castellanos and the Tigers look like geniuses.
But that vision — a bold one back in December when Reyes was selected — seems even more unlikely now. What if Reyes is just a future role player or replacement-level corner outfielder? What if, in a best-case scenario, he develops into Mike Gerber in 2020 and Mikie Mahtook in 2021? Is all this trouble really worth it?
It boils down to this: the Tigers see a bright future for Reyes, but he’s not ready to realize it yet. In what is already expected to be a bad year one rebuild season, they seem perfectly willing to let him eat a roster spot in hopes that he turns into a useful player a few years down the road when it counts.
Jeimer the gamer Candelario seems to have himself a balky wrist. It’s bothering him a bit, which Jason Beck breaks down in more detail. The general idea is that this type of wrist issue is common for hitters to have. It is something that may need surgery in the future — and a complicated one at that, it appears — but apparently all is well for the moment. I don’t know about you, but this makes me nervous.
Trade candidates, or lack thereof
John Heyman of FanRag Sports has opined on the top 20 midseason trade candidates and where he thinks they might end up. The most important piece of information for Tigers fans isn’t who is on the list, it’s who isn’t. Heyman doesn’t place a single Detroit player in his top 20.
Christin Stews in the minors
Christin Stewart continues to make a whole bunch of noise in Toledo. On Sunday, he hit his International League leading 10th home run of the season... and then added his 11th later in the game. The calls to bring Stewart up to the big club are quickly rising, from a few isolated shouts to a dull roar. With Leonys Martin, Nick Castellanos, and JaCoby Jones playing well, and Victor Martinez still able to hold a bat and walk to the plate, it’s going to be hard finding a space for Stewart in Detroit.
That said, he’s at the door, and he’s knocking. Loudly.
HOME RUN! Make that on the season for Christin Stewart.— Toledo Mud Hens (@MudHens) May 13, 2018
TOP 1: Mud Hens 1, Bats 0#RoadToDetroit pic.twitter.com/sV49tVSGM7
The weekend series with the Seattle Mariners came with a built-in #OldFriendAlert in the one-time Tigers do-everything man, Andrew Romine. If you’re wondering what Romine has been up to — Tigers Twitter gave me every indication that you probably are — Chris McCosky of The Detroit News has you covered. After a slow start and a close call with some wildfires, it seems Romine is starting to settle in in Seattle.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Sunday was Mother’s Day, and if this is the first you’re hearing of it I don’t know what to tell you to do for your mother, but whatever it is you do, I hope it works. Major League Baseball uses the occasion to raise money for charity by throwing the color pink on anything that isn’t bolted down and auctioning many of the items off to the highest bidder.
It isn’t just the guys on the field getting in on the action either. As you can see by the photo below, some on-air personalities around the league also like to show their support. Fox Sports Detroit analyst Craig Monroe passed on his normal style that usually has him looking like he’s wearing toughskins or some furniture pattern your grandparents may have had on their couch, and instead opted for a choice that looked like Easter on acid. He wears it well, though.
@CMo_27— FOX Sports Detroit (@FOXSportsDet) May 13, 2018
Thread game always on point. pic.twitter.com/d7ubbO1VXA
More like Dan Wrongnessy
Former Tiger David Price continues to have a rocky tenure in Boston. Most recently, he has been sidelined with carpal tunnel syndrome. Educated professionals in the field of medicine don’t believe that playing Xbox is likely to cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Dan Shaughnessy of The Boston Globe isn’t going to let that get in the way of his desire to take a cheap shot at Price with his ill-informed hot take. According to Shaughnessy, the popular game Fortnite is to blame here. I’ve had my gripes about Price over the last season or so, but he certainly doesn’t deserve this treatment. All I can say is that I can add things like this to the list of reasons why I’m thankful I’m not a Red Sox fan.
Around the horn
Draft bats, buy arms. The mistake of passing on Albert Pujols. Age isn’t everything on the international market.