Here’s the latest from around the AL Central…
- Left-hander Troy Patton can opt out of his minor league deal with the Royals on August 15 if he isn’t called up to the MLB roster, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports. Patton served an 80-game suspension after testing positive for amphetamines last November, and has posted a 3.07 ERA, 6.8 K/9 and a 5.5 K/BB rate over 14 2/3 relief innings at Triple-A Omaha. As McCullough notes, the Royals may not be able to find a place for Patton in the already-stacked K.C. bullpen.
- New Tigers GM Al Avila faces a number of pressing questions about the 2016 team, Lynn Henning of the Detroit News writes. Beyond the payroll, young pitcher development and fixing the Tigers bullpen, Henning also speculates on the future of manager Brad Ausmus. “It would be no shocker if Avila” wanted to hire his own manager to run the team, and if a change was made, Henning believes that the Tigers would pursue an experienced skipper, namely Ron Gardenhire.
- Nick Swisher’s tenure with the Indians is recapped by Zack Meisel of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. While Swisher helped the Tribe earn a wild card slot in 2013, that contribution alone wasn’t worth his $56MM contract with the team. Meisel also hints at a bit of tension between Swisher and some teammates, writing that “his relentless enthusiasm wore on members of the clubhouse” and “when his performance went south…his insistence on being the club’s commander and cheerleader didn’t carry much weight.”