Going 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position isn’t a recipe for success.
Since sweeping the White Sox from Aug. 31-Sept. 2, the Tigers have been tamed at the plate:
Sept. 3: Lost 2-3 vs. Clev
Sept. 4: Lost 2-3 vs. Clev
Sept. 5: Won 7-1 vs. Clev
Sept. 7: Lost 2-3 at LAA
Sept. 8: Lost 1-6 at LAA
Sept. 9: Lost 2-3 at LAA
Sept. 10: Lost 1-6 at CWS
That’s 17 runs in seven games. And even before the three-game sweep of the White Sox, they were swept by the Royals in a series that included a 1-0 loss to Bruce Chen and a 2-1 loss to Jeremy Guthrie.
The Tigers are badly in need of someone besides Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder to step it up. Delmon Young’s big weekend against the White Sox was apparently just that. The Tigers need at least two from the group of Andy Dirks, Jhonny Peralta, Brennan Boesch and Alex Avila to provide some consistent production in the bottom half of the order.
Of course, the Tigers have three more games against the White Sox this week, giving them the chance to quickly erase that three-game AL Central lead. However, the fact that they couldn’t get anything going against a fading Jose Quintana tonight doesn’t bode well for their chances.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.