Designated hitter Miguel Cabrera will play in the home finale when the Detroit Tigers face the Minnesota Twins on Sunday afternoon.
Cabrera will return next season for what could be the final one of his Hall of Fame career. His bat and body have slowed down in the second half of this season but manager A.J. Hinch wants the fans to see him one more time this year.
“I went to Miggy about playing in the final home game of the season,” Hinch said. “Whether it’s symbolic or not, playing at 12:10 p.m. isn’t ideal for anybody. But I think it’s important to our fans. It’s important to close out the home schedule and have Miguel be a part of it. He was all about it. He wanted to play all three games in this series.”
The Tigers (64-93) have won seven of their last eight, including a 3-2 win over Minnesota on Saturday. The Twins (77-81) need to win their remaining four games to avoid a losing season.
Detroit rookie left-hander Joey Wentz will make his seventh appearance this season and second against Minnesota. He blanked the Twins for four innings on May 31.
Wentz (2-2, 3.54 ERA) started four games in September, most recently on Tuesday when he gave up three runs and five hits in five innings against Kansas City. In his previous outing, he held Baltimore scoreless for 5 2/3 innings.
“There were a lot of misfires,” Hinch said of Wentz’s last outing. “It’s going to happen. You’re not going to make every start picture-perfect with your command.”
Wentz had to improvise because he had trouble with his fastball.
“As pitchers, we talk a lot about fastball command kind of being a basis point for us,” Wentz said. “When in doubt, if you can fall back on locating your heater, that’s pretty good. (Tuesday), I wasn’t able to do that. I couldn’t get it to my glove side that well at all and they made me pay for it a couple of times with extra-base hits.”
The Twins haven’t named a starter but Simeon Woods Richardson could make his major-league debut at some point during Sunday’s contest. Rated as Minnesota’s No. 6 prospect, he was added to the taxi squad on Friday.
Manager Rocco Baldelli said that the 22-year-old right-hander will pitch before the end of the regular season.
“You balance out the kind of year that he has and you balance out kind of the upside and what you think a guy might be able to get out of it, where they’re at in their career,” Baldelli said. “There are guys that you want to get out there. You want to see them. You want to get them in a spot where if they’re making a start for you the following spring or the following year early in the year, that they’ve done it before.”
Woods Richardson has a 2.77 ERA in 23 minor league appearances, including 22 starts, for Double-A Wichita and Triple-A St. Paul. In seven starts with the latter club, he was 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA.
He’s eager for the opportunity.
“Just seeing the type of caliber of hitters in the box, reading their swings, reading my swings, it upgrades your game,” he said. “You will do better, you will feel better, you will think better. Everything is for a pitch-to-pitch purpose. I think that’s what I’m most excited to see.”
–Field Level Media