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Quintin Berry sparks the Tigers in Minneapolis on Friday night.
Minneapolis, MN- The Tigers received some good news when they learned that starting center fielder Austin Jackson’s MRI revealed that he is healing from an abdominal strain and no further setbacks are expected.

Jackson pushed his workouts to be ready for a return in Cleveland, but further pain landed him on the DL.  The hope is Jackson will be ready to come off the DL when he is eligible next Friday.  In the meantime the Tigers are cashing in an insurance policy.

Quintin Berry has paid his dues in the minor leagues and now he is paying dividends for the Tigers.  Jackson’s absence has created an opportunity for the career minor leaguer.  Berry was called up from Toledo to give the Tigers a legitimate leadoff hitter and some speed in the lineup.  After nearly 700 games in the minor leagues, the San Diego native is hanging out in a big league clubhouse for the first time in his career.

I didn’t take long for Berry to record his first big league hit.  It’s just that a bunt double is a unique way to do it.  Berry’s first hit in Cleveland will have to take a back seat to his third big league game on Friday in Minneapolis.  The speedy leadoff man had two hits, including a bunt single, a stolen base, an RBI, a walk and a run scored.  Not a bad night, and certainly his best so far in the major leagues.

A three game glimpse into what Berry can provide gave us an intriguing view of what speed is like in a lineup.  It’s a view Tigers fans are not used to.  Since Jim Leyland took over as skipper in 2006, speed has not been plentiful in the Tigers starting nine.  Mashers and run producers?  Yes.  Speed?  No.

The last Tiger to steal at least 40 bases in a season was Alex Sanchez in 2003.  Sanchez didn’t hang around very long, and the club has been built around power ever since. 

However,  Berry’s ability to spray the ball around and pressure the defense with his speed and base stealing ability has been fun to watch.  There is no telling how many bases he could steal in a full big league season because we don’t know if he would hit enough to play every day at this level.

We do know this though; he has a pretty good hitter in his corner.  Growing up in San Diego, the great Tony Gwynn became his mentor and eventually his coach at San Diego State.  Gwynn has given Berry the confidence to believe he can play every day at this level.  All anyone needs is a chance. 

For the next week at least, Quintin will get his.

 


Comments

Dave Beebe
05/26/2012 02:35

I would like to see QB on the team for the entire season, especially coming off the bench as a pinch runner. Perhaps moving DY down the road for prospects?

The Tigers need speed...

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10/12/2013 06:53

Thank you Dave for your mind.

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11/07/2013 06:43

You done certain good points there. I did a search on the subject and found nearly all persons will agree with your blog

05/28/2012 02:34

Yes me also like to see that entire session. Thanks for sharing.

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Joe Rudski
05/29/2012 11:55

Mario,
I think your game analysis and commentary are exceptionally well done. I have admired you and Rod for many years on FSD. Keep up the good work. Do you correspond by email via FSD? Sorry I don't twitter.

Best regards,

Joe Rudski

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Mike Felker
05/31/2012 20:24

Mario,

I wish I were able to hear more games with you broadcasting. You do an outstanding job, just like back in your days at MSU. I have a question for you. I heard an announcer comment that he thought Valverde had lost a little zip on his fastball compared to last year, and that he was trying to make his pitches too perfect. Thus, aiming the ball... Anyways, is that true or does it have more to do with his recent injury. Just curious, thanks

Mike

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Ruth Wayer
05/31/2012 22:28

Mario,
Though I enjoy you and Rod on tv, sometimes I think you don't think through your casual comments. Tonight you mentioned a player from 1974 and laughingly mentioned that you didn't remember him. Then you said that he only played in 50 games and that was probably why you didn't remember him. If he's still around and was listening, his feelings were probably hurt. It sounded as if he didn't matter much and you were mocking him a little. Just a heads up.

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07/01/2013 05:59

It is good to hear the news related to Austin Jackson and this is a great relief for Austin Jackson’s family and friends. Thank you for sharing this news related to Austin Jackson and hope he will recover soon and back on ground.

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07/22/2013 02:20

Thanks for sharing this with us. I am researching this topic for use in a future business I am thinking about starting

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After nearly 700 games in the minor leagues, the San Diego native is hanging out in a big league clubhouse for the first time in his career.

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