Here are the lineups for Game 2 of the Tigers-Rangers series:
DETROIT TIGERS TEXAS RANGERS
1. Austin Jackson, CF 1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Ramon Santiago, 2B 2. Elvis Andrus, SS
3. Delmon Young, LF 3. Josh Hamilton, CF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B 4. Michael Young, DH
5. Victor Martinez, DH 5. Adrian Beltre, 3B
6. Ryan Raburn, RF 6. Mike Napoli, C
7. Jhonny Peralta, SS 7. Nelson Cruz, RF
8. Alex Avila, C 8. David Murphy, LF
9. Brandon Inge, 3B 9. Mitch Moreland, 1B
SP Max Scherzer, RHP SP Derek Holland, LHP
Not only is Delmon Young back on the Tigers’ roster after initially being removed because of an oblique injury, he’s starting in left field and batting third. That’s either one helluva miraculous recovery or Jim Leyland really hates to make changes. With a left-hander on the mound Brandon Inge gets the nod at third base and Ryan Raburn starts over Don Kelly.
On the flip side Ron Washington is sticking with the same lineup and batting order against Max Scherzer that he used versus fellow right-hander Justin Verlander in Game 1.
UPDATE: Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that Leyland has two lineups ready, so Young will be a game-time decision and Andy Dirks will start if he can’t go.
UPDATE #2: Young apparently checked out OK during batting practice, so he’s starting.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.