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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Leyland doesn't want his locker room "cluttered up" with call-ups

For a franchise that’s floundering, the September call-ups can be a chance at a sneak preview of the future.

For a team with playoff aspirations, though, how much value is there in bringing up guys who won’t be doing much more than sitting on the bench?

None, in the opinion of Tigers manager Jim Leyland.

“Yeah, they asked me about that this morning. I have a pretty strong opinion on it. One of the questions today was talking about (top prospect Nick) Castellanos. I don’t want to get my boss mad at me, but somebody said, ‘Well, do you just bring him up here to see what it’s like in the big leagues?’ No, I don’t think you do that. That’s my opinion. I think you bring him up if you think he can help the club,” Leyland said Thursday morning.
“And that’s the way I feel about anybody. I don’t want the clubhouse getting all cluttered up. I never have.”

You can write the Tigers down for bringing up an extra catcher, likely Bryan Holaday, who was up for 12 games in June.

Other than that?

Theoretically, a team might have a minor niche or two that could be filled by an extra player you don’t have room for on the 25-man roster.

“I think sometimes you look for a specialist, like a speed guy, another speed guy, a defensive guy,” Leyland said, “but we’re already talking about six outfielders that I can only find (time) to play four. So, if we’ve got somebody down in the minor leagues that’s better than the six we’ve got, he’d probably be here now. So I don’t think that’s the case.”

You also have the cannon fodder theory, bringing up guys who probably only see the field in a blowout, players whose only function is to suck up meaningless innings.

That seems a bit extraneous for Leyland.

But he’ll abide by the wishes of his general manager, Dave Dombrowski, and his assistant GM, Al Avila.

“Dave and Al do a very thorough job at that, they’ve always been very good with me about that. They know what my feelings are. I don’t like to bring 10-12 guys up here, because there’s just too much going on, and your concentration and preparation is for the games, trying to get involved in the playoffs, and stuff like that. But I do think you use common sense,” Leyland said. “I always respect if he (Dombrowski) says ‘Well, I want to bring this guy,’ then we bring him. That’s his call.
“He gives me the players, and I manage them. Whatever he decides to do is fine with me. But he knows I don’t like a bunch of extra guys hanging around, particularly if they’re not going to do anything. Just to sit up here and watch a big league game, I don’t think makes a lot of sense.”


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