DETROIT -- Just prior to the All-Star break, Tigers manager Jim Leyland named Jhonny Peralta as one of three players -- the others being Ryan Raburn and Delmon Young -- who needed to make more of an impact for the team to get rolling.Peralta, who hit .246 in April and .241 in May, started well behind his pace from 2011, when he hit .279 and .354 in those months on his way to being named an American League All-Star. It seems, at least for now, Peralta's responded to the manager. Over the past month and a half, Peralta is batting exactly .300 and although his average still sits at .266, he's raised it nearly 30 points. "I started really slow and everything," Peralta said. "It happened to a lot of the players and I never gave up. I try to keep working hard every day and be positive. And that's what I'm doing right now. ... I try to look at the ball better, how the pitcher throws to me. And I hit a lot of balls good and everything. Sometimes [I didn't have] a lot of good luck. But I feel good." One aspect of his game that hasn't quite come around is the home runs. Peralta hit 21 last season and is well off that pace with six through 91 games. However, the shortstop is trying not to concern himself with power. "I know I don't hit home runs like last year, but I don't try to worry about it too much," he said. "We have a lot of guys that can hit the ball. I try to forget about home runs and try to hit for average." There wasn't much happening with the Tigers' offense Tuesday as they were shut out for the first time in 158 games. But with a single in the seventh inning, Peralta extended his hitting streak to seven games. He's 10-for-24 (.417) with three doubles, two home runs and all eight of his RBIs in July during that span. Despite being 1-for-14 with seven strikeouts vs. Angels southpaw C.J. Wilson, who got the start on Wednesday, Peralta was penciled into a lineup that featured a number of regulars getting a day off. Quintin Berry, Alex Avila and Ramon Santiago all sat, being replaced by Raburn, Gerald Laird and Danny Worth.
Turner will start for Smyly on Sunday
DETROIT -- After getting roughed up and lasting only two innings in Tuesday night's 13-0 loss to the Angels, it was unknown if right-hander Jacob Turner would be given another start in the Majors. That, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said, hinged on the health of Drew Smyly. On Wednesday, Leyland said it was determined the injured left-hander would not be ready."[He's] not good enough to pitch Sunday," said Leyland of Smyly, who is on the 15-day disabled list due to a right intercostal strain. Therefore, the skipper named Turner the starter in the series finale against the White Sox. Turner is ranked by MLB.com as the Tigers' No. 1 prospect. His first start of the season was promising, as he held the defending World Series champion Cardinals to one run in five innings. His second start didn't go well, as the Angels pegged the 21-year-old for six hits and seven runs. Turner is happy to get another opportunity. "Anytime I can go out there and throw, it's good," Turner said. "You don't want to go out there and do what I did last night, but at the same time, it's going to happen in this game." For Smyly, he continues to experience discomfort in his right side. His injury sprang up in the fifth inning of a 10-strikeout performance against the Royals on July 6. He remained in the game, but it was determined the following day that he'd need a stint on the DL, his second of the year. "It's just the same thing. ... Nothing's changed since I went on the DL," Smyly said. "It's gotten a lot better, but it's still just like a nagging injury. You can't rush it or it will come back like what happened with [Doug] Fister earlier this year. You got to make sure it's gone first, so I'm taking all precautions." Smyly will be eligible to come off the DL on Sunday, but that's obviously out of the question with Leyland naming Turner as his starter. After Sunday, the next time the rotation comes around to Smyly's turn would be July 28. But Leyland wouldn't pencil him in for that yet. "I can't really tell you. I don't really know," said Leyland about when Smyly will be ready. "This is going to get to the point where he's going to miss his second start. Is he going to have to then go out and pitch somewhere [on a rehab assignment]? I don't know right now." Smyly hopes that won't be the case. He's already been forced to miss time his rookie season with a blister on the middle finger of his throwing hand. However, drawing from Fister's experience, he knows he can't push it. "I'm trying to get back out there as soon as I can," he said. "It's just something you can't rush. It's one of those things you could wake up tomorrow and it could feel better or it's still nagging right there. You just don't know."
Tigers win extra pick in Draft lottery
DETROIT -- After being hamstrung by the new financial restrictions of the First-Year Player Draft last month, the Tigers just picked up a huge benefit of the new rules, winning an extra pick at the end of the second round of next summer's Draft thanks to the Competitive Balance Lottery.The lottery was set up in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement to provide a new avenue for smaller-market teams to compete against the big boys by awarding an extra Draft pick to 12 teams. Despite the fifth-highest payroll in baseball, the Tigers were among eight teams in the mix for a pick after the second round, thanks to Detroit's market size being outside the top 15 teams in baseball and the small amount of revenue-sharing money they received last year. The ping-pong balls drawn Wednesday fell in the Tigers' favor, giving Detroit the last of the 12 picks awarded. Depending on how many free-agent-compensation picks are doled out this coming offseason, the selection should fall somewhere in the mid- to late 70s in the overall order. By comparison, the Tigers didn't make their first pick in last month's First-Year Player Draft until the 91st overall selection. They didn't come up in the 2011 Draft until the 76th pick. In those drafts, the Tigers lost their first-round picks thanks to signing free agents under the old rules. Now, not only did they gain a pick, it could help them gain another big-name player if they need an extra trading chip. Unlike other Draft selections, the picks awarded through the lottery are tradeable, allowing teams to deal draft picks for the first time. Moreover, they're tradeable now for actual players, giving the Tigers an extra enticement leading up to the Trade Deadline. In many ways, it's like an extra prospect the Tigers can deal without taking away from their current farm system. It's not only about the pick, but the extra Draft spending that comes with it. Even if another team isn't intrigued by where the pick falls, that team could sign a player under slot for that spot and use the money saved on other picks.
Anthony Odoardi is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.