Detroit The Tigers are pleased with the way Avisail Garcia has played so far. In particular, manager Jim Leyland likes the way he’s been aggressive at the plate. But he’s worried about him. “He has to get out of the habit of jumping at the bag (first base) on a ground ball,” Leyland said Wednesday of Garcia running to first. “Or he’s going to end up back on the disabled list.” It was a lunge at first near the end of spring training that bruised Garcia’s right heel so severely he spent a month on the DL. “We’ve told him 100 times, we talk to him every day about it, but it’s something he has to take care of himself,” Leyland said. “Sometimes it’s hard to get out of a bad habit.” The Tigers are more pleased with Garcia than concerned, though. “The biggest thing I’ve seen in Garcia, which I really like,” said Leyland, “is that he’s not passive to the ball anymore. “He’s been pretty darn aggressive and has let the bat fly.” That wasn’t the case last year. Garcia looked tentative at times, with good reason. At 21, he made the jump from Double-A Erie to the majors. He didn’t want to make a mistake. Now he’s a week away from his 22nd birthday — still young, obviously — but he’s much more at home in the majors. So he doesn’t hold back at the plate. “He’s turned the bat loose pretty good,” Leyland said. “And I’m really tickled to see that. It’s something we talked about last year, but he’s doing it quicker than I thought.” Al-Al update The good news about Al Alburquerque is he has 13 strikeouts in seven innings at Toledo. The bad news is the continuation of the reason he’s there: Lack of command. He’s walked seven in seven innings. In five appearance through Tuesday, he was 0-1 with one save and a 3.86 ERA. Speaking of control. Bruce Rondon occasionally battles his in Toledo. He went into Wednesday’s appearance with seven walks allowed in 20.2 innings, but came out of a 9-4 victory over Columbus after walking four and throwing a wild pitch in two-thirds of an inning. The run Rondon allowed bumped his ERA to a still-excellent 0.84 ERA. With Wednesday’s victory, in which Nick Castellanos hit his ninth home run, the Mud Hens are 21-40.
Tigers concerned about Avisail Garcia still lunging at first base
Detroit News | Jun 6