DETROIT (97.1 The Ticket) As the Detroit Tigers get ready to face the Chicago White Sox for a pivotal series later this week, Tigers’ General Manager Dave Dombrowski predicted his team will make it to the post-season.
But there’s one caveat: They have to find consistency.
“The way I look at it there are 35 games to play yet,” Dombrowski said during an interview on 97.1 The Ticket. “I think we are in a spot where we have a chance to be in the post-season, we have a chance to win the division and still have a chance to win 90 plus games.
“I think you have to keep it all together and keep a clear look at it. We have a chance to have a good season or a bad season. So he next 35 games will decide that. The one thing we need is consistency.”
Coach Jim Leyland has made controversial calls all season, including benching Miguel Cabrera Sunday, pulling ace pitcher Justin Verlander out after eight scoreless innings on Opening Day, and leaving him in a week later during a long one-hit day that imploded in the ninth when the Tampa Bay Rays scored four runs off him in the final at-bat.
What does Dombrowski think about people questioning Jim Leyland’s decisions?
“As always, people like to question Jim Leyland’s lineup,” Dombrowski said. “I said I hope someone asks about it. If people knew how much time and effort he puts in his lineups they would be floored. Because he spends so much time looking at matchups, how guys are playing, the health aspect of it, helping someone keep fresh over the long haul. And I think the way you have to look at is whoever made the lineup out you would question it. We do talk about it, but it’s Jim’s decision.”
Among the decision he faces is whether to call up Nick Castellanos, 20, the Tigers’ top minor league prospect, in September. Tigers legend Al Kaline was spotted coaching him on outfield play in July, after the team switched Castellanos from third base to right field.
Dombrowski said he knows whether Castellanos’ call-up is impending, but he’s “not gonna say” right now.
So, how did he feel earlier in the season when loss after loss piled up and pundits across the country thought the team was over before they got started? Dombrowski said he tries to stay cool in the public eye.
“It’s all the emotions everyone else has you know — (I) just try to keep it bottled up,” Dombrowski said. “You don’t want to be in a position where you’re sitting here as the cameras is (rolling) pounding your fists.”