Tigers owner Mike Ilitch cut ties with longtime general manager Dave Dombrowski on Tuesday afternoon, but it doesn’t sound like anybody else is on the chopping block yet. Al Avila, who has been installed as the Tigers’ new GM and vice president, said Tuesday in his introductory press conference that manager Brad Ausmus’ job, for one, is safe.
“I believe in Brad Ausmus,” said Avila, via Chris Iott of MLive.com. “He is our manager for the rest of this season for sure. I have all the confidence in him. I think he’s done a good job. Just like everything else from here on out, everything will be evaluated. Our staff will be evaluated. Our major-league club will be evaluated as we have done in years past.”
Detroit sold off David Price, Yoenis Cespedes, and Joakim Soria last week, but the club is only three games back of the second American League Wild Card spot entering play Tuesday.
Ausmus boasts a 141-126 record since taking over as the Tigers’ manager last year.
He also carries the distinction of being ranked HBT’s most handsome skipper.
Following the Joakim Soria trade with the Pirates, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus will “probably” use right-hander Alex Wilson as the closer, Chris Iott of MLive.com reports. Ausmus added he’d “maybe” use Blaine Hardy “if there are lefties”.
Wilson, 28, has had a terrific season, compiling a 1.79 ERA with a 33/8 K/BB ratio in 55 1/3 innings. He earned his first save on July 30 against the Orioles. He doesn’t have the swing-and-miss stuff that most closers have, but Brad Ziegler — who also doesn’t miss many bats — has been doing just fine with the Diamondbacks.
Hardy, 28, has a 2.54 ERA with a 38/16 K/BB ratio in 46 innings. He has a severe platoon split over his career, however, as right-handed hitters have posted a .710 OPS against him compared to the .517 of lefties.
Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Pirates have placed starter A.J. Burnett on the 15-day disabled list due to inflammation in his right elbow. The club has recalled pitcher Bobby LaFromboise from Triple-A Indiapolis to take Burnett’s spot on the roster.
Burnett, 38, has struggled over his last three starts, allowing 18 earned runs in 16 innings. As a result, his ERA has ballooned from 2.11 to 3.06. The Pirates acquired pitcher J.A. Happ in a trade with the Mariners just ahead of the 4 PM EST trade deadline, so he will take Burnett’s spot in the rotation.
In an unrelated move, the Pirates designated pitcher Deolis Guerra to make room for reliever Joakim Soria — acquired in a trade with the Tigers on Thursday — on the roster.