Tigers stand pat at waiver-wire trade deadline
New York — This time, there was no midnight madness for the Tigers.
Friday night's deadline for trades requiring waiver-wire protocol passed without the Tigers making a deal.
The Tigers were waiting on calls concerning Francisco Liriano, who has been terrific against left-handed hitters and who loomed as a potential bullpen add for an October contender.
But interest in Liriano, which had at least surfaced during early conversations between Tigers general manager Al Avila and some of his cohorts, was absent as Friday's trade mart began to shut down.
"Too many good players available out there," Avila said late Friday.
A year ago, the last day of August — the deadline for adding players who can be playoff-eligible — saw Avila make a pair of barnburners when he sent Justin Upton to the Angels and Justin Verlander to the Astros.
But the Tigers were dealing with a different landscape in August, which was essentially an extension of July's market, with lots of inventory being offered by an excess number of sellers.
The Tigers lost in almost zany fashion to the Yankees, 7-5, Friday night at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees got as many runs as they got hits. They never had a hit until the sixth, when they got three — all home runs — against Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann.
The Tigers, meanwhile, got a dozen hits.
Their leading hitter?
Rookie second baseman Dawel Lugo, who had three singles a night after he made his big-league debut, getting a double.
Lugo started at second base again Friday. He is batting a crisp .500 two games into his big-league career.
Victor Martinez, who had a pair of homers in Thursday's victory, had two more hits Friday, both singles.
Niko Goodrum smashed his 15th home run of the year. Goodrum, the Swiss Army Knife who has a position and function for any occasion, started in left field.
He was signed as a minor-league free agent at the end of the 2017 season and now has 15 homers in 377 at-bats.
A man who in 2018 has been designated for assignment, optioned to Triple-A Toledo, recalled to become at times the rotation's best starter, relocated to the bullpen, brought back to the rotation, and who has interspersed all of this with a couple of trips on the disabled list, is again with the Tigers.
Hardy joined the club Friday following a 10-day layoff due to elbow tendinitis.
Of course, he won't be starting. That would be a sign of consistency, and Hardy and the Tigers will be having none of that in 2018.
For now, which probably won't be long the way things have gone, Hardy will be sticking in the bullpen.
"He's ready to throw three innings if we have to," said Gardenhire, who no doubt will be talking in coming days about Hardy's next rotation turn.
Mum on call-ups
The Tigers weren't yet identifying Friday their minor-league additions to the September roster.
Of course, teams can exceed their customary 25-man limits during September as minor-leaguers get dress-rehearsals that offer a taste of what they, and their team, hope will be broader duty ahead.
The Tigers are known to be adding two position players, one of whom, infielder Dawel Lugo, joined the team Thursday as a replacement for Jose Iglesias (10-day disabled list, lower abdomen).
The worst-kept secret in Detroit's clubhouse is that outfielder Christin Stewart also will be joining the team as soon as Toledo's season and playoff pursuits have been satisfied.
A number of pitchers also will be summoned, with best bets likely to be Zac Reininger, Ryan Carpenter, and perhaps reliever Johnny Barbato.
Gardenhire confirmed Friday that the Tigers shortstop has "more of a strain rather than torn" abdomen and that the prognosis for his return is "10 days to two weeks."
In the meantime, Ronny Rodriguez and Niko Goodrum are expected to work there, with Lugo likely to see his share of time at second.
Lugo not only played in his first big-league game Thursday against the Yankees, which turned into an 8-7 victory for the Tigers, Lugo got his first big-league hit: a scorched double down the third-base line.
The Tigers have seven players headed to the Arizona Fall League, including Rockwood reliever John Schreiber, who has had another sterling season at Double-A Erie.
Danny Pinero, an infielder with Single-A Lakeland, will join the Mesa Solar Sox, as well. Also competing from the Tigers farmlands will be relievers Sandy Baez and Eduardo Jimenez, outfielders Daz Cameron and Danny Woodrow, as well as catcher Jake Rogers.
Tigers vs. Yankees
Time: 4:05 p.m. Saturday, Yankee Stadium
TV / radio: FSD, FS1 / 97.1 FM
■ Tigers – LHP Daniel Norris (0-2, 5.87): Hasn’t pitched for the Tigers since April when he had groin issues that required surgery. Fastball is still a few ticks shy of its old velocity.
■ Yankees – RHP Masahiro Tanaka (9-5, 3.97): Quality pitcher who has been giving up a few hits of late but whose pitches can be murder on a big-league lineup. Expect a Tanaka-grade outing.