Detroit Tigers: Mixed Signals, Dombrowski Fallout & Norris, Boyd Near IP Limit


In many ways, the Detroit Tigers have been a walking contradiction this season. With certain injuries, they rush players back to the field while others they coddle. Sometimes Brad Ausmus leaves pitchers in too long and on other occasions, he takes them out too soon.

And if Ausmus isn’t doing that, he is either pinch running Miguel Cabrera in a tied game in the 10th to go for the victory or saving Alex Wilson in case the game goes into extra innings.

So why should fans be surprised that the Detroit Tigers front office is now contradicting itself.

By now, everyone knows Tigers ownership has relieved General Manager Dave Dombrowski of his duties, which came just days after Dombrowski made three very important trades that will decide the team’s fate for years. Presumably, Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch gave Dombrowski the go-ahead to sell the team’s top free agent to be pieces, yet in new General Manager Al Avila’s first press conference, he admitted that Ilitch is still determined to win this season.

Apparently, first baseman Miguel Cabrera isn’t convinced, though, because he will not be rushing his rehab as he planned to before the Tigers traded away their stars.

Although the fan base might not be able to figure what the Detroit Tigers are doing right now, Dombrowski said he felt like something wasn’t right the last few days.

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Despite the controversy off the field, the Tigers have played pretty well this week. In particular, fans are pleased with the Detroit debuts of Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd. But how many more innings will they pitch? Both pitchers are nearing career-highs in innings pitched over a season, which can be alarming to some clubs with today’s heightened awareness of Tommy John Surgery.

Are the Tigers really serious about trying to win this season or will they be cautious with their young pitchers? Surely, there’s plenty of chances for Detroit to continue to contradict themselves this season.

Tigers ownership sending mixed signals – John Niyo, The Detroit News

"And it raises legitimate questions on a variety of fronts, starting at the top, where Chris Ilitch, the president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, has seen his profile — and his influence — increase as he handles the family’s day-to-day business operations.Dombrowski said Wednesday it wasn’t a contractual stalemate that led to his firing — or his “release,” as it was termed. But if neither side had even gotten to the point of negotiating another deal, it probably speaks volumes, and explains why Dombrowski, who carried three titles (president, CEO and GM), knew his days were numbered.The Dodgers are paying their new president, Andrew Friedman, more than double what Dombrowski was making in Detroit. And while the terms of Avila’s new five-year contract aren’t known, it’s safe to say he comes cheaper. He’s also missing a title or two, listed as an executive vice president in addition to his GM’s role. One can’t help but wonder if Chris Ilitch will eventually be listed as a president there.Avila was quick to say the chain of command isn’t changing."

Dombrowski: ‘I could tell something wasn’t right’ – Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press

"Dombrowski said he knew something wasn’t right Monday night, after the Jack’s Place for Autism Dancing with the All-Stars charity event at Joe Louis Arena, when Dombrowski got a feeling from being around the guys.“In fact,” he said, “I came home Monday night after the charity event and I said to my wife that don’t be surprised if this happens tomorrow, that they don’t retain me.”Once again, the veteran baseball executive’s gut was right. After finding Avila — he just happened to be looking for him, he said — Dombrowski received a phone call from Ilitch, who informed him that the team was moving in a different direction with the leadership of the organization."

Tigers notes: Norris, Boyd near career high for IP – George Sipple, Detroit Free Press

"“It’s been discussed,” Ausmus said of an innings limit. “Some organizations have steadfast rules, and I think all these organizations put these rules in because they think it’s going to prevent injuries, especially the UCL injury. Truth is, people are still getting Tommy John surgeries with all these restrictions. I just think you have to use common sense.“We’re aware that they are approaching their career highs, and obviously we want to keep that in mind going forward. I’m not going to say there’s a hard cap. We’re going to be reasonable about it.”Boyd, 24, entered Wednesday’s game having pitched 1211/3 innings this season — 1142/3 between Double-A and Triple-A, and 62/3 innings in two starts for the Blue Jays."

Next: Firing of Dombrowski is no surprise