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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.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Garcia sent back to Toledo to make room for Alvarez's return

DETROIT — Avisail Garcia used to be the new Miguel Cabrera.

Now, he’s the new Danny Worth.

Like Worth, who spent the 2012 season shuttling up and down I-75, back and forth from the Detroit Tigers to their top farm team in Toledo nine times, Garcia is well on his way to matching that.

He’s already been up and down twice, Wednesday getting word that he’d completed his second tour of duty with the parent club after just three days, optioned back to Toledo to make room on the active roster for Thursday’s starting pitcher, Jose Alvarez.

After starting 16 of 24 games in his first stint, Garcia was called up in Monday’s flurry of roster moves, played five innings in reserve that night, and did not see the field again.

Alvarez was up on June 10 to make a start in the spot of the injured Anibal Sanchez. He’ll make Thursday’s start against the Boston Red Sox again in the stead of Sanchez, who went on the 15-day disabled list with a sore shoulder Monday, and is expected to miss two starts.

“We said if something came up, he would deserve a start, and ... something came up and we’re giving him a start. We’re comfortable with him. They don’t know him,” manager Jim Leyland said. “You just use your stuff. You give him a little bit of a game plan, but you don’t swamp him with stuff. These hitters haven’t seen him, so they haven’t had a chance to adjust to him. And he hasn’t seen them.

“I feel comfortable putting him out there.”

Alvarez earned a repeat performance after taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning against the Indians 10 days ago, earning his first big-league victory.

Considering his Triple-A ERA nearly doubled — going from 3.52 to 6.75 after giving up three homers to the Syracuse Chiefs in his only start since returning to the Mud Hens, it was probably wise to take the initial success of Alvarez — a minor league free agent signed in the offseaon — for the Tigers with a grain of salt.

“Like I said after the first one, you just have to be careful,” Leyland said. “He came up, he did a wonderful job. I think he’ll do fine (Thursday).

“When you’re having a good game, and everything, it’s real easy to have presence and poise, but your true test is if you get roughed up a little, or you give up a home run to the first hitter. How do you respond then? Do you fall apart? Or do you maintain that poise and all that stuff.

“So I don’t really know. Hopefully that won’t happen.

“The kid did a fantastic job.”


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