Tigers' Rodriguez bypassed by All-Star voters

Lynn Henning
The Detroit News
Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez pitches in the ninth inning.

Toronto — There apparently will be no 11th-hour All-Star Game invitation for Francisco Rodriguez.

“I thought he’d get voted in by the players,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said following Saturday’s game at Rogers Centre, a 3-2 victory over the Jays that featured Rodriguez’s 24th save of the season.

Rodriguez, or K-Rod as the baseball world knows him, might also have scored Saturday when Craig Kimbrel needed a fill-in after knee surgery sidelined the Red Sox closer for the next 3-6 weeks.

But the nod went to a starter with superb numbers, Aaron Sanchez, who, ironically, wasn’t at his best Saturday and took the loss.

Rodriguez remains in the Tigers’ minds an All-Star in every analysis.

He has had been good on 24 of 25 save opportunities since blowing his first chance on Opening Day at Miami. He hasn’t been scored upon in his last six appearances. During that stint, he has allowed three hits.

He has performed precisely as the Tigers hoped and anticipated when they signed him last autumn to a two-year deal that pays Rodriguez $7.5 million this season, with a $6-million team option, or $2-million buyout. The Tigers are happily preparing to pay the $6 million for 2017.

They also would have been delighted to have seen their all-but-automatic ninth inning sentry on this year’s All-Star squad.

Not much chance of it happening. The Tigers will congratulate Rodriguez nonetheless on his first half and bid him a pleasant rest during next week’s All-Star break.

Presley's pursuit

The Tigers added outfield depth Saturday when they signed Alex Presley, 30, to a minor-league deal.

Presley has played for for the Pirates, Astros, Twins, and Brewers in seven seasons. He bats left-handed, is 5-foot-10, 195 pounds, can play all three outfield stations, and has a career batting average of .253.

The Tigers view him as protection against rushing JaCoby Jones, a center fielder who has had a difficult time since being promoted last month to Triple A Toledo.

Presley most recently played for the Brewers but was released this spring. He was a sixth-round draft pick by the Pirates in 2006 after Presley played at the University of Mississippi.


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