Houston – The track record of players like Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Ian Kinsler, Justin Upton and J.D. Martinez would seem to validate manager Brad Ausmus’ pronouncement Tuesday night.
“We’re going to hit; I am not even worried about that,” he said. “You ask people around baseball if the Detroit Tigers are going to hit and it will be a unanimous yes. I can promise you, we are going to hit.”
Sooner would be better.
Here is where the Tigers rank in May among the 15 American League teams entering play Wednesday:
■Batting average: 14th, .229
■Hits: 14th, 153
■Slugging percentage: 14th, .392
■Runs: Tied for 12th, 90
■Home runs: Tied for 12th, 23.
■Strikeouts: Fourth most, 184
“It happens,” Ausmus said. “Sometimes, collectively as a group, you go through stretches like this.”
It has been a collective struggle: Upton (.169, 0 for his last 12), Nick Castellanos (.187, 0-for-11), Jose Iglesias (.125),
Andrew Romine (.196), Tyler Collins (0-for-15).
Ausmus cancelled batting practice before Wednesday’s game in an attempt to change the mojo.
“We had BP the last couple of games,” he said. “Maybe we used up all our hits in BP. We want to see if we can use our hits in the game. And I will say this, if we score a bunch of runs tonight, we won’t take BP tomorrow, either.”
Around the horn
Ausmus said he knows who will pitch the first game of Friday’s doubleheader in Chicago, but he’s not ready to announce it. Matthew Boyd will start Game 2 against former Tiger Mike Pelfrey. Most likely, Game 1 starter will be added as the 26th man from Toledo. Buck Farmer would be in line to make his start for the Mud Hens, so he would be a possibility.
… Outfield Jim Adduci (oblique) was cleared for light baseball activities, but he is still not close to getting back even to the point of a rehab assignment.