There seems to be quite a bit going on with the Tigers these days, and instead of padding my posting stats, I figured I would try to get to a few topics in one post. I certainly don’t want to talk too much about the current series against the Red Sox, as the Tigers haven’t played well enough to discuss the actual games. However, there are a few things going on of interest.
The Doug Fister Injury
I don’t want to overstate things, but that is exactly what I might be about to do. This injury is quite devastating to the Tigers. I don’t know how long Fister will be out, but I am guessing it is going to be at least a month. The Tigers are now going to be left with 2 rookies, 2 inconsistent performers, and Justin Verlander in their rotation. If the fans and front office were worried about the offense, that might pale in comparison to the starting rotation without Fister, who since he has been in a Tigers uniform has arguably been their best pitcher.
The flip side of the equation here of course is the excitement over getting to see what Casey Crosby can do. I just kind of wish it was the expense of someone else in the rotation.
Andy Dirks injury
Injuries suck. Especially when they are nagging and happening to one of your better offensive performers in a struggling offense. Dirks apparently is going to not be in the lineup tonight again, and will be replaced by the flat out terrible Don Kelly. This time for Dirks it appears to be an achilles problem, who has had issues with a sore hamstring this year. With the way things are going for the Tigers on the injury front, I wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up on a D.L. stint at some point for Dirks as well.
The Ryan Raburn Demotion
For the most part, this subject has kind of been beaten to death, by us, and by every Detroit Tigers site and fan around. The timing of the move made sense, and so did the reasoning. Raburn was awful, and needs to start getting some confidence back in Toledo so he can help contribute to the big league club. The Tigers need his bat. The demotion itself wasn’t strange, it needed to happen. What was strange about the Raburn move was his replacement.
The Tigers decided to call up a 3rd catcher to replace Raburn’s spot on the roster. While Omir Santos is certainly a right-handed hitter, he isn’t a very good one in general, and adding him doesn’t seem to make a ton of sense. Essentially they called up a guy that isn’t going to play very much at all. Meanwhile, you have Andy Dirks hurting, and Alex Avila hurting a little. A left handed hitter who could catch and maybe play some left field wouldn’t be a bad idea. Yep, Rob Brantly anyone?
The Corner Outfielders Not Named Andy Dirks
Delmon Young and Brennan Boesch just aren’t getting the job done. While both guys have seen a little bit of an uptick in production lately, neither is providing enough punch offensively to make up for the porous defense they play. In Young’s case, when Dirks is healthy, the Tigers have at least thankfully made Young’s time at DH more permanent.
Here is a potential solution. Carlos Quentin of the Padres. In fact, he kills two birds with one stone. One, he gives the Tigers some right-handed punch, and two, he is an upgrade offensively over at least Delmon Young if you don’t want to put him in the outfield. I’m not sure what it would take to get him, but he certainly would be a good that should be available at some point.
Umpires and Excuses
Let’s be honest. I am going to say what I saw, much to Jim Leyland’s delight. The Tigers certainly don’t seem to be getting the benefit of any calls when it comes to the umpiring crews. A couple of these calls might have even cost the Tigers a game or two. However, as players, you have to play through those things, and they know that. Doug Fister gave up a bunch of two out hits after the bad call the other day. That wasn’t the umpire. Phil Coke is hitting too much of the plate with 0-2 pitches. That isn’t the umpire either. This team right now looks as though it lacks mental toughness, and it’s starting to make the skipper snap on a regular basis.
Look around the league at some of the lineups other teams are running out there. Look at the Rays. They are near the top of the toughest division in baseball, and doing it without Desmond Jennings and Evan Longoria. Will Rhymes, Drew Sutton, Jose Lobaton, and Shawn Rodriguez are just examples of guys getting regular at-bats.
Bottom line. Nobody is going to feel sorry for the Tigers around the league. They need to figure out ways to improve the roster in the front office. Jim Leyland has to figure out ways to win games on the field. It seems to me that things are beginning to snowball, and not in the right way.
Tigers fine at 2nd base?
This obviously relates to the Ryan Raburn demotion. However, I wanted to put it in a separate topic. We all know the Tigers aren’t fine at 2nd base, but there really isn’t too much as far as options go out on the trade market, unless the Tigers are looking to move a big time player. I don’t see Martin Prado as an option, as the Braves are in the thick of things in the N.L. East. Any team that has a good offensive 2nd baseman is likely to want to keep them.
Maybe there is a way to pry Steve Lombardozzi away from the Nationals?