Happy Monday, everybody. The Detroit Tigers threatened to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday in a game where Michael Fulmer was perfect right up until he wasn’t. You may not have seen that, and that would be understandable. With the first full weekend of football for the year underway you may have found yourself more enamored with the Cleveland Browns’ first steps toward an undefeated season. I wouldn’t blame you.
On Monday, you have a more difficult choice. Do you watch the Lions open their season against the Jets, or do you watch one of the most memorable pitchers to ever don the Olde English D return to Detroit to make his first start in Comerica park in a Houston Astros uniform? Whichever you choose, I imagine you will have some conflicted feelings about what you are watching.
Stewart gets the call
One of the great things about this time of year are the call ups. The Tigers got a few out of the way early when they called up Christin Stewart along with Zac Reininger and Jarrod Saltalamacchia over the weekend. Stewart is the big story here, obviously. He didn’t get the start on Sunday, but he did get an opportunity to pinch hit for the last out of the game. As for his first start, it looks like it will come against Justin Verlander, and manager Ron Gardenhire seems intent on making sure Stewart plays in left field on the regular for the remainder of the season.
Christin Stewart is not starting today because he just arrived and is on 2 1/2 hours of sleep, but Gardenhire said he will play *every day* this month in left field -- not DH.— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) September 9, 2018
That basically means Jones, Reyes and Mahtook will share center field from here on out.
I can’t wait to see how he handles it.
Monday marks the return of Justin Verlander to the friendly confines of Comerica Park. Current Tigers players are anticipating a warm welcome for the former ace of the staff. It’s hard to imagine that Tigers fans would be anything but happy to see Verlander on Monday. Even as he, most likely, dismantles this current Tigers offense.
Joe Jimenez is not a football guy
When everyone in the clubhouse is watching football and you don’t know what is going on! pic.twitter.com/aPEf7RzIkK— Joe Jiménez (@JAJimenez27) September 8, 2018
Pitching six and Coach Salty
With more September additions due in Detroit shortly, Ron Gardenhire anticipates bringing up two or three more pitchers, and along with the influx of arms will come an extension to a six-man rotation. It’s hard to say now how the call-ups will shake up the current rotation, but we could see some guys who are presently starters get a bump to the pen.
In addition to the reports on the roster changes is a little tidbit of news about Jarrod Saltalamacchia and his opportunity to mentor some young players in the minors this year. As he is undoubtedly watching his playing days fade, it looks like he may be interested in following the path Brayan Pena has most recently embarked upon in taking on a coaching career.
Around the horn
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the minor league player of the year (probably due in part to the fact that he’s basically a major league player stuck in minor league ball). After five years in the majors, Terrance Gore gets his first hit. The many bubble gum bubbles you’ll see in a baseball game.
Baseball is awesome
The bat-flip bar has been raised.