Miguel Cabrera talks to reporters during a Tigers press conference on Thursday in Oakland. (Robin Buckson / Detroit News)
Oakland Calif. – Jhonny Peralta made the Division Series roster – as did left-hander Jose Alvarez.
So who didn’t make it for the Tigers?
Pitchers Evan Reed and Darin Downs didn’t. Neither did catcher Bryan Holaday, who traveled to Oakland with the team all the same because there are ways he could help.
But the major omission, the only player who was with the team all year who isn’t on the roster, is outfielder Matt Tuiasosopo -- supplanted by Peralta as a right-handed bat.
Tuiasosopo, like Holaday, traveled with the team, but won’t be in uniform -- his fine year undermined by the way he finished.
On Aug. 26, Tuiasosopo was hitting 283 with seven home runs and 38 RBI in just 138 at-bats. He was no longer a diamond in the rough as a part-timer, just a diamond.
But from that point on, he went 1-for-26 with 17 strikeouts -- which is why the need for Peralta was created.
Tuiasosopo wasn’t surprised.
“I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about it,” he said about the anticipation of not making the roster.
“With Jhonny coming back, I knew there had to be a decision.
“I could have played a lot better down the stretch. I was doing a lot of swinging and missing -- and not hitting the ball. I struck out a lot.
“Maybe I was pressing too much. But I’m thankful I’m here. They could have sent me home. Instead they told me to stay ready just in case -- and that’s what I am going to do.”
Around the horn
Andy Dirks, not Peralta, will start in left field tonight.
... Plain and Simple from Scherzer: “The development of my curveball allowed me to be more effective this year. It gives me the ability to throw three different pitches to left-handers.”
... More Scherzer, on the history of sewage problems at the Coliseum and what Oakland fans are like: “I’ve heard the plumbing here isn’t quite up to standard.”
And “this is one of the rowdiest baseball experiences I’ve ever been a part of. The fans here go absolutely nuts from the first pitch to the last.”
... The breakdown on Oakland’s Josh Donaldson (.301, 24 HRs, 93 RBIs) as a hitter, from his manager Bob Melvin: “Fundamentally, he’s as sound as you get. He hits the ball both ways and uses his power to all fields. He’s a unique hitter.”
Not quite, but Donaldson studied video of a unique hitter, Miguel Cabrera, during the offseason
“I think anytime you try to study the attributes of the best, certainly that’s not going to hurt you,” Melvin said.