4/5/2014 8:00 P.M. ET
Kelly gets in some work against O's
By Chris Vannini and Matt Slovin / Special to MLB.com
DETROIT -- A day after recording the first RBI and extra-base hit of his career, third baseman Nick Castellanos was on the bench in favor of utility man Don Kelly on Saturday.
Manager Brad Ausmus' reasoning was pretty simple.
"It was more about getting Kelly into the game," Ausmus said. "You don't want guys on the bench for too long of a period of time or you can't count on them in a big situation. They have to get some at-bats. Nick didn't need a day off, but Kelly needed a day on."
The Tigers were off on Tuesday and had a rainout on Thursday. With two more off-days scheduled next week, Ausmus wants to get the role players in where he can.
"With all these off-days and the rainout, it could end up being that guys don't play for two weeks if you don't find them a spot to put them in," he said. "It's unfair to them to ask them two weeks into the start of the season to perform."
Kelly went 3-for-4 with an RBI triple in the Tigers' 7-6 win.
Ausmus consults with Torre about challenge
DETROIT -- Brad Ausmus has exchanged text messages with MLB executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre about his first unsuccessful replay challenge, and the two might meet up in Los Angeles when the Tigers are in town next week.
In Friday's win over the Orioles, Tigers shortstop Andrew Romine bobbled a toss on the exchange from his glove to his hand while attempting to turn a double play. The umpire ruled the runner safe at second base. Ausmus challenged that the runner at second was out.
After consulting with an official at Major League Baseball's replay operations center, the umpires confirmed the ruling on the field. Torre told Ausmus it was the right decision.
On Saturday, Romine said he knew this sort of confusion was going to come up.
"I can't necessarily say I was surprised, because I heard the discussion before the season started and how they were going to rule that," Romine said. "After watching the video, I was under the impression I had control of the baseball in the glove. But as far as the ruling and the wordage they're using, I don't know what they're saying -- if it needs to be transferred into the bare hand or not to have possession. There's a lot of confusion, apparently."
Ausmus made the case that the fielder can control the ball long enough in his glove and said plays of that nature need to be looked at more closely. But he knows replay is a "work-in-progress." Romine said it's something he'll have to adjust to, but he can't change the way he turns a double play.
"To me, in the game of baseball, I don't know if that's always when you have control," he said. "You can have control with the ball in your glove, but I don't write the rules. If they're changing them, that's something we're going to have to adapt to."
Krol impressive in first game with Tigers
DETROIT -- In his Tigers debut on Friday, reliever Ian Krol pitched a scoreless eighth inning, striking out one in the process, during Detroit's 10-4 win over Baltimore.
Krol, acquired in the trade that sent starting pitcher Doug Fister to Washington, is one of two left-handers in Detroit's bullpen, along with Phil Coke.
Krol's role figures to be highly specialized, considering right-handed hitters roughed him up during his rookie year last season. He held lefties to a .220 batting average, but righties hit .304 against him with an OPS of .957.
On Friday, he retired two righties -- Steve Pearce and Adam Jones -- before getting lefty slugger Chris Davis to fly out to left on an 0-2 count.
Krol had family in from the Chicago suburbs to watch his first game as a Tiger. He said that pitching with a power-packed lineup to support him is not entirely different than his season in the Nationals' bullpen.
"It's unbelievable to go from guys like Jayson Werth and [Bryce] Harper to another club with guys like Miggy [Cabrera] and Torii [Hunter]," he said.
• Ausmus said Victor Martinez will likely catch at some point during next week's road trip to face National League clubs in Los Angeles and San Diego, saying the Tigers need his bat in the lineup. He can also play first base, shifting Miguel Cabrera to third. Martinez caught three games last season.
Chris Vannini is a contributor to MLB.com. Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.