Tigers' Cabrera incredulous after sign-stealing flap
Houston — Rangers reliever Sam Dyson thought Miguel Cabrera might’ve been stealing the catcher’s signs from second base in the Tigers' 5-2 loss Sunday night at Comerica Park.
The two had a verbal exchange that did not escalate largely because of the quick intervention by fellow Venezuelans Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus in the middle of the diamond.
What Cabrera was doing was telling Tigers’ hitter J.D. Martinez that Dyson, a power pitcher, was throwing change-ups.
And Cabrera was imparting the information after the pitch, not before.
“Our scouting report said he didn’t throw too many change-ups,” Cabrera said. “But we’ve got a lot of power hitters so he has to use it. I was just trying to tell my guys, 'Hey, he has a change-up.'”
Cabrera said he noticed Dyson was throwing the change-up during his warm-up tosses.
Dyson told reporters afterward that he just told Cabrera on the field, sarcastically, “You’re too smart.” He said he realized afterward that Cabrera wasn’t stealing signs.
“Just throw it over the plate,” Cabrera said. “You don’t need to steal signs to hit.”
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus decided to give struggling shortstop Jose Iglesias a second day off Monday, starting Dixon Machado at shortstop.
Iglesias is 4-for-33 in his last eight games.
“He could use a couple of days,” Ausmus said. “He will be back tomorrow if everything goes according to plan. His bat speed has been good. I think he’s just searching mechanically right now.”
Ausmus said there were no health issues with him.
Around the horn
The Tigers recalled right-hander Warwick Saupold to take Anibal Sanchez’s long relief role. Sanchez was optioned to Toledo.
“It’s good to be back,” Saupold said. “I told myself I wanted to get back up as soon as possible and I worked my butt off to do it.”
…Justin Upton was given the night off Monday.
…The Tigers didn’t arrive at their hotel in Houston until 5 a.m. Monday, after the Sunday night loss to Texas.
…Anthony Gose, the former outfielder who is transitioning to pitcher, was assigned to High-A Lakeland Monday. He is expected to pitch out of the bullpen.
…Victor Martinez was back in the lineup after attending the birth of birth of his fourth child. Camila Victoria was born Friday.
…According FanGraphs, the Tigers lead the majors in hard contact. Their 43.3 percent hard-contact rate is 7.1 percent higher than any other team in baseball. Nick Castellanos ranks third hitting the ball hard 50 percent of the time.