DETROIT -- The latest batch of Tigers Draft picks just entered the farm system, but it's time for Detroit to stock its organizational talent once again, this time overseas. History shows the Tigers have used the international signing period to add talent as well or better than they've used the First-Year Player Draft.
This year's signing period begins Wednesday, and while the Tigers' MLB-assigned spending cap doesn't give them room for as many signings as they've had in past years, team officials appear optimistic of adding some talent in key areas.
MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez has the Tigers showing serious interest in at least one of MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects. Dominican teenage outfielder Julio Martinez, 19th-rated on the list, projects as a big, potential power-hitting outfielder, already listed at 6-foot-3 and 183 pounds at age 16.
The Tigers annually make a handful of signings out of Venezuela, preferring to spread out their spending cap over several prospects rather than tie most of their money into one top player. Changes to the spending rules limit how much they can do, but they're still expected to land a decent crop of talent.
Walk-off slam brings back memories for Jones
DETROIT -- The Tigers have had eight walk-off grand slams since 1938. Jeff Jones has a vivid memory of two of them.
He was the Tigers' pitching coach for Rajai Davis' game-ending drive to left Monday night to beat the A's. And he was the opposing pitcher who threw the ball Lance Parrish hit out on July 10, 1983.
Jones remembers that one like it was yesterday, too.
"I knew it as soon as the ball left my hand," Jones recalled.
That was about the only thing that went as expected for Jones that Sunday afternoon at Tiger Stadium. He was on track on start for the A's the next evening in Baltimore, if they didn't need him to pitch beforehand. When starter Chris Codiroli took a 3-0 lead and a two-hit shutout bid into the ninth inning, Jones' start looked safe.
An Alan Trammell walk and Lou Whitaker single brought the potential tying run to the plate and brought A's manager Steve Boros out for a pitching change. Neither of the two relievers who followed retired the batter they faced, and a catching error rescued Whitaker from a pickoff at second base.
With the bases loaded, including Jack Morris pinch-running for John Wockenfuss at third base, on came Jones to face Parrish. Two pitches later, he left a cutter over the plate, and Parrish drilled it out.
"It was way up in the upper deck," Jones said.
Jones did not start the next night in Baltimore. He ended up entering the game out of the bullpen anyway -- in the first inning.
Side soreness keeps V-Mart out of lineup
DETROIT -- Victor Martinez was held out of the Tigers' starting lineup again Tuesday night due to soreness in his side.
J.D. Martinez was slotted in as the designated hitter and batted cleanup for the second straight night as Victor Martinez continued to recover.
"He wanted to play yesterday," manager Brad Ausmus said.
Ausmus had been hopeful that Victor Martinez could start, but he wanted to see how batting practice went. Ausmus, Martinez and Tigers trainer Kevin Rand met after the slugger took some swings, making the decision to give Martinez another day off.
Prior to Monday, Martinez hadn't missed a game all season.
Reliever Krol set to begin rehab assignment
DETROIT -- Ian Krol, on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, will begin a rehab assignment as early as Friday, according to Tigers manager Brad Ausmus.
Ausmus said the location of Krol's rehab stint will be determined by the location of Detroit's farm teams. Triple-A Toledo is at Columbus on Friday. Class A West Michigan plays at Fort Wayne this weekend.
Krol will throw a bullpen session Wednesday and is eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday, when the Tigers host the Dodgers.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.