Watch Victor Martinez’s son, Victor Martinez, take batting practice at Comerica Park before the Tigers’ game against the Royals on July 26, 2017.
Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press
Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias sat quietly in his corner of the clubhouse today, casually scrolling through his phone as a few reporters approached.
Iglesias was quizzically not in the starting lineup coming on the heels of Thursday’s off day. Dixon Machado started instead.
“Just as surprised,” Iglesias said, as he kept scrolling through his phone. Was he looking up trade rumors? Was he playing “Candy Crush?” It was hard to tell.
Iglesias, the subject of trade rumors recently, said he had not heard of anything imminent regarding his future, though he concede that his agent and Tigers general manager Al Avila had spoken.
A few minutes later, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus met with reporters and played down any trade drama involving Iglesias.
“Just Machado hasn’t played,” Ausmus said. “There’s no situation.”
Ausmus also said even with an admittedly small sample size — Iglesias is 1-for-7 against Houston Astros starter Dallas Keuchel — it was a chance to give Iglesias a break: “Just the best game to give Iggy off and also get Machie in the game.”
More Tigers news:
Justin Wilson also drawing interest from New York Yankees
Maybe nothing was cooking on Iglesias. But calm but quiet demeanor is indicative of the somber mood of a struggling team that’s perhaps on the verge of a break up shortly before Monday’s trade deadline.
“Um — quiet,” Andrew Romine said of the clubhouse mood. “Quiet. I think guys are anxiously awaiting to see what happens, mostly because we don’t know anything. (Reporters) usually find out before us. Everybody says that, but it’s true. You guys do usually find out before us.
“We know there’s talking going on. We see people coming in that don’t usually come into the locker room and hang out. So we know that there’s moves that are trying to be made. But like we’ve always said, ‘If you’re thinking about that, then you’re not thinking about performing.’ ”
Back in his office, Ausmus was asked about trades for the umpteenth time. He said he and Avila have an open-door policy for players who are being used for grist in trade rumor mill.
“I think some guys are more adept at blocking it out than others,” he said. “But I think there is an effect, a sense that guys maybe feel like they’re floating around a little bit. So hopefully three days from now we won’t have to talk about it anymore.”
Ouch! That hurts: For the third time in his major league career, Romine, a utility player, pitched in a game Wednesday, when he worked two-thirds of an inning in mop-up duty in a 16-2 blowout loss the Kansas City Royals.
Romine, who had not pitched since last season, threw 21 pitches and gave up a hit and a walk but no runs. The next day, he paid for it.
“I’m not in pitching shape to be able to go out there and throw, like really hard, over and over,” he said. “But the effort I did put in, I woke up yesterday and my wife like poked me in the back or something and I was like cringing. I needed some Advil or something for that day.”
Baby Boyd: Pitcher Matthew Boyd’s wife, Ashley, gave birth to their daughter, Meira Joy, on Thursday, the team’s off day. Boyd came to Comerica Park for his normal workout and remains scheduled to start Saturday.
Ausmus said there were no plans to put Boyd on the paternity leave list, although Boyd will travel separately to New York next week in order to spend more time at home in the Detroit area with his family.
Contact Carlos Monarrez: email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.