8/9/2014 2:30 P.M. ET
Fire alarm forces Tigers out of hotel in Toronto
By Jason Beck / MLB.com
TORONTO -- The Tigers had a quick turnaround here thanks to a day game Saturday after a night game Friday. They did not plan on that turnaround including an evacuation of their hotel.
When the fire alarm went off Saturday morning, however, it sent players and coaches alike scrambling. And since the elevators were shut down in case of a possible fire, they were scrambling for the stairs.
Someone is messin around at the hotel and now I gotta take 22 flights of stairs to the lobby!!! #comeonman- David Price (@DAVIDprice14) August 9, 2014
Price had a quick exit compared to his manager. Brad Ausmus' room is on the 33rd floor and he had to travel 35 flights of stairs, the manager said.
No, that doesn't add up.
"I couldn't get out at the lobby," Ausmus said.
Don Kelly, by contrast, had a quick trip from his sixth-floor room. He joked that he could've jumped into the pool below if there had been an actual fire.
Fortunately for them, the alarm went out shortly before 9 a.m. ET, so most of the team was already up. And the alarm is a common enough occurrence -- usually at least one a season -- that they're numb to it.
That said, usually alarms shut down quickly enough that the team doesn't have to evacuate.
"I've had alarms go off," Ausmus said, "but I've never had to go down the stairwell before. Usually when the alarm goes off, I ignore it."
Tigers tweak defense as batters adjust to shifts
TORONTO -- Brad Ausmus remembers the first time an opposing player bunted against an infield shift they put on. It was then-Angel Ian Stewart on April 20, and the two-out bunt single extended the first inning for a run to score off Rick Porcello.
Colby Rasmus became the second player to do it Friday night, laying down a leadoff bunt single to the left side while third baseman Nick Castellanos watched from short right field. It was just Rasmus' second bunt single all year, and the second time he bunted against the shift by the Tigers' scouting count, but it led them to change their defensive alignment for him from then on out.
It's the counterbalance Ausmus sees emerging as defensive shifts become more common.
"I firmly believe hitters are going to make an adjustment to this," Ausmus said. "Some already are."
Ausmus said he already has noticed a tweak in some shifts, with teams bringing shortstop in to guard against the bunt while he still tries to cover the left side of the infield on his own.
"Omar [Vizquel] and I, we've kind of felt that was the way to go," Ausmus said. "If you're going to shift and you're worried about a guy bunting, you bring the one [defensive] guy in and move him back with each strike."
Putkonen may be cleared to pitch this season
TORONTO -- Tigers long reliever Luke Putkonen still has a chance to be ready to pitch by season's end, according to head athletic trainer Kevin Rand.
"He's throwing with that in mind," Rand said of Putkonen, out since mid-April with right elbow inflammation.
Putkonen threw off a mound for the first time in his rehab process Friday, delivering a 25-pitch bullpen session that included only fastballs.
"Right now he's in a bullpen progression program, which has him throwing bullpens for the next two weeks," Rand said. "If everything goes well there, hopefully we'll see him to start to try to throw to hitters and go from there."
The tricky part, if Putkonen progresses well, will be the final step to get him back to game action. At this timetable, he'd be readying for a rehab assignment just as Minor League seasons are wrapping up in late August and early September. So to get Putkonen ready, the Tigers would most likely have to set up simulated games for him.