The Tigers have had a pretty good start to the season. They swept the Twins, including back-to-back shutouts to open the season. David Price threw 8 2/3 shutout innings in his Opening Day start, while Anibal Sanchez followed up with 6 2/3 shutout innings of his own on Wednesday.
Shane Greene allowed the Tigers’ first run of the season in the seventh inning Thursday, an unearned run as a result of a Yoenis Cespedes error in left field. Alfredo Simon went into his Friday start with the Tigers’ earned run streak still intact in the series opener against the Indians.
Simon held the Indians scoreless over five innings, but finally relented in the sixth. With one out, Simon allowed back-to-back singles to Michael Bourn and Jason Kipnis before Michael Brantley doubled in a run, ending the Tigers’ streak. Carlos Santana and Brandon Moss each followed up with RBI singles, chasing Simon from the game and reducing the Tigers’ lead to 5-3.
If you’re counting, that’s 32 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run to open the season for the Tigers. That ties the 1963 Cardinals for the modern record, per MLB.com’s Jason Beck.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.