Tigers reviewing setup for first replay game

Tigers reviewing setup for first replay game

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Tigers are scheduled for their first trial run at baseball's new replay review system on Wednesday against the Yankees in an MLB Network broadcast. The crew in charge of replay challenges for the Tigers, however, isn't going to be there.

While that game is going on, defensive coordinator Matt Martin -- who will be in charge of looking at replays and deciding whether to challenge calls -- will be in Kissimmee with members of the video crew to meet with Major League Baseball officials for instructions on how the system will work.

"I'd like to [try the system], so we'll try to work it out," Ausmus said on Monday morning.

It wasn't exactly good timing, but Detroit is going to have at least a handful more games this spring to test out the system. Moreover, the club been preparing for it on its own since the Spring Training schedule began.

The Tigers set up a video camera pointed towards first base to get a look at potential close plays they encounter. They've also had the video crew save footage of replay challenges from other teams to look at how the process is working and calculate what percentage of calls so far are being overturned.

Detroit has not instructed players to play any different on the field in anticipation of replay, other than to make sure they make contact on tag plays. Though Rays manager Joe Maddon made headlines last week when he talked about instructing players to play past the third out in case of an out call being reversed, manager Brad Ausmus said they're not going that far yet.

"We've discussed it internally," Ausmus said. "We're actually in the process of waiting to hear an answer on a couple of those things from instant replay officials. A couple of those points that Joe brings up are valid points, but ... I don't know how you can expect the player to get the fourth out. It's not baseball nature to get the fourth out.

"We want to get answers to some of those questions. We haven't gotten them yet. But when we get them, then we're going to have a discussion with the players about it. Because there are cases I think where you have to make the players aware of replay so that play doesn't stop. I just think that's a very tricky area, to punish the defense for an umpire's mistake."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.