CHICAGO -- Matt Tuiasosopo entered Monday night's series opener against the White Sox having put up decent numbers off starter Chris Sale, going 4-for-11 with a home run this season. But with Nick Castellanos getting the start in left field, Tuiasosopo was the odd man out.
It marked the third consecutive game that Tuiasosopo did not start against a lefty. He last started last Tuesday against Red Sox southpaw Jon Lester, going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. He's 8-for-41, all of the hits singles, with three walks and 17 strikeouts since Aug. 1, but two of the hits were singles off Sale on Aug. 12 in Chicago.
It's a conundrum the Tigers will face down the stretch. Both Tuiasosopo and Castellanos have played almost exclusively left field this season, so it's going to be difficult for the Tigers to give Castellanos a shot to prove himself while simultaneously giving Tuiasosopo a chance to work his way out of his slump.
Tuiasosopo said he hasn't been doing any different work than usual with hitting coach Lloyd McClendon. At this point, he's keeping his bat fresh for his next game.
The Tigers will face another lefty on Wednesday, when Jose Quintana takes the mound for the White Sox. They'll get a rematch with Royals left-hander Danny Duffy on Friday night at Comerica Park.
Tigers limited in rehab options for Peralta
CHICAGO -- The Tigers have yet to make a decision on a possible return for suspended shortstop Jhonny Peralta, team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said again Monday. Next week, however, could provide an initial sign.
If they're going to get Peralta ready for a return, the prep work is going to come pretty soon.
By the rules of Peralta's 50-game suspension, he's eligible to begin a rehab assignment in about a week. However, the Tigers have no Minor League affiliate still playing. Double-A Erie was eliminated from the Eastern League playoffs over the weekend, and neither Triple-A Toledo nor the Class A teams in Lakeland, Fla., and West Michigan made the postseason.
That leaves the Florida instructional league as the highest-level destination where he could rehab. It's where teams send players after their Minor League seasons end for extra work in September and early October, either to follow up on progress made during the summer or to set up a move for the following spring. The majority of players involved are in the lower levels of the farm system.
Since it's not an official league with a set schedule of games against other clubs, instructional league technically doesn't count as a rehab assignment. With intrasquad games, however, the Tigers could set up simulated games to get Peralta extra at-bats.
The Tigers' instructional league begins Sept. 19, a week before Peralta's suspension ends. When the latter happens, on Sept. 26, the Tigers must decide whether to restore Peralta to the active roster or make a move to take him off.
Pitchers do better job of holding runners against Royals
CHICAGO -- After 24 consecutive stolen bases off Detroit pitching, the Tigers slowed down the running game to an extent against Kansas City, throwing out two would-be basestealers in four attempts. One of those steals came on a pitchout when catcher Brayan Pena couldn't handle the throw.
They won't face quite as aggressive of a baserunning team the next few days, but manager Jim Leyland was encouraged from what he saw from his pitchers.
"I think we did a good job," Leyland said. "We're conscious of it. Sometimes they just get hung up on throwing to the plate and they forget about [the runner]. That's something that we focused on a little better this weekend. We did a pretty good job of it, really."
Some of that, Leyland said, was as simple as varying pickoff moves and varying when to throw over.
"You've got to have different variations -- hold the ball, don't hold the ball, go quicker, hold the ball longer, step off [the mound]," Leyland said. "The thing is, you can't get in a situation where once you come set, you never throw over.
"A lot of times, we throw over on the way up or throw over real quick. That sometimes serves a purpose if you can get a guy who's just taking a lead, because he gets caught leaning. But other times, once you come set, you've still got to throw over. But we did a pretty good job this weekend with it."