Could the Tigers make a play for Stephen Drew?

17 Comments

The Mets and Red Sox have been mentioned most often as possible landing spots for free agent shortstop Stephen Drew, but as these situations often go, he might end up in an unexpected place. Peter Gammons brought up an interesting possibility earlier today:

Jose Iglesias is expected to begin the season on the disabled list due to shin splints, so Drew could fill in at shortstop for now. Once Iglesias returns, the Tigers could potentially play Drew at third base and move Alex Castellanos back out to left field as part of a platoon with Rajai Davis while Andy Dirks rehabs from back surgery. I could see it if Igelsias’ injury was really serious, but otherwise, probably not. It’s an interesting scenario to ponder at the very least.

This wouldn’t be the first time that an injury resulted in a Scott Boras client landing with the Tigers. After Victor Martinez suffered a torn ACL in January of 2012, the Tigers gave Prince Fielder a nine-year, $214 million contract. Stay tuned.

Mike Leake loses perfect game bid on leadoff single in the ninth

Mike Leake
Getty Images
2 Comments

Just one week after Taylor Cole and Felix Peña tossed a combined no-hitter against Seattle, Mariners right-hander Mike Leake worked on his own perfect game through eight innings against the Angels.

It was an ambitious form of revenge, and one that Leake served up perfectly as he held the Angels scoreless in frame after frame. He sprinkled a handful of strikeouts throughout the first eight innings, catching Matt Thaiss on a called strike three in the third and getting two whiffs — called strikeouts against both Brian Goodwin and Shohei Ohtani — in the fourth.

The Mariners, meanwhile, put up a good fight against the Angels, backing Leake’s attempt with 10 runs — their first double-digit total since a 13-3 rout of the Orioles on June 23. Daniel Vogelbach led things off in the fourth with a three-run homer off of reliever Jaime Barria, then repeated the feat with another three-run shot off Barria in the fifth. Tom Murphy and J.P. Crawford helped pad the lead as well with a two-RBI single and two-RBI double, respectively.

In the ninth, with just three outs remaining, the Angels finally managed to break through. Luis Rengifo worked a 1-1 count against Leake, then returned an 85.3-m.p.h. changeup to right field for a base hit, dismantling the perfecto and the no-hitter in one fell swoop. Leake lost control of the ball following the hit, issuing four straight balls to Kevan Smith in the next at-bat and giving the Angels their first runner in scoring position. Still at a pitch count of just 90, however, he induced the next two outs in quick fashion and polished off the win with a triumphant eight-pitch strikeout against Mike Trout for the first one-hitter (and Maddux) of his career.

Had Leake successfully closed out the perfecto, it would’ve been the first of his decade-long career in the majors and the first the Mariners had seen since Félix Hernández’s perfect game against the Rays in August 2012. For their part, the Angels have yet to be on the losing end of a perfecto. The last time they were shut out in a no-hitter was 1999, at the hands of then-Twins pitcher Eric Milton.