The manager has been extended, the GM has been extended, and with a 3-game series against Cleveland beginning tonight, there is an opportunity for the division lead to be extended.
The Tigers took advantage of their last off-day of the month to announce that the contract of manager Jim Leyland has been extended through 2012, and President/CEO/GM Dave Dombrowski through 2015. Dombrowski said that more than a 1-year deal for Leyland was never discussed, and was never requested by Leyland.
Dombrowski also stressed that the rest of the front office was extended–Al Avila (asst GM), Scott Reid (top scout), John Westhoff (attorney, contract negotiations), and David Chadd (amateur scout), and said getting the deal done now was important because this is the time of year other teams start asking around about personnel, and you risk someone jumping to another organization.
As if on cue, the newly-extended Tigers front office followed up today by announcing they have signed their first 2011 draft pick, catcher James McCann from Arkansas.
In tonight’s first of three (and first of 12 remaining this season) against the Indians, Detroit’s trade-deadline catch Doug Fister takes the mound for the 2nd time as a Tiger. His first outing was a solid 3-runs in 7 innings against the tough Texas offense, which means he’s already done more for the team than the 2009 deadline darling, Jarrod Washburn. Fister draws a tough match-up in Justin Masterson (9-7, 2.63), who faced Fister in Seattle April 9 and came out on top 2-1.
Player of the Pre-game: Carlos Guillen and Alex Avila (tie).
Right now the hottest bat on the team belongs to Alex Avila, who has on On-Base Percentage of .441 over the last 2 weeks. The coldest bat belongs to Carlos Guillen (.154 OBP). Guillen bats in front of Avila. Whether or not Guillen manages to get on base could have a big effect on the outcome of the game.
Today’s Return-of-V-Mart Lineup: