Archive for the 'Tigers' Category

Tigers First Series

The overall reaction to the Tigers opening week was good, good not great. How could you consider it great if you are playing the team anticipated to finish last in the division.  The Tigers were lucky enough to win the game that Zach Greinke, which even with Verlander on the mound is impressive.  Don’t get to happy though the Tigers relied on beating  up on the week bullpen on Kansas City to win the first game of the season. As for the second game of the season the Tigers were not as fortunate in the second game of the season. After evening the score in the 9th and taking the lead in extra innings Valverde blew a save to end the game. The last game was very interesting on paper because of the fragile Dontrelle Willis would be taking the mound. Willis had everyone holding their breath when he walked the first two batters of the game. Unlike old Dontrelle he didn’t fall apart and ended up throwing a good game.  Detroit ended up rallying late in the game to give the Tigers the win.

Reaction to Players:

Dontrelle Willis: Like I said before Willis was the biggest question mark entering the season. His first start showed that he has the potential to be a solid pitcher in the rotation for the year. Don’t get carried away, this is only one start and Willis has had good starts before breaking down later in the season. I hope that this is how he will pitch all season not just for the Tigers but for himself.

Verlander and Scherzer: Pitched how they are supposed to. There is not much to say about this topic they are good and they  pitched well.

The position players are very hard to analysis after one series, one player may be batting 500 and finish the season just about 200, we can still get some implications on how people will play.

Damon: Has not looked very good in this series, he is only batting a buck fourteen, but what is worse is he hasn’t been advancing runners when he has the opportunity.   I am not too worried about him, he should end up having a good season, he is a veteran who will get on base.

Cabrera: Looks like he is off to a great start. I highly doubt that he will shatter the batting record by continuing to bat 571, but hopefully it is a sign of things to come. Once again he is a player that is good and expected to play well which he has.

Jackson: Has lived up to the hype and in my opinion, he has exceeded it. I don’t expect him to hit 300 or anything like that, but i feel as if he is capable.  Jackson not only has the pressure of being a rookie and playing for a new team, but to somehow replace Granderson. I feel as if he will never replace Granderson they are completely different people even though their playing style and skin color are similar. Jackson has impressed me greatly and I already can call him a Tiger,


Tigers Playoff hopes?

Robertson trade

Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The largest debate amongst Tiger fans this offseason was what the rotation would look like at the begging of the season. One week before opening day it is obvious who will be in the lineup after Robertson was traded. I will talk about the rotation but first I will talk about the specific trade.

First off I really don’t get this trade unlike Rob Otto. When I first heard this trade I figured it was a dump of salary because Robertson was making a hefty (and undeserved) $10 million.  This isn’t the case however; Detroit will be paying $9.6 of the $10 million. Jay Voss is still a young player but he is not a top of the league type of prospect. He may be eventually be a major league player but he will never be a closer or setup guy.

Although there was a debate at who was going to get the 5th spot in the rotation this was not due to the fact that there was big pool of talent, but instead a lack of talent. Robertson didn’t do anything special during spring training; Dontrelle’s statistics were actually more impressive.

The Rotation:

Ok; here we go. Obviously we will have the staff ace Justin Verlander. Verlander was in the running for the Cy Young last leading the AL in strikeouts.  We have very little to worry about him, he may not pitch as well as last year but he is still an elite pitcher.

Rick Porcello will be an interesting player to watch next year. Porcello looked great as a rookie especially for only being 20. Rick’s innings were limited for the most part last year but he looked great at the end of the season when they allowed him to pitch 7 instead of 5 innings. I don’t anticipate a sophomore slump but it is always possible.

Max Scherzer is a great addition to the young pitching staff of the Detroit Tigers; the only negative is that he doesn’t pitch left handed. Scherzer is still young at 25 and hopefully will have his most productive year with the tigers.

Bonderman has never quite recovered from his shoulder injury that stunted his once promising career. The good news is that his velocity has risen this year from the last couple into the low 90’s, but still significantly lower than when he looked close to an all-star pitcher. This is a make or break year for Bonderman who is entering his last year of his multimillion dollar contract.

Dontrelle has had similar issues a Bonderman but with his mind not his body.  After winning the rookie of the year and coming in second for the Cy Young Willis has fought anxiety disorders inhibiting his production on the field. The great news is that he is throwing strikes and his velocity is topping out around 90. I wouldn’t get my hopes up though because we have heard this all before. The true test for Willis is when the bright lights are on him during the regular season.

Eddie Bonine could possibly replace Willis as the fifth starter. Bonine had limited work during the season last year but was fairly impressive.

Good Luck Curtis Granderson

What first was seen as a “fire sale”, the trade of Curtis Granderson has taken on a new light after the singing of closer José Valverde and Johnny Damon. The question remains than; why did they trade Granderson at all?
The answer to me is simple: Granderson reached his max potential with Detroit. Coming up through the minors Granderson was never a highly ranked prospect. Don’t get me wrong this doesn’t mean Granderson wasn’t and isn’t a good player his progression just vastly exceeded original expectations. I feel that the Tiger’s organization felt like it was better to trade Granderson while he still had high value across the league. This was a move for the future of the organization and we will see if it is deemed a success by how Scherzer and Austin Jackson pan out for the tigers.

September 30, 2009 – Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images North America)

My prediction for Granderson is that he will have an exceptional year with the Yankees:
1. Last year Granderson showed to have a considerable amount of power playing in a pitchers park. He will be moving to the new Yankee Stadium where balls seem to be flying out.
2. Granderson will be able to find a comfortable spot in the batting order. He will no longer have to be the leadoff hitter.
3. Granderson will be surrounded by one of if not the best lineups in baseball.
4. Granderson will have new coaches that may be able to teach him how to bat against left handers.
5. Granderson has one of the best personalities in all of baseball; I believe he will flourish in the pressure cooker of New York City.
Regardless of how his future career progress, I wish Granderson the best of luck even though he plays for the hated Yankees. It will be sad to see the “Who’s your Tiger?” commercials without Granderson in them anymore. To me Granderson will always be my Tiger.