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Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski on D&C: ‘Tremendous’ Jose Iglesias ‘going to be our shortstop for years to come’

09.02.13 at 10:51 am ET
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With the Tigers set to open a three-game series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Monday, Tigers president/ CEO/general manager Dave Dombrowski joined Dennis & Callahan guest hosts Butch Stearns and Gordon Edes to discuss his team’s success and the recent three-team trade that landed him shortstop Jose Iglesias from Boston.

Iglesias was sent to Detroit in the deal that brought Jake Peavy to Boston from the White Sox, and the defensive standout has continued to swing a hot bat, with a .292/.344/.360 line through 28 games with his new team.

“Jose’s been tremendous for us. He really changes our ball club, as you know, over here,” Dombrowski said. “He’s an outstanding defensive shortstop. He really changes the middle of the diamond. We have a lot of good pitchers, and some of them live with the ground ball, and so his range helps us appreciably — so quick out there.

“He’s also hit well enough. He’s continued to hit over .300 for us, and has gone through a little bit of a downtime period, but he’s come back and done well. He does a lot of little things for us as far as bunting, he can move the ball around, he can steal a base — he did steal a base the other day for us. He’s still working on those skills, but he can really run the bases well. So, for us, we really like what he brings for us. He’s going to be our shortstop for years to come.”

Miguel Cabrera was held out of the Tigers’ last two games with a groin injury, but Dombrowski is hopeful the reigning American League MVP will be able to play in this matchup of the top two teams in the AL.

“They’re working on it, he felt appreciably better yesterday,” Dombrowski said. “I think the one thing we’re going to do with him this time is we want to make sure from even his own perspective that when he gets back out there, that he’s running better than what he has in the past. We would think that he’ll most likely play in this series here at some point. I’m not sure if it will be today, but I would think that would be the case.

“He’s coming along well, but we want to make sure that he is healthy and ready to go the rest of the season without any setbacks that are unanticipated.”

Looking at the Red Sox’ turnaround this season, Dombrowski said it’s not that surprising considering the talent on the roster.

“I think when we looked at them, we thought they were better than they were last year,” he said. “Sometimes you get on those rolls negatively or positively where you just don’t play quite as well. But we thought that their personnel was better than what they performed, so we were in a position where anything can happen.

“When you look at pitching, that’s the key. Now [Clay] Buchholz is out, but [Jon] Lester‘s throwing the ball better. Lester’s a better pitcher than he performed last year. And so you look at the rotation that they’ve had, and it’s much improved. So I think from their perspective, it does not surprise me that they have a better ball club. You know you’re going to battle from an offensive perspective from their club, ’cause they always can swing the bat. I think we all anticipated they’d be a much better team.”

To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Read More: Dave Dombrowski, jose iglesias, miguel cabrera,
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