Chicago — At least this time he’s going to stay a few days.
Outfielder Victor Reyes has been toggled between Triple-A Toledo and the Tigers more times in the first half of this season than any player in recent memory. He was pulled off the field in Toledo on Wednesday and was batting leadoff for the Tigers here Thursday, replacing JaCoby Jones, who is on the injured list with back spasms.
“It doesn’t matter where I am,” Reyes said through interpreter Carlos Guillen. “I just keep working really hard. It’s something that goes beyond my control, something I cannot control, in fact. As long as I have an opportunity to be on the field and playing, I’ll do my best.
“That is the only thing I can control.”
This is the sixth call-up for Reyes this season — five of the six have come when the Tigers were on the road — and this will be the first time he’ll get to stay more than a day or two. Here’s the rundown:
► Called up on May 1; optioned back May 2.
► Called up on May 29; optioned back May 31.
► Called up on June 13; optioned back June 15.
► Called up on June 18; optioned back June 20.
► Called up on June 28; optioned back on June 29.
At least this time he will be up through the weekend and possibly after the All-Star break, depending on how quickly Jones heals.
“It’s actually helped me a lot to stay ready,” Reyes said. “Because I know, if anything happens up here, I need to be ready to play up here. I like to know I’m the first choice for them every time something happens.
“But of course I’d like to stay here, but knowing that I am their first choice encourages me to be ready at all times.”
Reyes, the International League player of the month for June, is hitting .302 with an .806 OPS and had nine home runs and 55 RBIs at Toledo. In 23 games last month he hit .435 and slugged .717, producing 11 doubles, five home runs and 25 RBIs.
He was named to the International League All-Star team, too, though it is unclear whether this stint with the Tigers will prevent him from participating.
“It’s good,” Reyes said. “Obviously, this is where I want to be.”
And at this rate he will have earned some serious airline mileage by the end of the season. He’s already made essentially day trips to Philadelphia, Baltimore, Kansas City, Pittsburgh and now Chicago. Even the one game he played in Detroit, he had to fly from Louisville.
“It hasn’t affected me at all,” Reyes said. “I’ve got my routine down here and it’s the same up here. I am always ready — where I am doesn’t matter.”
The Tigers haven’t been able to keep a consistent five-man rotation since May and it will continue to be in flux going into the All-Star break.
Jordan Zimmermann, slated to start Friday against the Red Sox, will now start on Saturday opposite former Tiger Rick Porcello.
Gregory Soto, who had his start bounced on Thursday after Tuesday's rainout, is tentatively set to start Sunday against another former Tiger, David Price.
The Friday start is open, but it’s probable that left-hander Ryan Carpenter will be recalled from Toledo. He’s coming off a strong, bounce-back start Sunday — allowing three hits with 11 strikeouts in six shutout innings against Durham.
Carpenter made five starts with the Tigers between the end of May and early June, and is the club’s last starter to get a win (June 4).
Around the horn
After Thursday's game the Tigers placed reliever Victor Alcantara on the injured list. He will have minor surgery to clear up a tooth issue. "He should be back after the break." Gardenhire said. "But we have to do this. We don't want it to get infected." The Tigers are expected to fill Alcantara's spot with Carpenter.
... The Tigers signed one of the heroes of the University of Michigan’s run to the College World Series — first baseman Jimmy Kerr, whom they drafted in the 33rd round last month. The Tigers have now signed 33 of their 40 picks.
… Harold Castro, who was back at second base Thursday after playing center field in the nightcap Wednesday, has hit .340 (16 for 47) in a 14-game span since June 16. Taking a larger sample, he’s hit .305 with a .709 OPS in 22 games since he started playing regularly on June 5.
… Brandon Dixon got a much-needed day off Thursday. He’s in a 2-for-35 swoon, striking out 14 times in 38 plate appearances. The two hits, though, were home runs.
On deck: Red Sox
Series: Three-game series at Comerica Park
First pitch: Friday – 7:10 p.m.; Saturday – 4:10 p.m.; Sunday – 1:10 p.m.
TV/radio: Friday-Sunday – FSD/97.1 FM
Probables: Friday – LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (8-4, 4.79) vs. LHP Ryan Carpenter (1-4, 8.82); Saturday – RHP Rick Porcello (5-7, 5.07) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (0-5, 5.36); Sunday – LHP David Price (6-2, 3.33) vs. LHP Gregory Soto (0-2, 8.44).
Rodriguez, Red Sox: He beat the Tigers in April at Fenway, allowing just two hits in six innings. But June ended poorly for him. He gave up 11 runs in 18 innings in his last three starts, with 18 strikeouts, nine walks and four home runs.
Carpenter, Tigers: This is tentative, the Tigers haven’t announced this, but he would be on five-days rest and he’s coming off a strong start against Durham, where he struck out 11 in six shutout innings.