Detroit — There are unquantifiable things in baseball. Chemistry is one of them. Clubhouse vibe is another.
What is undeniable, though, is that the energy inside the clubhouse and around the Tigers changed dramatically when Cameron Maybin finally showed up on Monday.
“He plays the game with excitement,” Ian Kinser said after the Tigers’ 6-3 win over the Minnesota Twins Wednesday. “He loves to be on the field. He loves to talk about the game. He loves being around his teammates. It’s just good energy for us in the clubhouse and in the dugout.
“And there’s no way to put a value on something like that.”
Maybin had a walk, a stolen base, a single and a run scored Wednesday. He’s played three games and leads the team with three stolen bases. He has five hits in nine at-bats, been on base 10 times in three games and scored three times.
“That’s all I’m trying to do is bring that energy,” Maybin said. “If we can just keep bringing the same intensity and energy, at the end of the day everything is fine. With the energy we have now, man, you can feel it.
“Something feels right in the dugout. We just have to keep it rolling.”
Justin Verlander last played with Maybin in 2007. What he sees now is a very different player and person.
“He’s a high-energy, very personable guy,” Verlander said. “He’s a little different than when I played with him nine years ago. He’s established himself more. He feels more comfortable in the clubhouse, more comfortable expressing his opinion. He’s added a great spark to this team.”
Maybin did some of his damage Wednesday against one of his best friends in the game, Twins starter Ricky Nolasco.
“He’s obviously fast and makes things happen,” Nolasco said. “I’m happy to see him back and healthy. He’s off to a good start, obviously. I don’t want it against us but I’m always pulling for Cam.
“We were young kids at one time together and still around so it’s good to see him healthy and doing good things for his team.”
Maybin missed most of spring training with a fractured wrist, then toward the end of his first rehab stint in Toledo, he suffered a subluxation in his shoulder diving for a ball. He’s done his best to make up for lost time.
“To me, he’s a lot like me,” Kinsler said. “He just wants to have fun. He wants to play the game hard. He wants to have fun in the dugout and on the field. Get people excited. You get two people like that it becomes contagious, other people start to join — it’s really nice having him around.”