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Monday Tigers News: We’re saying goodbye to the Rays before saying hello to the Rays

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We talk about some pitching, some hot hitting, a big milestone for an old friend, and a culture change

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Detroit Tigers Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the Tigers have disposed of those pesky Rays, we welcome the Brewers to town before heading off to take on — checks notes — the Rays. While we hope those winning ways continue let’s catch up with some news.

Tigers can hang

In the aftermath of the Sunday win against the Marlins, Manager A.J. Hinch talked a bit about changing the perception others have of the team.

“At some point, I don’t want that to be our story, that we are the little engine that could,” Hinch said Saturday. “We want to be the team that’s being chased. But we’re demonstrating some characteristics that you need to be a winning team. That includes battling back against elite teams.”

Sunday’s victory, the whole series against Tampa Bay, and largely the second half of the season have been an example of what the team sees as a changing of the culture in Detroit. The win is an example of a team that is learning to capitalize on opportunities when opposing teams make mistakes, put themselves in a position to win, and never stop competing.

Tapping the brakes

Casey Mize pitched just two innings in Saturday’s loss to the Rays. It was an example of the kind of management we are likely to see for the Tiger’s young hurlers through the rest of the season. It’s an easy thing to do in games like Saturday’s, where Mize was obviously not at his best. It’s not so easy when you have a guy who is dealing and gets pulled after three or four innings, but there are longer-term goals in the mind of Hinch.

Reyes is giving them reasons

Victor Reyes is finding a knack for playing his way back into a roster spot.

“Just as the roster was starting to squeeze and we thought he was the odd-man out, he stepped up and played very well,” Hinch said. “He’s had some big hits when we were making decisions on what to do and I love that about him.”

Reyes has had an up and down year. After spending a considerable amount of time in Toledo he has returned and is batting .326 with a .901 OPS. Even with those numbers, he’s finding it hard to play on a day-to-day basis. His resurgence may present the organization with a problem next year as they try to figure out who they keep in the outfield. There are worse problems to have.

Teheran shows how hard it is

In recent years the Tigers organization, just like many others, has taken a few fliers on some starting pitching. What we can take away from this experience is what a crapshoot that process is. Julio Teheran is this year’s example. After being signed to a minor league contract in the off-season, he did enough in spring to make the starting rotation. He pitched in one game, and that will likely be the story of his tenure as a Tiger. Evan Woodbury at MLive gives a pretty good rundown of the recent success — or lack thereof — in low-cost, one-year deals. The team is one for seven in that department since starting the rebuild with the exception being Mike Fiers, although one could make a strong argument for Wily Peralta joining him on that list. He also examines the potential success of slightly more costly, higher-profile signings and what the Tigers might look to do next year. There’s some talk about Matthew Boyd finishing the season strong, which is something we now know won’t happen.

3,000 strikeouts is awesome

This guy you may have a passing familiarity with recorded his 3,000th strikeout this weekend. He also threw an immaculate inning in the same game. Miss you Max.

Around the horn

Brewers throw a combined no-hitter. MLB extends Trevor Bauer’s leave through the end of the World Series. The past, present, and future of International scouting. MLB places Marcell Ozuna on administrative leave.