Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tigers cancel Boesch's ticket to Toledo, decide to "let him grind it out"

    How close did the Tigers come to shipping erstwhile rookie sensation Brennan Boesch back to to Toledo last week?
    Very close. In fact, as they say in boxing, it was a split decision.
    "It wasn't 100 percent send him down and it wasn't 100 percent keep him here," Jim Leyland admitted, in revealing the results of several clubhouse discussions and meetings involving the Tigers' manager, GM Dave Dombrowski and the coaching staff regarding the slumping freshman slugger.
    "What should we do? Do you want to send him out, relax him a little bit? Or do you let him grind it out?  Some people felt it was best to let him grind it out. Some felt it was best to send him down. What's best for the kid? There were several different opinions from people I respect. It goes to show you no one knew the answer."
    What the Tigers finally decided to do was to wait until the conclusion of last weekend's series at Comerica Park against the Los Angeles Angels.
    Then, if Boesch still looked lost at the plate, the Tigers would return him to the minors when they recalled Carlos Guillen.
    But Boesch, whose average had dipped from  .345 on July 4 to .282, went 2-for-9 with a home run against the Angels -- his first HR since June 27.
    That was enough to earn him a reprieve, at least temporarily.
    And Boesch rewarded that decision by collecting one hit in each of the Tigers' three games against Tampa Bay.
    So he is safe, for now.
    As the Tigers embarked on their road trip to Chicago and New York, Boesch was 7-for-29 in his last nine games after suffering through a 6-for-67 post-All-Star break slump.
    Maybe the worst is over. The Tigers can only hope.
    "I don't want him to be a deer in the headlights because we're not sending him down -- at least to my knowledge," Leyland declared.
    "You have mixed emotions because you want to do what's best for the kid. To be totally honest, I don't really know what the best solution is. It's a tough decision.
    "The only thing that helps develop a young player is time. In most cases it takes time.
    "For now we've decided to let him grind it out. I think it's best for the organization right now if we stay with him. I'll pick spots for him to let him breathe a little bit, but I want to see him grind it out. I don't want to tear the kid up. I don't want to hurt him in any shape or form. But I think he's relaxing a little bit now. I think he can handle it.
    "He's one for the future."
    But it is the present that the Tigers and their frustrated fans are most worried about right now.


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