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News & Analysis

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Toronto Blue Jays

Scuffling Tigers continue series with Rays, minus Miguel Cabrera

August 5, 2022, 7:30 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Miguel Cabrera was in the Detroit Tigers' lineup for the opener of a four-game home series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday. He will sit out the next game.

The designated hitter will be a part-time player the rest of the season.

Cabrera, who reached 3,000 hits in April, has been slowed by right knee soreness, and manager A.J. Hinch plans to play him every other day.

The Rays and Tigers play the second game of the series on Friday.

"I don't want to hurt the team," Cabrera said. "I don't want to put them in a bad position ... so I'm OK with (not playing as much).

"You've got to understand your body, you know what I mean? I understand my body, I understand my position now in this thing, so I'm OK, but I'm still going to keep working, and every time they give me a chance to play, I'm going to go out there and do my job."

Cabrera went 0-for-4 on Thursday in the Tigers' 6-2 loss to the Rays. He was batting .308 less than a month ago, but his average has plummeted to .268. Cabrera is hitless in his past 23 at-bats.

The Rays scored two unearned runs on Thursday but also had 12 hits, twice as many as Detroit. Both of the Tigers' runs were unearned.

"This is not a good night offensively, and it's been a rough go of it for a majority of the season," Hinch said. "You can make an error or two, but you've still got to swing the bat."

Right-hander Bryan Garcia will be Detroit's starting pitcher on Friday.

Garcia made his first start in 73 career major league appearances at Toronto last Friday, his season debut. He lasted 3 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and three hits and did not get a decision. That works out to a 4.91 ERA, compared with his career ERA of 6.06.

Garcia spent most of the season with Triple-A Toledo, where he went 1-2 with a 2.90 ERA and one save in 31 games, including three starts.

Right-hander Corey Kluber (7-6, 4.03 ERA) will get the start for the Rays. Kluber has allowed four earned runs in each of his past three starts, including a six-inning stint against Cleveland on Saturday. He notched a season-high 10 strikeouts at the Guardians' expense.

Kluber faced the Tigers on May 16, when he held them to two runs and four hits in six innings while collecting eight strikeouts.

Kluber has faced the Tigers 28 times, with 27 starts, more than any other team. He has a 13-7 record and 3.31 ERA in all of those outings.

Tampa Bay's Brandon Lowe and Randy Arozarena were the hitting stars on Thursday. They combined for seven hits and five RBIs.

Lowe sparked the Rays with a two-run homer, his eighth long ball of the season.

"He's a special hitter, an All-Star-caliber hitter," manager Kevin Cash said.

Lowe hit 39 homers while appearing in 149 games last season. He was sidelined for two months this season with a back injury.

He has collected two or more hits in three of the past four games.

"He does look comfortable in the box," Cash said. "He got some pitches to do some damage today. The last at-bat, he smokes it the other way (for a single), so he's covering a lot of pitches now."

--Field Level Media

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Toronto Blue Jays

Tigers legend Miguel Cabrera (knee) will consider retirement

August 5, 2022, 1:25 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera said Thursday that he will consider retirement following the season due to right knee pain.

The 39-year-old Cabrera told reporters that the pain has been persistent in recent weeks.

Cabrera has one season remaining on an eight year, $248 million contract. The two-time American League MVP is set to earn $32 million in 2023.

"I've got to talk to my agent, I've got to talk to the GM, I'm got to talk to everybody (and) see what's going to be the plan for next year," Cabrera said before Thursday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. "Right now we don't know. We're focused on today. We're going to go day by day and see what happens. I don't think about next year. I'm thinking about trying to finish healthy this year."

Cabrera stated earlier this season that he planned to play next season. But the recent knee soreness has led to a decline in production.

Cabrera was batting .308 in 69 games through July 6. Since then, he was hitting just .130 (9-for-69) with one homer in 21 games entering Thursday.

"The last three weeks, it's hurt more," Cabrera said. "I've had that problem for the last three or four years. Right now, I'm trying to get more training. I got to deal with it."

Now Cabrera, a four-time batting champion, never knows if he will be able to play on a certain day. On Thursday, he was able to serve as the designated hitter and bat third for Detroit.

"You've got to understand your body," Cabrera said. "I understand my body and I understand my position now on this team. I'm OK. I'm going to keep working. Every time they give me a chance to play I'm going to go out there and do my best. That's the bottom line. That's what matters. And it's an opportunity for young guys here to get more at-bats and see what we've got for next year."

Overall, Cabrera is batting .271 with four homers, nine doubles and 36 RBI.

He experienced a career highlight this season when he recorded his 3,000th hit on April 23 against the Colorado Rockies. The hit made Cabrera the seventh player in major league history with 3,000 hits and 500 homers.

Cabrera also was named to the All-Star Game by commissioner Rob Manfred as a Legends Selection. It marked the 12th All-Star selection for Cabrera.

Cabrera's many accomplishments in his 15 seasons with the Tigers include winning the 2012 Triple Crown when he batted .330 with 44 homers and 139 RBIs.

Overall, Cabrera has 3,074 hits, 506 homers, 1,840 RBIs and a .309 average in 2,677 games in 20 seasons with the then-Florida Marlins (2003-07) and Tigers. He was part of the Marlins' 2003 World Series title club.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Toronto Blue Jays

Tigers being careful with Miguel Cabrera, Tarik Skubal

August 3, 2022, 7:06 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

With the Detroit Tigers out of the playoff hunt for the eighth straight year, they're not taking any chances with the health of 39-year-old Miguel Cabrera and 25-year-old Tarik Skubal.

Manager A.J. Hinch said Wednesday that Cabrera is fighting a flare-up of a chronic right knee injury and is going to spend some more time out of the lineup. Skubal landed on the 15-day injured list Wednesday with inflammation in his left (pitching) forearm.

Hinch said he and Cabrera had a conversation about his role.

"I've talked to him about playing time moving forward and trying to get him a few more regularly scheduled days off," Hinch said. "We want to take some at-bats and give them to some guys. I may sprinkle in a few more off days and be careful with him."

Cabrera, a two-time American League Most Valuable Player, entered July with a .314 batting average. Since then, he's hitting .193 (17-for-88) in the past 27 games.

He has played exclusively at designated hitter this season in 90 games and is batting .271 with four home runs and 36 RBIs.

"I don't think it's going to get a ton better," Hinch said. "He can tolerate a lot. He has his good days; he has his bad days. I'm obviously very concerned at his age and how much he's played. There's no resolution other than fighting through it. I want him to be honest with us about his pain because it's important that we don't put him in more harm's way. It just is what it is at this point of his career. We're going to have to monitor it."

Cabrera is under contract with the Tigers through 2023, when the eight-year, $248 million extension he signed in March 2014 expires.

In 2,678 career games, the certain future Baseball Hall of Fame member has 3,074 hits, 506 home runs and 1,840 RBIs to go with a .309 batting average.

As for Skubal, Hinch said he won't take any chances.

"We just have to be very, very conservative with these arm injuries," Hinch said. "This one is alarming because it's Tarik Skubal and what he means to the rotation, to the organization. There's no sense in pushing him until he's completely asymptomatic and not feeling the tightness that he's feeling."

Skubal pitched Monday and held the Minnesota Twins scoreless on 77 pitches through five innings. He didn't figure in the decision in the 5-3 Minnesota win in 10 innings.

On the season, Skubal is 7-8 with a 3.52 ERA in 21 starts. He has struck out 117 in 117 2/3 innings.

"He wants the ball," Hinch said. "He wants to pitch. It's a tough conversation because he prides himself on posting every five, six days, but we took it out of his hands."

--Field Level Media

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Guardians

Twins acquire RHP Michael Fulmer, put Alex Kirilloff on IL

August 2, 2022, 10:29 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins acquired right-hander Michael Fulmer from the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday in exchange for minor league right-hander Sawyer Gipson-Long.

Fulmer, 29, is 3-4 with a 3.20 ERA and two saves this season for the Twins' American League Central rivals. Fulmer is already in the Twin Cities as the Tigers and Twins are in the midst of a three-game series. Fulmer pitched 1/3 of an inning in Monday night's game, giving up two runs on four hits.

To make room for Fulmer on the roster, the Twins on Tuesday designated right-hander Aaron Sanchez for assignment.

Fulmer is 32-43 with a 3.90 ERA in 178 career appearances (89 starts) for the Tigers over six seasons. He made the AL All-Star team in 2017 when he was exclusively a starter in Detroit.

Gipson-Long, 24, split the 2022 season between High-A Cedar Rapids and Double-A Wichita, going 8-6 with a 4.23 ERA in 18 games (17 starts).

Earlier in the day, the Twins added right-handed closer Jorge Lopez in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles and right-hander Tyler Mahle in a deal with the Cincinnati Reds.

Minnesota also placed starting left fielder Alex Kirilloff on the 10-day injured list with wrist inflammation and moved Miguel Sano to the 60-day IL.

Kirilloff, 24, is batting .250 with three home runs and 21 RBIs this season for the Twins.

It's the second time Kirilloff has missed time on the IL this season with wrist issues. He missed nearly a month on the IL in April and May.

Sano had surgery for a torn meniscus in his left knee earlier this season. The Twins found something in a recent MRI that led them to transfer Sano to the 60-day list.

In a corresponding move, the Twins recalled outfielder Jake Cave from Triple-A St. Paul. Cave has 28 career HRs for the Twins but has not played for the big-league club yet this season.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Kansas City Royals

Orioles acquire OF Brett Phillips from Rays

August 2, 2022, 10:15 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles acquired outfielder Brett Phillips from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for cash considerations and added him to their 40-man roster on Tuesday.

Phillips was designated for assignment Monday after the Rays acquired outfielder Jose Siri in the same trade that saw Orioles fan favorite Trey Mancini dealt to the Houston Astros.

Known for his "Baseball Is Fun" brand, Phillips was designated for assignment just two days after the Rays held a promotional giveaway day in his honor.

Phillips, 28, was batting .147 with five home runs and 14 RBIs over 75 games for Tampa Bay. He was in his third season with the Rays after joining via midseason trade in 2020 from the Kansas City Royals.

A lifetime .190 batter, Phillips has hit 28 career home runs and 92 RBIs while stealing 36 bases -- 24 of them coming over the past three seasons with the Rays.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks

Rays acquire LHP Garrett Cleavinger from Dodgers

August 1, 2022, 6:10 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays acquired left-handed reliever Garrett Cleavinger from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday in exchange for minor league outfielder German Tapia.

Cleavinger, 28, has appeared mostly in Triple-A this season, going 0-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 22 appearances at Oklahoma City.

The former third-round draft pick by the Baltimore Orioles is 0-1 with a 10.38 ERA in four appearances with the Dodgers this season, including a brief call up last week when he gave up six runs (four) earned in 1 2/3 innings Tuesday against the Washington Nationals.

In 27 career appearances (one start) over parts of the last three seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies and Dodgers, Cleavinger is 2-5 with a 4.70 ERA over 23 innings.

Tapia, 18, is batting .329 with a .952 OPS in 26 games with the Rays' Dominican Summer League team this season. He has two home runs and 11 RBIs.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Philadelphia Phillies

Former All-Star OF Matt Joyce retires after 14 seasons

August 1, 2022, 6:07 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Former All-Star outfielder Matt Joyce announced his retirement Monday after 14 seasons.

Joyce, who turns 38 on Wednesday, posted 149 home runs, 503 RBIs and 898 hits in 1,400 games with eight teams.

He has not played this season and was limited to 43 games with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2021 due to injuries.

Joyce played six seasons with his hometown Tampa Bay Rays, making the American League All-Star team in 2011.

"As a young kid growing up in Tampa, I always dreamt of playing in MLB," Joyce said in a statement. "Now after 14 big league seasons of experiencing some of the highest highs and lowest lows, I can leave the sport with my head high knowing I gave it everything I had."

Joyce was a career .242/.342/.425 hitter with the Detroit Tigers (2008), Rays (2009-14), Los Angeles Angels (2015), Pittsburgh Pirates (2016), Oakland Athletics (2017-18), Atlanta Braves (2019), Miami Marlins (2020) and Phillies.

He reached the postseason five times.

--Field Level Media

Syndication: DetroitFreePress

Tigers retiring Lou Whitaker's No. 1

August 1, 2022, 2:38 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

No. 1 has been forever retired by the Detroit Tigers in honor of "Sweet" Lou Whitaker.

The formal ceremony at Comerica Park on Saturday will make official the team's decision to retire the number and put Whitaker in the company of Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg, Willie Horton, Al Kaline, Hal Newhouser, Alan Trammell and Jack Morris.

Whitaker's No. 1 will be permanently stenciled alongside other Tigers legends in center field at Comerica Park.

Trammell and Morris were friends and teammates of Whitaker on the Tigers' 1984 World Series championship team.

A five-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner, Whitaker was the 1978 American League Rookie of the Year. He became known as part of the elite double-play duo in Detroit alongside Trammell, with whom he paired from 1977-95.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants

Rays add trade acquisition David Peralta to active roster

July 31, 2022, 3:21 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays added outfielder David Peralta to the active roster prior to their series finale against the Cleveland Guardians on Sunday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Peralta, 34, was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday in exchange for minor league catching prospect Christian Cerda.

Peralta is in the final season of a three-year, $22 million extension and is set to be a free agent this winter. He is batting .248 with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs in 87 games this season.

Peralta is a career .283 hitter with 110 homers and 468 RBIs in 961 games over nine seasons, all with the Diamondbacks.

Also on Sunday, the Rays optioned outfielder Josh Lowe to Triple-A Durham.

Lowe, 24, hit .221 with two homers and 13 RBIs in 52 games this season with Tampa Bay.

--Field Level Media

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks

Reports: Rays acquire OF David Peralta from D-backs

July 30, 2022, 8:09 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays acquired outfielder David Peralta from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for minor league catching prospect Christian Cerda, multiple media outlets reported Saturday.

Peralta, 34, is in the final season of a three-year, $22 million extension and is set to be a free agent this winter. He is batting .248 with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs in 87 games this season.

Peralta is a career .283 hitter with 110 homers and 468 RBIs in 961 games over nine seasons, all with the Diamondbacks.

Cerda, 19, was batting .315 with two homers and 12 RBIs in 20 games with the FCL Rays, the club's rookie ball affiliate.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Houston Astros

Eduardo Rodriguez making his way back to the Tigers

July 30, 2022, 6:53 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez is ready to return to the Detroit Tigers and could be back in the big leagues by the third week in August, manager A.J. Hinch said Saturday.

Rodriguez has not pitched for the Tigers since sustaining a ribcage injury on May 18. He was set to return from a rehab assignment but was placed on the restricted list on June 13 after he dropped out of contact with the team as he dealt with an apparent marital issue.

He and Hinch began chatting earlier this month, and general manager Al Avila told reporters last Saturday that he also had talked with the pitcher.

"He expressed to me that he's working hard, his personal situations are being taken care of, and at some point, he'll be over that," Avila said. "He's looking forward to coming back, rejoining the team and helping us win."

Rodriguez is not getting paid while on the restricted list. He is in the first year of a five-year, $77 million contract he signed last November.

Rodriguez, 29, has started eight games for the Tigers and is 1-3 with a 4.38 ERA on the season. He's given up 26 runs (19 earned) in 39 innings.

He joined the Tigers after six seasons with the Boston Red Sox, where he compiled a 64-39 record and a 4.16 ERA in 159 games (153 starts).

--Field Level Media

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees

Rays reinstate LHP Jalen Beeks from injured list

July 30, 2022, 2:42 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays reinstated left-hander Jalen Beeks from the 15-day injured list Saturday, per the Rays Radio Network.

Beeks, 29, went on the shelf just before the All-Star break due to tightness in his lower right leg.

He is 1-1 with a 2.48 ERA in five starts this season for Tampa Bay. He has 49 strikeouts and 14 walks in 40 innings.

Beeks owns a 13-6 career record with a 4.16 ERA and three saves in 83 games (nine starts) with the Boston Red Sox (2018) and Rays.

Tampa Bay optioned right-hander Luke Bard to Triple-A Durham in a corresponding move. Bard, 31, is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA in eight relief appearances for the Rays in 2022.

--Field Level Media

Syndication: Detroit Free Press

Tigers put unvaccinated LHP Andrew Chafin on restricted list

July 29, 2022, 12:06 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers placed unvaccinated left-hander Andrew Chafin on the restricted list prior to Thursday's opener of a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Unvaccinated players aren't allowed to enter Canada due to the country's COVID-19 regulations. Chafin will not be paid or accrue major league service time while on the list.

Detroit recalled right-hander Bryan Garcia from Triple-A Toledo to fill the roster opening. He is slated to start Friday's game.

Chafin, 32, is in his first season with the Tigers. He is 0-1 with a 2.53 ERA in 37 relief appearances. He has struck out 39 in 32 innings.

The nine-year veteran also has played for the Arizona Diamondbacks (2014-20), Chicago Cubs (2020-21) and Oakland Athletics (2021). He is 12-18 with a 3.24 ERA and nine saves in 449 appearances (three starts).

Garcia, 27, is 1-2 with a 2.90 ERA in 31 appearances (three starts) for Toledo. He has made 72 relief appearances with the Tigers over the previous three seasons and went 5-3 with a 6.12 ERA.

"He's done a nice job all year," Detroit manager A.J. Hinch told reporters. "Probably should have got a chance in our 'pen, but we haven't had any openings."

--Field Level Media

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Seattle Mariners

Rays place RHP Matt Wisler (neck strain) on 15-day IL

July 27, 2022, 10:00 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays placed right-hander Matt Wisler on the 15-day injured list Wednesday with a neck strain.

The designation is retroactive to Sunday for the 29-year-old reliever, who has not pitched since July 16.

Wisler is 3-3 with a 2.36 ERA and one save in 38 appearances (five starts) this season for Tampa Bay.

He owns a 25-36 career record with a 4.61 ERA in 233 games (66 starts) over eight seasons with seven teams.

In a corresponding transaction, the Rays recalled right-hander Ralph Garza Jr. from Triple-A Durham.

Garza, 28, is 2-2 with a 3.48 ERA in 16 relief appearances in 2022 with the Rays. He is 2-2 with a 3.60 ERA in 13 games (three starts) at Durham.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays

Rays place C Francisco Mejia (shoulder) on IL

July 26, 2022, 10:52 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays placed catcher Francisco Mejia on the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder impingement and recalled catcher Rene Pinto from the Triple-A Durham taxi squad.

Mejia, 26, is batting .258 with a .688 OPS in 59 games this season and has six home runs with 23 RBIs. In six major league seasons with three teams, he is a .244 career hitter with a .696 OPS, 24 home runs and 91 RBIs.

Pinto, 25, made his major league debut April 26 and batted .204 with two home runs and eight RBIs in 17 games for the Rays this season.

--Field Level Media