Detroit Tigers Links: Torii benched, Schlereth returns, Al Avila on the move & Ausmus’ job security


Jun 15, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter (48) celebrates after he scores the winning run on a sacrifice fly by left fielder J.D. Martinez (not pictured) in the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Detroit won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Torii Hunter willing to take lesser role if Detroit Tigers keep winning – Drew Sharp, Detroit Free Press

““I will do whatever is best for the team,” Hunter said after the Tigers’ three-game sweep in Cleveland. “We’re back to hitting the right groove right now, firing on all cylinders. If that means I have to split time in the field — if that’s in the best interest to help us win — then I’m fine with that. When you get to this point in your career, it becomes a lot easier figuring out what’s most important to you. I want to win.”

Does that potentially mean using Hunter less to get more out of his remaining skills? A platooning arrangement with left-handed-hitting Andy Dirks might be a possibility once Dirks likely returns following back surgery next month.”

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I, like so many Tigers’ fans have not been enamored with Torii’s play this season, but its refreshing to see him offering himself in a reduced role. Many fans have advocating trading Torii, but as a veteran he will have a no-trade clause. With his son playing at Notre Dame, and football season right around the corner, he won’t want to go anywhere (unless its Chicago, but neither the Cubs nor White Sox seem poised to add a veteran this season). I think Torii’s leadership in the clubhouse down the stretch and into (hopefully) the playoffs, in whatever role he has is a good thing. 

Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers reacquire Daniel Schlereth in trade with Pirates – John Lowe, Free Press

He was 1-2 with a 7.23 ERA in 21 games with the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Triple-A team in Indianapolis this season. There was no immediate word on what the Tigers traded to Pittsburgh in exchange for Schlereth.

Twitter was freaking with this move yesterday because of Schlereth’s past with the Tigers and his present (now past) in Pittsburgh’s organization. But really, he won’t be in Detroit anytime soon–if at all. Remember when people were upset that Detroit was taking chances on Nate Robertson and Wil Ledezma this year? Both never pitched for the big league team before being released. The same will happen for Daniel. The Tigers are carrying five left-handed pitchers on the big league roster (including Ian Krol on the DL), so they needed some left-handed fillers for the minors. 

Tigers’ Al Avila ‘fits the mold’ of what Padres want in new GM – Detroit News

“Bowden on Avila: “He has worked closely and been trained by Dombrowski, one of the most highly regarded execs in the game. (He) was instrumental in the signing of Miguel Cabrera as an amateur, and Avila helped swing a trade for Miggy while working in Detroit.”

Al has been with the Tigers since 2002, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get a gig of his own–though it would be nice to see him stick around to see if the rumors of Dave Dombrowski becoming the next MLB commissioner pan out. If nothing else, it could be a nice streamlined avenue for Tigers-Padres trades like the old Randy Smith days. Brad Ausmus could be traded for Bud Black and then the Tigers could pick him up again in a few years ago, and so on.

Fire Ausmus? Don’t be shocked if Detroit Tigers slide again – MCB Special to the Free Press

Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

“So the “win now” mind-set has never been so urgent. It might be too soon for a “Fire Ausmus” movement, and I am not advocating it. The rookie manager looked like Casey Stengel in the season’s first six weeks, but the bumps in the road since often have been too great to command. Even during the current winning streak, the way he handles the starters ( leaving them in too long) has been rather shaky. In the Mike Ilitch and Dave Dombrowski era, the organization has shown a tremendous amount of loyalty and rarely makes rash moves. Firing Ausmus would be a rash move; however, when you have one last shot at something, you’re going to do all you can to accomplish your goal.”

So the “friggin’ idiot” that wrote this article–yep that would be THIS friggin’ idiot (though I have to say being called a “friggin’ idiot” was a walk in the park from some of the other comments). 

This became one of the top stories on the Free Press yesterday. That should be something I’m proud of, but I feel as if–judging from the feedback–my point was not as clear as it should have been. I am NOT ADVOCATING and I DO NOT WANT to see Ausmus fired. I was saying if the team goes back into the doldrums and is as bad or worse as they were from May 19 to June 18, it would not be unheard of for a team to try to shake things up and turn to a new leader. Many of us have acknowledged that this is the Tigers’ last best shot at winning it all, and to meet that goal, something crazy might have to happen if the team struggles.