Detroit He grew up attending games at Comerica Park and dreamed of one day wearing the Old English D on his jersey.
That day has come for catcher Eric Haase.
“I get chills just thinking about it,” said the Dearborn Divine Child and Livonia Resident product. ‘Ever since they said I was traded here, it was in the back of my mind.
“To be able to put on that uniform today is going to be great.”
The Tigers called up Haase from the Toledo alternative training center on Tuesday and chose Grayson Greiner, who struggled offensively all season.
Haase has worked very, very hard, said manager Ron Gardenhire. We gave him a chance here. Went to activate him and see what he can do.
Haase, who bought the Tigers from the Indians this off-season, was with the team for most of the year and served as the additional catcher for the taxi team.
It’s a bit different as I’ve had the chance to be with these guys pretty much all year round, said Haase, 27, who played in 19 games with the Indians for the past two seasons. I’ve been on every road trip, practiced a lot. I feel like the adjustment on the guys has to be pretty seamless.
I’m just excited to get out there and play a game.
Lake:Tigers recover Niko Goodrum, keep Willi Castro at short stop for the time being
He also caught every starting pitcher pregame bullpen, warmed up every reliever on the road, and participated in all pitching meetings. There is not much that will surprise him other than the fact that he has to pitch live.
That was the hard part, he said. Fortunately, when the team was home, I went to Toledo and got at-bat as much as I could with the pitching that was still there. I have stayed as sharp as possible.
Haase showed surprising strength in Lakeland, hitting two homeruns way out of the eye of the batter in midfield. He also stole the show during a pregame batting practice session at Target Field earlier this month. On the last swing of the day, he hit a ball deep into the third deck.
I haven’t had 100 wear and tear on my legs, he said with a laugh. I am pretty fresh. I really didn’t think about it until everyone started screaming. It was BP’s last swipe and they made it a bigger deal than it was. ‘
Tough pill for Greiner
Haase also had a lot of empathy for Greiner.
I’ve been exactly where he’s been for the past three years, Haase said. It’s never easy.
After finishing strong in September a year ago, Greiner couldn’t break free on the record. He was 6-for-51 with 20 strikeouts.
He had some good swings, but he was struggling, Gardenhire said. Hopefully he will go there and gain a little bit of confidence.
Haase switched between Triple-A and the major leagues the past two seasons, and the year before between Double-A and Triple-A. He can imagine how difficult it would be to fight through a breakdown if you don’t get regular batons.
I’ve had a lot of experience with this throughout my career, he said. I’ve been an everyday kid, I’ve been a backup, I’ve had the experience of getting off the IL after two months and trying to play, I’ve played once a week. My career has actually been a rollercoaster ride.
Just like for Greiner.
You share a clubhouse with a man, you root for them, Haase said. But we have no control over all changes to the schedule. Playtime, it’s something you deal with no matter what you get. None of that is in your hands and I think we all realize that.
We always worked for each other. But when I get the chance, it doesn’t matter what that (other) guy has done before. That must be my chance and vice versa.
Wither Jake Rogers
The obvious question, with Haase coming up, is what’s going on with the club’s most catchy prospect Jake Rogers?
He’s doing well, said Gardenhire. I am sure he is frustrated. But Haase is in the taxi all the time. He has experience and we want to check him out. We all know where Jake will be next year, he will definitely be with us.
But we want to see what we have in Haase, that’s what Al (Avila, general manager) was talking about. We also want to give Haase a little love and show him some action. He has done everything we asked.
Around the horn
The Tigers expected to meet left-wing Royals Danny Duffy on Tuesday. Instead, they discovered just hours before the match that they would be dealing with right-hand man Jakob Junis instead.
It turns out Duffy missed the team’s flight to Detroit. Gardenhire laughed when asked if that posed a problem. The Tigers have five switch hitters but no natural left-handed hitters. There is not much to change in terms of matchup.
Royals at Tigers
First pitch: Wednesday 7:10 PM, Comerica Park, Detroit
TV / radio: FSD / 97.1
RHP Brady Singer (2-4, 4.66), Royals: He was four outs away from a no-hitter in his last appearance in Cleveland and gave up a single with two outs in the eighth to Austin Hedges. He struckout eight and walked two batters in eight full innings. In his previous four starts, however, he was updated 15 points in 20 innings.
LHP Tarik Skubal (1-2, 7.27), Tigers: He comes from a cheeky 67-height, two-inning outing in St. Louis. He eventually gave up only three basehits, but four walks led to six runs. That continued his strongest outing of the season and kept the Twins one run in six innings at Target Field.
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