What should Tigers do with Garcia, outfield

In Hitters on June 9, 2013 at 7:26 am

The Tigers have an interesting decision to make with regards to their outfield makeup coming up in a few days. For about the past month, centerfielder Austin Jackson has been on the disabled list with a bum hamstring.

Over the past few days, he has been able to resume “baseball duties,” whatever that is, and should head down to Toledo this coming week for three or four games of shaking the cob webs off. In the meantime, Avisail Garcia has done a nice job of replacing Jackson, hitting .291with a pair of home runs and doubles as well as 10 runs batted in. To my untrained eye, he looks like he is ready for a full-time gig in Detroit.

Until the past few games, left field seemed like it might become his new home. Andy Dirks, who is one of my favorite Tigers, has been in a hitting fun for some time. But he has had two nice games in a row against Cleveland, shot his average back up over .250 and probably done enough to keep his job.

For now.

Aside from Garcia, top prospect and Toledo left fielder Nick Castellanos is officially ripping the cover off the baseball. He is hitting .356 over his last 30 games and overall is at .295 with 10 home runs and 34 RBI. Very good numbers, especially when you consider Nick is the ripe old age of 21.

In most other towns, it would be enough to get him called up and given an everyday job. In Detroit under Jim Leyland? Not so much. The same can be said for Garcia. He almost assuredly will be the odd man out when Jackson returns, heading back to Toledo even if he deserves to stay.

Garcia or Castellanos, in my opinion, should be in Detroit over Don Kelly, who is batting a massive .190 with two home runs. He’s a bench player, so you could argue that his offensive numbers aren’t ultra important. Kelly does, in fact, play excellent defense at any of the outfield spots and can certainly hold his own at third base and first base.

For me, it’s not enough.

The Tigers offense is good and can be spectacular at times, especially when Victor Martinez is hitting. But they’ve also been shut out six times this year because of their heavy reliance on Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. If one of them isn’t hitting a two-run bomb, Detroit struggles.

The point is, Garcia or Castellanos give the Tigers another decent bat. If you’re a little creative with the lineup, one of them could play three to four games per week. That would mean sitting Dirks against lefties, resting Hunter with days off or at DH. It could work.


Nick Castellanos

As I said though, knowing  Mr. Leyland, he won’t do any of that and the Mud Hens will have two-third of a Major League outfield. Meanwhile, Kelly will continue to receive Big League paychecks he doesn’t deserve.

Are the Tigers good enough to win the World Series?

In Misc. on June 7, 2013 at 6:29 pm

I got into a little pissing match today on a Detroit News thread about the Tigers. Tony Paul wrote an article that said, basically, the Tigers are more than good enough as constructed to win the American League Central. I posted a little analysis that sparked debate:

Scott: You’re right, Tony, the AL Central stinks. At this point, winning another Division title doesn’t mean much to me as a fan. I want a World Series championship. Period. That’s the perspective I view this team with, and, in that regard, there …are big problems. They don’t hit good pitching. The offense, in fact, is pretty sporadic despite its lofty totals. The bullpen isn’t good enough and the bench is thin. The Tigers will win around 90 games and take the Central, but unless they get bullpen help (and I mean more than just Dotel’s return), and some consistent production from VMart and the OF, a World Series win isn’t happening.
Folks had some interesting responses:
  • Dave Holzman Scott, yes the offense is sporadic. That’s what happens when you put a bunch of sluggers in the lineup. But don’t hit good pitching? They just rocked Matt Moore 2 nights ago. Thin bench? Who cares? Who you gonna take out of that lineup to pinch-hit?
  • Scott Daniel Moore self-emoded, Dave, with what, six or seven walks?
  • Scott Daniel Imploded, that is. Good thing I was a copy editor.
  • Gerald RT Good pitching is good pitching because it’s not easy to hit. As far as the bench being thin, Avisail Garcia, Brayan Pena, and Tui have all been very relevant contributors so no problem there. I agree that the bullpen is worrisome but that’s my only real worry at this point.
  • Beth Kostecki And of course it couldn’t possibly be that one of the reasons Moore imploded is because the Tigers were hitting off of him. If they don’t hit, they’re bad. If they do hit, it’s because the pitcher was bad. They just can’t win.
  • Matthew Weeks for every rocked matt moore I can give you 2 games where they didnt hit a good pitcher and another where they made a bad pitcher look great,Tigers ran up stats vs Houston. Take Houston number out and Tigers are a game or 2 over 500.Not even close to title worthy
  • Beth Kostecki Matthew Weeks — another genius heard from.
  • Matthew Weeks Beth Kostecki  take out Houston the worst team in history of baseball,Tigers are 2 games over 500,thats a FACT,you can spin however you would like,all your smartass comments do not change the fact that Tigers are overwhelmingly AVERAGE
  • Beth Kostecki So now only certain games count in a team’s record? I missed it when that rules change was announced.
  • Scott Daniel Are the Tigers any better right now than they were when the Giants swept them last fall? No. If they were not good enough then, why would you have confidence in a different outcome?
  • Beth Kostecki Scott Daniel, that is ignorant on so many levels that I don’t have the time or desire to explain.
  • Matthew Weeks Beth is the moron,and its not even close. She sits around with her foam finger Tiger Paw watches all the games in her Tiger chair thru her Rose colored Tiger glasses,talking with someone like that is pointless,a sheep is a sheep,cant think for themselv…See More
  • Matthew Weeks and I am not an English major so correcting my grammar also does not make Tigers better than average,as much as you wish it did
  • Scott Daniel Hey, don’t get me wrong, I want the Tigers to win. I would just feel better about their chances if they traded for a new closer and stopped relying so much on two run homers.
  • Dave Holzman Aren’t the good teams like the Tigers supposed to beat up on the Astros?
    What are your thoughts, Tigers’ Nation?

Tigers interested in Papelbon?

In Pitchers on June 2, 2013 at 11:06 am

According to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, the Tigers are one of several teams interested in Phillies’ closer Jonathan Papelbon:

The Phillies have another interesting piece in Jonathan  Papelbon and if they decide they are retooling, they probably don’t need a top closer.  Several baseball people say the Tigers would be a tremendous fit for Papelbon since pairing him with that starting rotation would be rather formidable.

Papelbon isn’t a spring chicken anymore at age 32. But he appears to have a lot more left in the tank than the Tigers current closer, Jose Valverde. Thus far, Papelbon has 11 saves for the Phillies and an ERA of 1.31. He has posted 37, 31 and 38 saves over the past three seasons.

Getting Mr. Paplebon would, no doubt, come at a stiff price. Probably something along the lines of Bruce Rondon and Nick Castellanos. To me, this is a no-brainer and you make the move sooner rather than later.

Let’s face it. The Tigers have been struggling the past several weeks. While the American League Central isn’t a particularly tough division, you have several teams – Cleveland, Chicago and even Kansas City – that can and probably will make a push soon. The sooner Detroit can get its house in order, the better.

Papa Grande is clearly not the answer. Make the phone call Mr. Dombrowski and get ‘er done.


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