Detroit Tigers Links: Rookies Flash Leather, Nathan Balks, and Ausmus Wins Challenges


Apr 2, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus (7) talks to umpire Paul Emmel during the sixth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Collins, Castellanos make great defensive plays against Royals – Rob Rogacki – Bless You Boys

"After a few defensive gaffes in the team’s opener on Monday, the Tigers decided that their first game in the month of April would be an appropriate time to show off their revamped defense."

Rob shares two .gifs with us — one each of quality defensive plays by Nick Castellanos and Tyler Collins

Tigers closer Joe Nathan explains rare balk – Tom Gage – Detroit News

"“I thought I saw fastball in,” Nathan said. “But when I came up to deliver, Alex (Avila) was set up away. In that split second, I had to make up my mind whether to throw a pitch or eat it and take my chances with men at second and third. If I throw it, they might end up with men at second and third, anyway (because of the pitching getting away).”"

I’m going to declare “no harm, no foul” on the whole affair for Joe Nathan – blown save and balk – but let’s just close ’em out 1-2-3 from here on out.

Brad Ausmus had help in winning first two instant replay challenges – Anthony Fenech – Free Press

"In the sixth inning, he received that help from first-base coach Omar Vizquel, who signaled a safe sign – “It was pretty clear what he was trying to tell me,” Ausmus said – to trigger Ausmus’ first career challenge when first base umpire Chris Conroy called out Tyler Collins for a ground-ball double play."

Of course the third and first base coaches are going to help. It was good to see that Brad Ausmus wasn’t shy about challenging in both cases, however. Two in one game will probably prove to be rare.

Tigers notes: Sanchez ready for his Thursday start – Steve Kornacki – Fox Sports Detroit

"Anibal Sanchez didn’t expect to miss his first start of the season after developing shoulder inflammation late in spring training, and he won’t. Sanchez is scheduled to start Thursday afternoon’s series finale with the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park.When asked Wednesday morning if he was 100 percent, Sanchez smiled and said, “It’s never 100 percent, but it’s how I feel on the day I pitch that matters. I feel great, and I just have to get ready to pitch.”"

I don’t like the implication that Anibal Sanchez is still battling some soreness, but let’s hope it really is just the general early-season variety.