Tag Archive: Ramon Santiago

Will Rhymes, who opened the 2011 season as the Tigers starting second baseman, is now a free agent after the Tigers declined to offer him a new contract before Monday's non-tender deadline. (Brian Calloway photo)

Will Rhymes might have been short on size but was high on heart.

That is what made the 5-foot-9 and 155-pound Rhymes – a 27th round draft pick out of the College of William and Mary in 2005 – endearing to fans upon his arrival to the big leagues in 2010.

Rhymes wasn’t regarded and didn’t have the tools/skills set of a top prospect like one-time competitor at second base Scott Sizemore had, but turned in a strong showing once called up to the majors during the 2010 season. Rhymes hit .304 in 54 games with 12 doubles and three triples and won over fans with his play. That strong showing over the second half of the season helped in part earn Rhymes the first shot at second base to start the 2011.

Will Rhymes hit .306 in 104 games at Triple-A Toledo in 2011 and was a Triple-A All-Star. (B. Calloway photo)

But Rhymes never got going early in 2011 , batting .221 with 1 double in 19 games before being demoted to Triple-A Toledo and replaced on the Tigers roster by a hot-hitting Sizemore. From there, he pretty much fell out of the Tigers plans.

The 26-year old was a Triple-A All-Star in 2011, but the Tigers obviously don’t see Rhymes in the future plans which is why they declined to offer him a contract for 2012 and allowed him to become a free agent.

Even with the Tigers trading Sizemore to Oakland in May, Rhymes never found his was back to Detroit until rosters expanded in September. Instead the Tigers went with a combination of Carlos Guillen, Ryan Raburn, Ramon Santiago and Danny Worth at second base. And the Tigers appear content right now to use a platoon of Santiago and Raburn for that position in 2012.

This decision by the Tigers brass in essentially the best case scenario for both parties. With Rhymes likely being a longshot to make the major league roster out of spring training, he will get a chance to go elsewhere to try to get back to the majors. And the Tigers still have enough options at second base.


Thoughts on game 13 of 162

Coke zero: Tigers starter Phil Coke threw seven scoreless innings to help the Tigers beat the Athletics on Thursday night. (AP)

Behind Phil Coke and Ryan Raburn, the Tigers pushed their winning streak to three with their first shutout of the season. Detroit, which was playing the opening game of a seven-game road trip out west,  is 6-7 and is tied with Tampa Bay for the longest current win streak in the Ameican League. Oakland falls to 6-7.

Hero: Phil Coke

Coke delivered in what arguably was the best start by a Tigers starting pitcher this season. In his second start since converting from a reliever, Coke tossed seven scoreless innings, limiting the Athletics to just three hits while earning his first victory of the season. Coke walked two and struck out two. The back end of the Tiger bullpen finished what he started as Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde combined to not allow a hit while pitching two scoreless innings to seal the win.

Coke’s outing continued a trend of strong pitching by Tigers starters and they will need that to carry over with Rick Porcello tonight.

Key play: The Tigers only had four hits with the biggest being Ryan Raburn’s two-out RBI double in the seventh off reliever Tyson Ross that scored Ramon Santiago to break the scoreless tie.

Santiago also had a key sacrifice fly in the eighth inning that provided the Tigers with an insurance run. Santiago finished 2 for 3, while Casper Wells had the Tigers’ lone other hit.

Conor Jackson had two of Oakland’s three hits.

Slow starts: Victor Martinez went 0 for 5 Thursday and saw his average dip to .200. Austin Jackson was 0 for 4 and is batting 194.

Up next: at Athletics, 10 p.m. tonight

Thoughts on Game 3 of 162

Power duo: Miguel Cabrera (left) and Brennan Boesch combined to drive in eight runs to power the Tigers to their first victory of the season - a 10-7 win over the New York Yankees. (AP)

Heroes: Brennan Boesch and Miguel Cabrera.

Boesch, batting in the 3 spot in place of Magglio Ordonez, and Cabrera combined to drive in eight of the Tigers’ runs (each had four RBIs). Boesch went 4 for 4 with a home run and four runs scored, while Cabrera hit a two-run homer in each of his first two at-bats.

Boesch, who was hot at the end of spring training, could make it hard for Tigers manager to take him out of the lineup with more performances like Sunday. He has shown a little bit of what made him such a dangerous hitter after he was called up in the first half of the 2010 season. If he can continue to put together good outings the Tigers will have a good problem on their hands and have to get creative of finding ways to play him.

Cabrera’s homers were big because they got the  Tigers going. The first gave them an early lead (the Yankees eventually knotted the score at 2 on a Jorge Posada two-run homer) and the second gave the Tigers a lead they didn’t relinquish.

Unsung hero: Ramon Santiago.

Santiago started in place of Will Rhymes, who went hitless in the first two games of the series, and delivered. Santiago finished 2 for 5 with an RBI and had a double off reliever Bartolo Colon.

Fortunate break/key point: After making a spectacular catch to rob Alex Rodriguez of extra bases in the first inning, Ryan Raburn dropped a liner that nearly came back to haunt the Tigers in the third. The error had Nick Swisher on third and Jorge Posada on second with two outs and Curtis Granderson at the plate. Max Scherzer got Granderson to fly out to right field to end the threat. The Yankees had scored a run earlier in the inning on a solo homer by Mark Teixeira

Worse than it appears: Usually giving up four home runs in an outing isn’t conducive to winning baseball, but Max Scherzer was able to pick up a win. Scherzer, who was tagged for 11 earned runs in 2-plus innings in his final spring start, wasn’t as bad as his final line (5 IP, 9 hits, 6 earned runs, 6 strikeouts, 2 walks).  Two of the four home runs would have stayed in most ballparks and been routine outs.

The not so good: The Tigers gave up nine homers in the three-game series, but part of that can be contributed to the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium as well as the New York lineup, which is as good as any from top to bottom. The normally slow starting Teixeira homered in each game of the series for the Yankees while DH Posada hit two in Sunday’s game.

Notable: Austin Jackson didn’t have a hit but drew two walks and scored two runs.

Up next: Tigers face Baltimore at 3 p.m. today. The contest is the home opener for the Orioles, who opened their season by sweeping Tampa Bay in a three-game series.