CHICAGO -- The Tigers had been planning at some point for a matchup with White Sox left-hander Francisco Liriano for Wednesday night. They're now planning to see Gavin Floyd, 7-2 lifetime against the Tigers. In manager Jim Leyland's case, he's pondering his options.
Ryan Raburn has more hits off Floyd than anybody Leyland's got in reserve, but Raburn has looked miserable at the plate since his September return. Brennan Boesch has had no luck against Floyd, going 0-for-17 against him with six strikeouts, but he has left-handed power, which has killed Floyd this year with a .314 average and 14 home runs in 271 at-bats.
Then he has Avisail Garcia and Quintin Berry, two players who have never faced Floyd.
This is one case where Leyland won't be going with the numbers, at least not the batter-versus-pitcher numbers.
"I'm not going to play Raburn, even though he's hit Floyd in the past, because I just think he's sluggish," Leyland said. "I'm not going to play him. I think his leg's still sore. I noticed when he went to third [on Miguel Cabrera's hit Monday night] he was struggling with it. It looked like he was struggling moving a little bit in the outfield, to be honest with you."
The most likely scenario is that Boesch will start against Floyd. Leyland said Boesch will definitely start Thursday night against left-hander Chris Sale, which was another matchup he was juggling in his head. Boesch has been feast-or-famine off Sale this year, 2-for-8 with two home runs and five strikeouts.