By Mike Harrington
Bisons manager Wally Backman loved Matt Tuiasosopo last year, constantly talking up the journeyman for a callup to New York that never came. But it turns out other teams were watching Tuiasosopo, who hit .242 with 12 homers and 57 RBIs in 131 games for the Herd.
The Detroit Tigers were apparently trying to trade for him late last season but couldn't get him until he signed a minor-league deal over the winter. Now Jim Leyland has decided that Tuiasosopo will start the year in Detroit, and not Toledo, as a right-handed option off the bench. Tuiasosopo hit .286 with four homers this spring and had a big bounceback -- including a home run off Stephen Strasburg -- after an 0-for-14 start
"I don't think anybody in here can disagree that this kid deserves a shot," Leyland said. "He's stung the ball. He's hit the ball out of the ballpark. He's hit the ball hard."