By Ashley Dunkak
COMERICA PARK (CBS DETROIT) – The Detroit Tigers have lost 20 of their last 29 games, and manager Brad Ausmus acknowledged that the current rocky stretch has dragged on longer than the average slump. Even so, Ausmus does not plan on making any big alterations to the lineup.
“We’ve thought about it, we’ve discussed it, but you put the lineup together the way you best think you’re going to score runs, and that’s based on a season, not based on one day,” Ausmus said. “It’s the long haul that makes lineups good. On a day-to-day basis there might be a guy who hits a particular pitcher well or sees a particular pitcher well, but it’s the long haul that makes lineups good. The constant tinkering with lineups, I think, kind of goes against the idea of the importance of them needing mass numbers for them to have meaning.
“If you’re managing a struggling team and you do something radical, well, I can tell you from being a player in a clubhouse, you kind of lose some of the players because they’re like, ‘Oh, well, he’s lost his mind,'” Ausmus added. “You’ve got to be careful about doing something radical. We’ve talked about moving guys into different spots, hoping they click. We’ve done it with a couple guys. Right now, there’s nothing that’s worked.”
As a first-year manager, Ausmus does not have the reputation and clout that come with years of experience, but he said that his little time on the job does not factor into whether he would make a drastic move just to stir the pot.
“I don’t think I would do something just to do it, if that makes sense,” Ausmus said. “I’m not a big believer in shaking things up. The numbers hold in baseball over a season for a reason, and I think you have to kind of keep that in mind. Now if there’s a little tweak here or there, we’ll certainly try it. We’ve thought of a lot of things. Some we’ve tried, some we haven’t.”
The Tigers began the season on a 27-12 tear and have led the American League Central Division by as many as seven games. Tuesday Detroit lost the division lead for the first time since July 2, 2013, and the Tigers fell further behind with another loss Wednesday.