Tigers' Gose relegated to DH in Toledo

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Detroit – What to make of the Anthony Gose situation?

The Tigers, needing to give Cameron Maybin a night off Tuesday – his first since he was activated from the disabled list on May 16 – started utility man Andrew Romine in center field.

Maybin is the only true center fielder on the Tigers 25-man roster.

Meanwhile, Gose, who began the season as the Tigers every day center fielder, has been relegated to fourth outfielder status at Triple-A Toledo. The club promoted prospect JaCoby Jones from Double-A Erie to be the starting center fielder in Toledo.

“It’s not punitive,” manager Brad Ausmus said of Gose’s status. “JaCoby Jones coming up (to Triple-A) is more about the development of JaCoby Jones. It has very little to do with Anthony Gose.”

In a way, though, that’s just as damning for Gose. In 19 games at Toledo, he’s hitting .195, with 35 strikeouts in 77 at-bats.

“There’s no question Gose can play center field,” Ausmus said. “We want him to hit. We want him to get on base and use his legs. He can still do that from the DH position. He doesn’t have to play center field.”

Asked if it was fair to characterize Gose’s situation as a disappointment, Ausmus said, “The fact that he’s not up here is disappointing, for sure.”

Fulmer follow-up

Michael Fulmer, who blanked the Blue Jays Monday, is 4-0 with a 0.32 ERA and a 0.64 WHIP in his last four starts. He’s riding a 22.1 scoreless innings streak.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the most recent rookie pitchers to win four straight starts with similar shut-down numbers are Chris Archer (0.29 in 2013), Matt Cain (0.00 in 2006) and Orel Hershiser (0.25 in 1984).

So, what next?

“He’s going to have to go through the league a couple of times,” Ausmus said. “There’s going to be adjustments that have to be made. There’s going to be times when he doesn’t have his best stuff and he’s going to have to learn to pitch a little bit more.”

He had to do that, to some extent, on Monday night. He was having trouble commanding his fastball early and began using his slider and change-up to get through the early innings.

“His poise has been impressive from the start, but the change-up has come much quicker than we thought,” Ausmus said. “He was working on it (during spring training), but it wasn’t ready.”

It’s been a dependable weapon for him these last four starts.

Around the horn

…Ausmus said the day off for Maybin was pre-planned. But, also, the left wrist, which was fractured in spring training and put him on the DL, was bothering him Monday. “You’ve got to give him a day off (here and there),” Ausmus said. “He hasn’t had one. He came out of a game in Anaheim with the wrist. It acted up a little on the west coast trip and he said he felt it yesterday. But this was a planned day off.”

…The Tigers had scored 33 runs in the previous four games. They endured some prolonged droughts in April and May. But since May 15 (when Maybin came off the DL), they’ve averaged 5.7 runs per game and lead the American League with a .302 average and .514 slugging percentage.

…Also picking up is the club’s proficiency with runners in scoring position. Over the last six games, the Tigers are hitting .370 with runners in scoring position.

…The Tigers traded right-handed pitcher Jose Valdez to the Angels Tuesday for cash considerations. Valdez spent time with the Tigers last year and was up for one day this year and didn’t pitch. He was designated for assignment last week after being demoted to Double-A Erie.