Reporting Greg Bowman
At least it wasn’t a sweep. The Tigers managed to salvage one game of their their three game series with the White Sox, thanks to some clutch hitting by Victor Martinez and excellent work by the bullpen. Some thought the Tigers paid too much for Martinez, signed by the team as a free agent in the offseason. But he has turned out to be worth the investment, unlike some other high priced players signed by other teams, like Adam Dunn, who has been a dud for the White Sox and has become the subject of nearly constant booing by fans in Chicago. Except for Adrian Gonzalez with the Red Sox, Martinez has been the best acquisition by any team this year.
It was nice to see Carlos Guillen back at 2nd base for the Tigers. Frankly, I wasn’t sure if we would ever see him playing for the Tigers again. But he’s looked very solid in the field, and knocked in the winning run in Sunday’s game against the Sox. The other bonus to having Guillen back in the field is that it keeps Ryan Rayburn from playing. Rayburn has been brutal at 2nd, and hasn’t been hitting much. And there’s Brandon Inge, who just can’t seem to regain his hitting form. He’s had only two hits since coming back from the Disabled List, and looks lost at the plate. The Tigers don’t seem ready to cut him, but look for Don Kelley to get more starts at third base.
The Tigers are still in the market for a fifth starter, since Phil Coke and Charlie Furbush didn’t exactly succeed in that role. Is it time to call up top prospect Jacob Turner? The Tigers say no, but I still wouldn’t rule it out. Meantime, it’s no secret that the Tigers have been looking around for a possible trade for another starter. The Tigers and Yankees are reportedly interested in Colorado’s Ubaldo Jiminez, but the Rockies say they have no plans to trade him. And the Tigers are also said to be interested in Atlanta’s Derek Lowe, who grew up in Dearborn. But Lowe is 38 years old, and has a fat contract…Another interesting trade rumor: Mets slugger Carlos Beltran says he would accept a trade to the Tigers. But what would the Mets want in return for Beltran, who would be a free agent at the end of the season?
It should be a very interesting time for the Tigers. Let the wheeling and dealing begin. You may remember that the team lost its first six games after the All Star game last season, and never really got back into the race after that. Let’s not have a repeat of that.