|Tired Tigers hope to rebound after getting fill of Philly|
There haven't been too many pleasant surprises this season for the Detroit Tigers.
Second baseman Harold Castro has been one of the rare exceptions. Filling in for injured Josh Harrison, Castro has hit .295 in 43 games this season after spending most of the spring with Triple-A Toledo.
He'll likely be in the lineup again on Wednesday afternoon when the Tigers close out a two-game home series with Philadelphia.
Castro, 25, isn't considered a big-time prospect, but manager Ron Gardenhire believes he can at least be a versatile backup.
"I liked him in spring training. I always said the kid's got a great set of hands and he can hit," Gardenhire said to MLive.com. "He can play multiple positions. He's proven it up here."
Castro hit .328 with four homers in 134 at-bats with the Mud Hens. He can play any position on the infield or outfield, which could keep him in the majors for years.
"You've got to keep working, you've got to create those opportunities to play in the bigs or play everyday in the lineup," Castro told MLive. "And that's what I do every time."
Both teams will have to deal with fatigue. The opener ended after midnight, going 15 innings before the Phillies emerged with a 3-2 victory. Castro scored both Tigers' runs.
Detroit's starter on Wednesday, right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, will seek his first win since September. Zimmermann (0-7, 7.51 ERA) has been brutal in his last three outings, only remaining in the rotation due to a lack of options for Gardenhire.
Zimmermann has given up 20 earned runs on 28 hits in 11 innings during that stretch.
Philadelphia is a familiar foe for Zimmermann, who pitched seven seasons for the Washington Nationals before joining Detroit in 2016. He has faced the Phillies 16 times, going 6-8 with a 4.17 ERA.
Philadelphia's starter in the matinee, right-hander Vince Velasquez, has shuttled between the rotation and bullpen this season. He'll be making his 12th start.
Velasquez (2-5, 4.87 ERA) hasn't taken the mound since July 16, when he gave up five runs (four earned) on five hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Velasquez was charged with the loss against Detroit in an early season start at Philadelphia when he gave up three runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings. Tigers utility man Niko Goodrum tagged him for a two-run homer. In two career outings against the Tigers, he's 0-1 with a 7.04 ERA.
Velasquez's continued presence in the rotation is contingent on what the Phillies do before the trade deadline. Unless the Atlanta Braves falter, their chances of winning the division are slim. However, they are in contention for a wild-card berth.
Phillies general manager Matt Klentak told MLB.com and other reporters that he's in a buy mode but probably won't make any major trades.
"We're going to continue to push. We're going to continue to try," he said. "We wouldn't have made the moves that we've made in recent days if we weren't doing that. But as I have said to you before -- and I know 1/8manager Gabe Kapler 3/8 has said this before -- for this team to get where we want to go, the core players on this team need to perform well. ... We have the talent on the field to do that. Whether we get hot and pull that off in the next two months remains to be seen."
--Field Level Media