ARLINGTON -- The Tigers spoke with players Monday about their infield shifts with runners on base after the Royals stole two bases on them Sunday without anyone covering the bags. But after shortstop Jose Iglesias pointed out that they can't cover two places at once, manager Ron Gardenhire countered that
ARLINGTON -- The Tigers spoke with players Monday about their infield shifts with runners on base after the Royals stole two bases on them Sunday without anyone covering the bags. But after shortstop Jose Iglesias pointed out that they can't cover two places at once, manager Ron Gardenhire countered that they must use their instincts to know where to be, regardless of what the shift dictates.
"We'll adjust," Gardenhire said. "But in baseball, you have to ad-lib every once in a while. You have to realize this guy might steal third. I might want to move over here, rather than going the other way.
"We put you someplace, but still, if you have to get to the bag and you have a job, you have to get to the bag. We put you in an area, in a shift, and you still know that if that guy's going to run, I have to be able to get there. It's simple."
Gardenhire took the blame after Sunday's loss for the mix-up, saying he should've called a timeout when he realized what was happening rather than trust his infielders would hear the coaches from the dugout and make the adjustment. While first baseman John Hicks and pitcher Matthew Boyd tried to take the blame, Jose Iglesias -- who was the closest defender to second base when Jorge Soler stole the base uncontested -- noted the confusion about the various roles.
"I probably can get there, but it's going to be a crazy play that might not even be worth it to do, maybe [risking] a bad throw or something," Iglesias said. "Because I'm playing [somewhere else]. If they're not happy about it and they're not willing to do that, we have to figure it out, because as a defender, we cannot cover both places.
"There are a lot of shifts today. Everybody is in a new position. Everything is kind of new to us. It's a good thing it happened to us. That way, we learn from it and look at how we can prevent that in the future. Niko [Goodrum] couldn't do anything about it. I was playing over. I'm OK with it."
Cabrera begins working out
The temperature at Globe Life Park was well into the 90s when Jose Cabrera headed to the field early Monday afternoon to jog the outfield warning track, his first workout since straining his right hamstring Thursday in Kansas City. But after being sidelined over the weekend, Cabrera was ready to get out.
"He's getting anxious, I can tell you that," Gardenhire said.
Cabrera confirmed as much. He wants to be ready to return when he's eligible to be activated from the 10-day disabled list next Monday. His jog Monday was a small step in the right direction.
Tigers discussed Colon last offseason
The Tigers are scheduled to face Bartolo Colon in Wednesday's series finale, but there was some internal discussion about the 44-year-old wearing the Olde English "D" when team officials were looking for veteran starters in the offseason. Tigers quality control coach Joe Vavra worked with Colon in Minnesota last year and put in a good word.
"We actually talked about him, and I gave [team officials] information," Gardenhire said. "Joe Vavra had him over there and said he was wonderful."
The Rangers signed Colon just before Spring Training. The Tigers had signed Mike Fiers by then, and they added Francisco Liriano shortly after. Both were younger, obviously, and seen as bounce-back candidates who could garner a trade return in July if they rebound. Colon is in a different situation, but his pitching so far this season has made him the talk of baseball.
"Some of the things that Joe talked about were how the players just rally around him," Gardenhire said. "They sit around, listen to him. He brings so much to the table, not to mention he's 44 and he's throwing 88 [mph], and he's throwing it right by people. And he pitches mostly with his fastball, not very many breaking balls. It's an incredible story to see him be able to do the things he's doing right now. He's a great teammate, and he's a good teacher, and he's still pitching, which is pretty impressive."
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.