Break at end of season to serve Boesch well

Break at end of season to serve Boesch well

ARLINGTON -- Outfielder Brennan Boesch has gone through a rookie season in which he burst onto the scene with a two-month flurry, followed by a prolonged slump. He still leads American League rookies with 14 home runs and 63 RBIs. But he's also batting .146 in his last 15 games.

So the season's end approaching isn't a bad thing.

"It will be good for him to get away," Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "He'll be fine. I like him a lot."

Leyland said before Tuesday's season opener against Texas that he hasn't lost faith in Boesch. The 25-year-old was on the bench for the second time in three games, with the Tigers facing Rangers left-hander Derek Holland on Tuesday night.

"He can run, he can throw, he can hit with power," Leyland said. "There was a stretch there arguably where he was producing better than anybody in baseball for about two months. When we had him and Magglio [Ordonez] and [Miguel] Cabrera all going there at the same time, we were pretty good."

Leyland spoke like a veteran manager when he was asked about Boesch's status for next season.

"He'll compete for a spot," Leyland said. "Whether he gets it is up to him."