Jake Rogers is known for his glove. To the growing chagrin of A.J. Hinch, the Tigers catcher is also known for his mustache. It's thick and bushy and curls like a caterpillar over his lip.
"I’ve tried to get him to shave it," Hinch said Thursday on the Stoney and Jansen Show. "I’ve offered to shave it for him."
Hinch was excited to summon Rogers from Toledo last week ahead of a series with the fleet-footed Royals. Excited until he remembered that thing on Rogers' face. During conversations about the call-up with quality control coach Josh Paul, Hinch joked that he'd approve the move on one condition.
"I was like, 'Look, I’ll agree to call Jake Rogers up. Your job is to get him to shave his mustache before he gets here,'" Hinch said.
But Rogers is loyal to his look. You can almost see him twirling the tips of his lip tickler when showed up in Hinch's office last Friday.
"When he came in I was like, 'Man, I was so hoping that was gone. I’m happy to see you because we’re about to play the Royals and these guys run all over the place and you can throw some runners out and play a little defense. But man, I don’t know how many times I can look at you with that mustache,'" Hinch said.
Fortunately for Hinch, it's mostly concealed behind Rogers' mask. And that's when Rogers is at his best. He flashed his defensive chops in Wednesday's win over the Royals when Jarrod Dyson tried to bunt for a single. Rogers pounced on the ball, twirled and fired a strike to first to nail Dyson by a step.
These are the kind of plays that were promised when the Tigers acquired Rogers in the Justin Verlander trade. The offense is a different story. He's 26 years old and has yet to hit at the big-league level.
"I know we gotta work on it," said Hinch.
Same with that stache.
"It's a tough look," Hinch laughed. "Every day I go see him I’m like, 'Jake, here’s the gameplan for today -- and can you please shave the moustache?"