Albert Pujols picked up his 3,000th hit on May 4. Which active player will be the next one to reach the milestone? Video by Ryan Ford/DFP Wochit
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Detroit Tigers lost three of four games against the Royals this past weekend. Miguel Cabrera returned for a few at-bats and then hit the 10-day disabled list. The bullpen blew a game. Overall, the offense – as overmatched as it may be – did their part, racking up plenty of hits but leaving far too many runners in scoring position. Lost in the four-game set were three strong starting pitching performances.
Here are three observations from the Tigers’ series against the Royals.
Coming up short
Jose Iglesias continues to look like a player who does not have his head screwed on properly on the field. After Iglesias struck out swinging to end Friday night’s game, he took a back-swing over home plate, as an apparent joke of sorts with Royals catcher Salvador Perez. Instead, the antics appeared to irk Perez, who could have been exposed to serious injury if his glove hand was in the way. One Tiger said he apologized to Perez the next day for Iglesias’ actions. Earlier in Friday night’s game, he failed to get two bunts down. Then, on Sunday, Iglesias either fell asleep or had no interest in covering second base while the Royals ran wild in the third inning. Iglesias does not seem to know how good he can be. There is a reason the Tigers have not been able to trade him.
Oh, that bullpen
Joe Jimenez – and even Daniel Stumpf – continue to learn. The two relievers were roughed up in Friday night’s loss, allowing three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, but both bounced back the next night. For Jimenez, in this season, appearances like that will pay dividends. He was thrust into a high-leverage situation on the road and failed. Those failures will benefit him in the long run. For Stumpf, who only has a little more than a year of major league experience, he needs to start throwing his fastball inside to left-handers more. Lefty hitters don’t like getting busted inside. His biggest mistake was hanging a no-balls, two-strikes pitch to Jon Jay.
More on Tigers:
• Victor Martinez is swinging the bat very well. After missing the series opener with a sore ankle, he went 6-for-11, reaching base in eight of 13 plate appearances. Martinez, in likely his final season, is happy. One American League executive in attendance for the series remarked how Martinez, in his heyday, was one of the best natural hitters he’s seen. His power has largely dissipated, but he continues to grind out at-bats. It’s unclear what kind of a market he will have nearing the trade deadline but it wouldn’t be a surprise if a contending team will covet him as a veteran bench bat, or if a serious injury hits at designated hitter. The Tigers almost certainly will have to cover the vast majority of Martinez’s remaining salary, but at least they could get something.
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