If making a good first impression is important, then consider the very significant work of three Detroit Tigers' rookies on Labor Day.
With the game out of hand, the trio of Hernan Perez, Steven Moya and Tyler Collins could have given their at-bats away to simply get Detroit's 9-1 rout over Cleveland over quicker. Instead, they chose to continue grinding.
Perez started things off with a single. Then, Moya followed with a base hit of his own. Finally, Collins surprisingly blasted off to the deep center field shrubs with a home run, making the Tigers' margin a sizeable 12-1.
Entering the game, it figured to be a wise choice not to expect much out of all these players, regardless of how solid their numbers had been at various stages of minor league ball. But if the group was able to grind out at-bats late in a lopsided game, that should tell fans all they need to know about what to expect in September.
All three players showed mettle and focus. Getting anyone to bear down with the result out of hand is a tough challenge, much less rookies. These players, though, look like gamers, and the type the Tigers can depend on for a spark of excitement down the stretch. If nothing else, they won't give away time when they're called upon to contribute.
It's the type of attitude the Tigers have needed over the past few weeks, where scrappy play has been tough to come by at the plate, leading to several tough losses. Credit the newbies for coming in and establishing the proper tone for their time with Detroit.
Players like Moya, Perez, Collins and James McCann shouldn't be depended on for major production now, but when they enter the game, they should be counted on to scrap, run hard and have quality at-bats. If Sunday is any indication, they will be able to do that and more.
With one big inning with a game decided, the youngsters quietly proved why Detroit's future likely remains bright. They will not be pushovers for the Tigers this month whenever they're called upon.
Max DeMara is the editor of @tigers_101. Follow the site there on Twitter, or like it on Facebook to connect with him.
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