With the Tigers in Arlington to take on the Rangers, second baseman Ian Kinsler reflected on the November 2013 trade that sent him from Texas to Detroit for first baseman Prince Fielder, whose career ended this week because of neck problems. “It’s the best thing that’s happened,” said Kinsler of the deal (via Jason Beck of MLB.com). “Toward the end of my time in Texas, things got kind of stale, so to be able to be traded to an organization like Detroit really allowed me to kind of reflect on who I was as a player and what I needed to do to improve.” The 34-year-old’s two-plus-season run with the Tigers has been a resounding success. Dating back to 2014, his first year with the club, Kinsler ranks eighth among major league position players in fWAR (13.8) and has hit .287/.331/.441 with 49 home runs in 1,906 plate appearances. Kinsler, who’s slashing a robust .291/.347/.488 with 21 homers and 13 stolen bases this season, regards Detroit as the “perfect place” for him and hopes to finish his career there. Going forward, Kinsler is due a reasonable $11MM next year and the Tigers have a $10MM club option for 2018.
More from Detroit and one other major league city:
- Dodgers Triple-A outfielder Yasiel Puig spoke Saturday about the mini-controversy he created earlier this week after posting videos online of him and some Oklahoma City teammates drinking alcohol and shouting curse words into the camera. “I really didn’t know how to use Snapchat,” said Puig (per Doug Padilla of ESPN.com). “I was just playing around with my teammates. I just did something that was wrong.” Puig added that he believes the Dodgers demoted him to the minors to become “a better teammate,” which is his goal. On whether the Dodgers are prepared to sever their relationship with the 25-year-old Puig, manager Dave Roberts told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, “I think that’s up to Yasiel. If he chooses to continue to grow as a baseball player and as a man, then he’d be welcome back here.”
- The Tigers haven’t gotten great early returns on their investment in right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, whom they signed to a five-year, $110MM deal in the offseason. Not only has the ex-National posted disappointing numbers – 4.44 ERA and a career-low 5.55 K/9 in 97 2/3 innings – he’s also on the disabled list for the second time this season because of back and neck issues. “It’s been the most frustrating year of my career,” said Zimmermann (via Evan Woodbery of MLive.com) “Going on two months on the (disabled list) and we still don’t really have a true answer.” Zimmermann missed all of July and then returned to start Aug. 4, but he lasted just 1 2/3 innings and allowed six earned runs on six hits and two walks before heading back to the DL. The 30-year-old is currently making progress in his recovery, but there’s no timetable for his return, writes Woodbery.
- Another injured starter, the Dodgers’ Rich Hill, could debut for Los Angeles next Saturday, according to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Hill, whom the Dodgers acquired from Oakland at the non-waiver trade deadline, has been out since mid-July on account of blister problems on his pitching hand. The left-hander is scheduled to make a rehab start Monday with Triple-A Oklahoma City, and he’ll join the Dodgers if that goes well. However, the Dodgers have already had to postpone his first start in their uniform twice. Hill is confident that won’t happen again, though. “It’s healed and 100 percent ready to go and I look forward to getting out there,” said the 36-year-old.