After ‘slow’ start, Jeimer Candelario’s offensive progress no surprise to Tigers’ Ron Gardenhire

Detroit News

Detroit — This really doesn’t surprise manager Ron Gardenhire.

The way Jeimer Candelario has been hitting this season, particularly of late, doesn’t shock Gardenhire given Candelario’s history.

“He’s kind of doing what he’s done at other places,” said Gardenhire, noting Candelario’s success in the Dominican leagues and early in Candelario’s minor league career. “He’s carrying it over here now in this league, Major League Baseball.

“He’s a confident young man.”

Candelario entered Tuesday’s game hitting .313, with four home runs, 19 RBIs and an .890 OPS. But in recent weeks, few Tigers have been any better offensively.

In the last seven games, Candelario was hitting .375 (nine hits in 24 at-bats) with a .500 slugging percentage.

Over the last 15 games, Candelario was hitting .358 with a .566 slugging percentage and nine RBIs.

Over Candelario’s last 30 games, he has driven in 19 runs and hit a robust .351 (39-for-111).

He’s been steady and productive, and is utilizing his natural ability to hit.

“He started out a little bit slow, but he’s real confident,” Gardenhire said. “You can see he’s not questioning things as much, like looking back at the umpire. It’s not bothering him when it’s not going good.

“He’s just a very confident young man who has a great swing. We all know that and he’s putting it into play. That’s what you expect out of him. When you have a few guys doing that, when guys get on a roll, it carries your baseball team and Jeimer is one of them for sure.”

More: Healthy, rested Ron Gardenhire returns to Tigers after ‘tough couple days’

While Candelario has been on his hot tear, Gardenhire has made it a point to stay clear of his young player as much as possible.

“I don’t get into the technical things,” Gardenhire said. “Normally, if you’re a good manager, you don’t even ask those questions. That’s what you want to see, you want to get on a roll and let it fly and not to get into their heads.

“Hitting coaches are the same way. Just do the same things you’ve been doing. He’s figuring out a lot of things right now and he’s feeling good. He’s a big part to our success.”

Break time

On the flip side, Gardenhire felt it was a good time Tuesday to give young third baseman Isaac Paredes a breather.

Sergio Alcantara replaced Paredes in the lineup.

Paredes is hitting .174 (8-for-46) with one home run and six RBIs. Coupled with a .255 on-base percentage, the frustration appears to be mounting.

“You could see he was frustrated (Monday),” Gardenhire said. “Having pitches called on him, the kid knows the strike zone. He’s getting pitches called on him which might be off the plate a little bit and a rookie has to take it. He might be getting frustrated.”

Gardenhire’s plan was to talk with Paredes before Tuesday’s game and calm the youngster down.

“What happens in the big leagues is you face a lot of great pitchers and you’re a kid,” Gardenhire said. “You have to handle them (certain called strikes) better and not let them ruin your at-bat. You have that conversation with all kids.”

Around the horn

The Brewers have irritated some teams this season with their relief pitchers banging and creating noise in the bullpen.

Gardenhire doesn’t mind that stuff but would if it happened in the dugout.

Most teams have been suspicious of any sort of dugout antics, given the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal.

“In the bullpen if they’re hooting and hollering, I don’t care about that. Let them have their fun,” Gardenhire said. “It’s a little more dangerous in the dugout. When they start (in the dugout), I get a little nervous about that.”

…Gardenhire said Harold Castro (hamstring) was close to returning to the lineup but had a setback with tightness in his other hamstring.

Brewers at Tigers

First pitch: 1:10 p.m. Wednesday, Comerica Park, Detroit

TV/radio: FSD, YouTube/97.1


RHP Corbin Burnes (2-0, 2.35), Brewers: Burnes has been impressive, striking out 53 in just 38⅓ innings, with a 1.04 WHIP. In his last start, Burnes allowed one run and three hits over six innings at Cleveland.

LHP Matthew Boyd (1-5, 6.64), Tigers: Boyd hopes to build off last week’s start against Minnesota in which he allowed four hits and two runs while striking out eight and walking none in six innings. He has only allowed three earned runs over the last 12 innings.

Twitter: @tkulfan

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