April 19, 2014

DETROIT -- Two teams, two different directions and thus two approaches to roster expansion come September.

The Detroit Tigers, who are still thinking postseason thoughts, and the Los Angeles Angels, who need a reset button to get back up to .500, are using September for their own circumstances.

According to general manager Al Avila, Detroit isn't going to bring up a player from the minors next month unless he can help the team win. Recently the Tigers might bring up a youngster just to expose him to major league life on and off the field.

The club will hold an internal meeting Tuesday to determine who comes up and whether they will be recalled on Sept. 1 or when minor league seasons end after Labor Day weekend.

"We won't be as high as we were last year," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think we were 38-39 last year.

"We definitely will add pitching depth. And definitely get another catcher up here. We will get some guys for Friday but exactly who they are ... we'll get some guys Friday and some the middle of next week."

Los Angeles will tinker with its starting rotation but Scioscia said he's not sure if that involves expanding the rotation or having newcomers dip in and out of as starters.

The Angels will look at starters they hope can help them at some point next season and give them starts so they can see for themselves what they need to work on to succeed.

"That's one of the advantages," Scioscia said. "You're going to bring up a young pitcher if you feel he's ready for the challenge and there's a role for him. If there is, I think a lot of those things you're talking about are positives. But we just want to see where we are."

Los Angeles is throwing another lefty against Detroit on Sunday, Tyler Skaggs (1-3, 5.70 ERA). Skaggs faced the Tigers at home in 2014 but did not get a decision. He pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed one earned run, striking out five.

Skaggs is making his seventh start of the season, fifth on the road. He has lost his last three starts.

Detroit's starter is right-hander Anibal Sanchez, who continues to fight for his rotation spot, as the Tigers seek to rebound from having their five-game winning streak stopped Saturday night with a 3-2 setback to the Angels.

Sanchez (7-12, 5.83 ERA) counts eight relief appearances among his 30 games when he takes the mound Sunday.

He has started five times against Los Angeles in his career and is 0-3 with a 4.11 ERA. He pitched against the Angels on May 31 but did not get a decision despite allowing six runs on eight hits in three innings.

Sanchez has a 1-1 record and 1.67 ERA in his last four home starts.

Manager Brad Ausmus has confessed to some scoreboard watching as the final month of the regular season

"I definitely look more now than I did," he said. "The first two months of the season I'll watch highlights of games, watch parts of games, but I don't look at the standings very often. Just a cursory glance every week or so.

"It's definitely more fun (now). Every game is important. You have a purpose for coming to the field. Last year our only purpose coming to the field was to finish out the season. And now we're coming to the field trying to extend the season."

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