As Tigers legend Lou Whitaker celebrates his 62nd birthday today, let’s look at some news from Motown…
- Trade rumors have swirled around Nicholas Castellanos for well over a year, and the outfielder admitted to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News that he has been left feeling “uneasy” from the constant speculation. The piece provides an interesting look into the mindset of a player who knows he is in something of a limbo state, no longer in the long term plans of the team with whom he has spent his entire pro career. “You do everything you can to not let it affect you. If I am going to say it doesn’t affect me, I’d be lying,” Castellanos said. “I’d be giving you a media answer. The only thing I can control is going out and handling my business for me and take each at-bat the best I can for me. And in doing that, I can help the team win.” Whereas Castellanos embraced a face-of-the-franchise type of responsibility as a public and private team leader last season, McCosky notes that Castellanos has somewhat stepped back from those duties in 2019. “He’s knows he’s a lame-duck right fielder, and as such no longer HAS the obligation or the right to play that role,” McCosky writes.
- Josh Harrison will return from the injured list prior to tomorrow’s game, as per a team announcement. The Tigers have already optioned Harold Castro back to Triple-A in order to create a 25-man roster spot. Harrison has spent two weeks on the IL recovering from a left shoulder contusion. The infielder signed a one-year, $2MM deal with Detroit over the winter and has often been mentioned as a possible deadline trade chip, though Harrison will first need to greatly improve on his .156/.212/.233 slash line from his first 99 PA in a Tigers uniform.
- The Tigers activated left-hander Blaine Hardy from the injured list on Saturday, though as Hardy told the Detroit News’ Chris McCosky and other media, he isn’t entirely recovered from the left flexor tendinitis that shelved him for over two weeks. “I have a feeling it’s something I’m going to have to learn to pitch through,” Hardy said. “It’s just at a point now where it’s not affecting my pitching….You have to be able to get through those times when you don’t feel 100 percent, whether it’s from sickness, minor injury or tendinitis. The majority of the guys up here have done it before and know how to deal with it.” Pitching through such an injury carries risk, of course, though Hardy said that “I don’t think, from what everybody’s telling me, that [surgery] is the route this is going.” The southpaw got off to a rocky start (5.54 ERA in 13 innings) this season, a year removed from posting from quality numbers as a swingman in Detroit’s pitching staff.