Detroit Tigers: V-Mart’s power, Ian Krol is back, Bill Freehan’s grandson


Many Detroit Tigers’ fans thought the subtraction of Victor Martinez from the team’s lineup would be an addition.

More from Motor City Bengals

The Tigers wouldn’t be so reliant on his bat and he wouldn’t be taking up a lineup spot when he can’t hit.  Of course, up until recently, the lineup got worse without V-Mart. It is apparent that Detroit needs Martinez’s bat in the lineup, THE bat, not the one that left to get right a few weeks back. But in batting practice, and with his running, it is looking like V-Mart might actually be looking like the V-Mart of old.

With an ERA of 1.15 at Toledo, it was just a matter of time before Ian Krol got another shot with the Tigers. The bullpen had been playing so well in May that his services were not needed. Now, as the bullpen has been getting hit more often in June, the Tigers will call on the lefty and hope he’s finally turned a corner.

So who goes down? The Tigers announced Krol’s ascension but has not yet announced who will go down. Conventional wisdom says it will be struggling starter Shane Greene. On a big league roster since late last May, Greene appears headed back to the minors to get back on his game.

This is something the Tigers did with a young, struggling Max Scherzer in 2010. He came back after a couple of games with the Mud Hens on a path toward the 2013 Cy Young Award and hitting the lottery in last off-season’s free agent sweepstakes. Hopefully Greene can follow the same path–well except leaving the Tigers after he gets really good….

The Tigers often use late round draft pick selections to offer nods to their past and throw families within the organization a bone. This draft they selected the brother of Nick Castellanos and past drafts have seen them select relatives of Jim Leyland, Al Kaline and Mario Impemba. This year, the Tigers used their 31st round selection to draft the grandson of legendary catcher Bill Freehan.

Detroit Tigers’ Victor Martinez flashes power from his left side during batting practice – James Schmehl, MLive

"Taking pitches from infield coach Omar Vizquel, Martinez swung right-handed and left-handed before running the bases prior to Wednesday’s game against the Cubs.“Much better,” Ausmus said. “He was driving the ball. He’s hitting the ball with much more authority and there was more distance. And he looked good running.”Martinez sprayed balls all over the field, and looked particularly comfortable from the left side of the plate. He drove a half-dozen balls to the gap in right-center — a sign he’s built up much-needed strength in his surgically repaired left knee."

Tigers calling up lefty Krol; what about Greene? – Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press

"Whether either of the upcoming moves means Greene’s time in the rotation is up for the time being, manager Brad Ausmus wouldn’t tip his hand. “I wouldn’t talk about any decisions if there were a decision to be made,” Ausmus said Wednesday.If Greene gets demoted, left-hander Kyle Ryan likely would take his spot in the rotation."

Freehan’s grandson starts own path to Tigers – Jeff Seidel, Freep

"It was senior day, right before Blaise Salter took the field for Michigan State.“Just a second,” Pat Freehan said to her grandson.Then she gave Blaise a gift that meant everything. It was his grandfather’s crucifix. Bill Freehan, the Detroit Tigers great, had worn that cross for years, as long as anybody could remember.“It was so emotional,” said Kelley Salter, Bill’s daughter and Blaise’s mother. “I lost it.”Bill Freehan was a constant in Blaise’s life as a child. Freehan played for the Tigers in 1961-76, starting more than 1,500 games at catcher. When other children were playing with rattles, Bill Freehan used to toss Wiffle balls at his grandsons, teaching them how to block pitches. Freehan was a tremendous defensive catcher, and he taught his grandsons about toughness and effort and playing the game the right way. “Soft hands!” he would say."

Next: Tigers staying afloat because of record vs AL Central