Okay, did that seriously just happen? Did the Tigers, one of the hottest teams after the All-Star Break really just lose THREE consecutive games to the lowly Kansas City Royals? I feel as though this is a sick joke. But this season has felt pretty much the same way.
Okay, maybe I’m overreacting. Apparently, the Tigers have the same record at this point last year. The difference this time is that instead of being alone at the top of the AL Central, the White Sox have played out of their minds and held on to a slim lead. Also not working in the Tigers favor is the fact that other teams as well have kept themselves competitive. As much as this weekend will be important for the Tigers, it doesn’t get any easier as they welcome Cleveland to Comerica Park following Sunday night’s national broadcast.
As for September call ups, I have changed my thoughts on Nick Castellanos. Bringing him up to the majors would do him and the Tigers no good and would lessen his confidence as he enters Arizona Fall League play. As for the rest of the call ups, I do see a return in the future for Ryan Raburn as he is crushing the ball in Toledo. But besides Raburn, who else?
In order to give Leyland flexibility with his lineup, Bryan Holaday will make a return trip to the major leagues as will Danny Worth (though its anyone’s guess as to how much he will actually play) and Don Kelly (same with Donny). A surprise pick for a call up will be Avisail Garcia in the outfield who has an above-average arm in right field and who could hit for Brennan Boesch in a lefty pitcher situation.
As for the bullpen, I believe that Al Alburquerque will also make his return after a long season of rehabilitation. He will give the Tigers some added punch in the back of the bullpen. But while we’re speaking of punch, I want Dombrowski to pull the trigger on Bruce Rondon. A strong arm who breathes fire in the bullpen is always a viable option but for Rondon, it is too early and to pressure packed for him to have any real success. It looks attractive but wouldn’t work (much like the Castellanos situation).
I’m not sure what the answer is for the Tigers right now. Whenever they look like they’re primed for a run, they do something like this. The Tigers need a kick in the pants and maybe a sweep by the Royals will achieve that. Either way, the time is coming for this team to put up or shut up.