Tigers designate Dontrelle Willis for assignment

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willis leg kick.jpgAs first reported by the Tigers’ own official team Twitter feed, left-hander Dontrelle Willis has been designated for assignment to clear room for the promotion of Sunday’s starter, Max Scherzer.

Thus ends an era, for lack of a better term.  Willis, now 28, joined the Tigers on December 5, 2007, as part of a massive trade from the Marlins that also involved Miguel Cabrera.  He signed a three-year, $29 million contract extension soon after the transfer was complete, and that’s when the problems began. 

D-Train made only seven starts in his first year with the Tigers and allowed 25 earned runs in 24 innings — good enough for a 9.38 ERA and a 2.21 WHIP.  Things got no better in 2009 and he continued to show ineffectiveness this season.

Perhaps a move back to the National League will help Willis revitalize his career.  It’s worked so far for Carlos Silva, and countless others have enjoyed similar success.  Either way, his time in Detroit, wearing the Olde English “D,” will not be remembered fondly.

Aaron Judge out of Yankees starting lineup for finale after No. 62

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge wasn’t in the starting lineup for New York’s regular-season finale, a day after his 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League single-season record.

When Judge homered in the first inning Tuesday night, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers, it was his 55th consecutive game. He has played in 157 games overall for the AL East champions.

With the first-round bye in the playoffs, the Yankees won’t open postseason play until the AL Division Series starts next Tuesday.

Even though Judge had indicated that he hoped to play Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone said after Tuesday night’s game that they would have a conversation and see what made the most sense.

“Short conversation,” Boone said before Wednesday’s game, adding that he was “pretty set on probably giving him the day today.”

Asked if there was a scenario in which Judge would pinch hit, Boone responded, “I hope not.”

Judge went into the final day of the regular season batting .311, trailing American League batting average leader Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315. Judge was a wide leader in the other Triple Crown categories, with his 62 homers and 131 RBIs.

Boone said that “probably the one temptation” to play Judge had been the long shot chance the slugger had to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.