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Advance scouting preps Tigers for A's rookie Gray

OAKLAND -- The Tigers remember a lot of these Oakland Athletics from last year's American League Division Series, their trip here in April or the A's trip to Detroit in August. They do not, however, remember rookie Sonny Gray, whom they've never seen.

It's one of the rare instances where they rely on their advance scouting to give them an idea what to expect. They don't do much of it during the regular season, but they send two scouts per team to watch postseason contenders down the stretch.

In Oakland's case, they relied on Major League scout Jim Olander and Tim McWilliam, the West Coast crosschecker on their amateur scouting staff, to track the A's down the stretch. Those reports will be the basis of their approach against Gray on Saturday night in Game 2 of the ALDS (9 p.m. ET, TBS).

Though the Tigers obviously have plenty of video on Gray, manager Jim Leyland said they prefer the scouting reports.

"They see it in person. Sometimes on video, you don't get the best of shots," Leyland said. "You see it, but it's probably better to take what the scouts say, because they see [the player's] body language and everything else. They see if he gets upset if he gets a couple runners on. They see if he gets upset if somebody makes an error. They see all that stuff. You don't really see that on video."

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Paul Hagen is a reporter for
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