Tigers focused on games as Deadline looms

Detroit Tigers

With less than one week remaining before Saturday’s 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline, Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said his club has not gotten sidetracked by rumors from around the league. Detroit, he said, has remained focused on playing baseball.

“Guys are paying attention to what’s going on out there,” Hinch said. “It’s not a huge topic for us. … Especially the guys that get rumored about. You talk about bullpen pieces, or [Jonathan] Schoop gets talked about a lot. People wonder outside this clubhouse more than inside this clubhouse. Our guys that are being talked about are doing a good job of just playing the game and not making it a big deal.”

As one of the Tigers’ biggest offensive contributors this season, Schoop’s name has of course surfaced in rumors. Entering play Saturday, the versatile infielder has played 65 games at first base and 22 at second this season, slashing .290/.332/.806 and leading Detroit with 17 home runs and 60 RBIs.

Despite the rumblings, Hinch said Schoop told him that he wants to remain with the Tigers.

“The only thing he said about it is that he wants to be a Tiger,” Hinch said. “And I think that matters, and I appreciate his willingness to say that. He also understands the nature of the game. When you’re in the last year of your deal and you’re doing really well and teams want to hit on you and potentially acquire you, he’s made it perfectly clear that he wants to be a Tiger, and I think that matters.”

Castro hoping to bounce back after callup
Willi Castro is hoping his recent stint in the Minors is what he needed to power a successful second half. Castro was batting .214 in 74 games before being sent down July 16. He was recalled Thursday and homered on Friday, his first long ball since June 16.

Castro said he feels confident in his return to the big league club and hopes he continues to feel refreshed mentally.

“I think I had a lot of stuff in my head,” Castro said after Friday’s 5-3 loss to the Royals. “I think it was good. They do stuff for us to get better and I think it was good for me to go down there for a couple of days to get my mind right again. I just feel really good.”

Castro went 9-for-23 in five games with the Mud Hens.

Hinch said moments like Castro’s solo homer could be building points for the 24-year-old.

“He’s been very comfortable since he’s gotten back,” Hinch said Friday. “I think, hopefully, the send down just allowed him to take a deep breath and then collect himself and then come back up and contribute.”

Draft note
Detroit signed 13th-round Draft pick Chris Myers and 14th-round pick R.J. Petit to $125,000 deals, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis. The club has not confirmed the deal.

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