Detroit Tigers Links: Kinsler on pace for career year, slap heard ’round baseball, Ausmus’ Tigers rollin’ & no to Drew


May 12, 2014; Kinsler (3) is congratulated after hitting a two-run home run in the eighth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Tigers defeated the Orioles 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Kinsler Is On Pace To Have Career Year – Brad Faber, Rant Sports

"Granted, the season is still very young, but Kinsler seems to be a different type of hitter this year than he was with the Texas Rangers the past few seasons. Now, in his age-32 campaign, it appears that Kinsler may have finally found his line-drive swing. He has been the perfect leadoff hitter for the Tigers up to this point, and he appears to be much more of a natural in that spot than Austin Jackson was.According to ESPN, Kinsler is currently on pace to not only bat above .300, but to collect 214 hits, including 19 home runs, steal 24 bases, score 119 runs and drive in 91 runs. Although it is a bit early to begin talking about projected numbers, that would indeed be a career year for Kinsler."

I think it might be too early to tell if Kinsler will have his best year because he often gets off to great starts, but one thing is for sure: a change of scenery has done him–and his new team–a world of good.

Torii Hunter says umpire Paul Nauert helped calm incident by tapping his face: ‘I appreciate that’ – Chris Iott, MLive

"“Everything calmed down because of Paul,” Hunter said. “I appreciate that.”Ausmus also disagreed the idea that an umpire should never make contact with a player, suggesting that if Hunter had charged Orioles pitcher Bud Norris that the umpires would have had to try to hold him back."

My initial reaction when I saw the “love tap” was to think it wasn’t a big deal. You could tell, even on TV, that the tap was a friendly gesture. But when I thought more about it, I began to believe that if the roles were reversed, it would have been different. It doesn’t matter the intent, if a player puts his hands on an umpire, it is an automatic ejection and likely suspension. The fact that Hunter and Ausmus feel it was no big deal will likely mitigate any sanctions Nauert will receive, but umpires and players should not be held to different standards.

New manager Ausmus has Tigers atop Central again – AP

"“I know this team is running a lot more,” Gardenhire said of the AL Central leaders. “That’s probably the manager, comes in here and kind of opens it up a little bit. You have to have your style.”Under new manager Brad Ausmus, the Tigers have already stolen 30 bases in 40 attempts. They went 35 for 55 through all of last season. Although Detroit lost Sunday to Gardenhire’s Twins, the Tigers (21-12) have baseball’s best record thanks to a recent eight-game winning streak.But the aggressiveness on the basepaths is a fairly minor change in the grand scheme of things. Detroit is averaging 4.9 runs per game — the same amount as last season. As in 2013, the Tigers are winning with a terrific starting rotation, with Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer still the headliners."

The Tigers have changed in many areas and have remained the same in others, and while they are playing well over the last two weeks, they are also benefiting from the rest of the AL Central struggling to build a nice-sized early season divisional advantage.

5 reasons the Detroit Tigers should not sign Stephen Drew – MCB special to the Detroit Free Press

"Drew hits for some power (90 career homers while Romine is still looking for his first big-league home run), but the averages will be around the same (low-to-mid-.200s). Romine shows some speed, runs the bases well and has the ability to beat out infield singles and bunts. Drew has average speed, at best."

There’s still some time before the Tigers would even consider going after Drew–the MLB Draft concludes on June 7. Things are going well for the team, but they have a ton of upcoming road games against tough AL foes and another West Coast trip looming. So things could change in a hurry, but if they are still playing good baseball then, why go after Drew? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Consider this, people will not be happy with Romine’s offense, but you’d be fooling yourself to think Jose Iglesias would be hitting over .300 as he did for Boston before coming to Detroit last July. Iglesias and Romine are defensive-first guys and if healthy, fans would likely not be happy with Jose’s bat.