Qunitin Berry (Photo: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE)

Random Thoughts Pre All Star Break


 

Alas, half of the 2012 baseball season is over, and as we all head to the All Star break, a few thoughts.

———-

Today’s Game

Tigers pitchers have thrown a lot of 1st inning pitches the last few outings, but in the long run of these games, it hasn’t hurt them. Max Scherzer appears to be coming around to consistency, posting a 7-1 victory and helping to sweep the Kansas City Royals out of town before they host this year’s mid-summer classic. Other mentionables? Delmon Young, hitting a 4th HR in as many games, Austin Jackson extending his hitting streak to a now career high 15 games, and a different direction of Prince Fielder‘s bat flip after he hit a moon-shot off of Tim Collins for a 3-run BOMB. Let’s not forget Jhonny Peralta either, who had multiple extra-base hits today, as the bottom of the Tigers lineup continues to contribute. That can only help the Tigers down the stretch… perhaps.

Delmon Young (Photo: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE)

Delmon Young

For those who follow me on Twitter, or in real life for that matter, I’ve been extremely critical of Delmon Young, pretty much all season. This will likely never change, no matter how many games in a row he hits a home run.

And the reason is rather simple: he’s a free swinger, no plate discipline-type baseball player; he’s brutal on defense, and as a professional with all these flaws, he’s in no hurry to adjust or adapt to any possible changes that could make his season/career better. Which in part is really confusing since he’s in a contract year. I go back to my words before the season even started: Delmon Young should be the DH, and burn his glove. To this point, that mantra has worked, even if it’s not technically what Delmon wants to do. Sad reality is, he’s making $6.75MM this season do at this point, go up and bat. Outside of the NL parks (thanks, interleague) he’s not played the field all that much, and in all reality, thanks to his recent hot streak, people have been starting to forget just how bad he can be on a regular basis.

Don’t get me wrong… a good Delmon Young offensively helps this team win, to be sure. I just hope that Dave Dombrowski turns a blind-eye when it comes to offseason consideration for Young, because he’s not good for the Tigers long-term, especially if one Victor Martinez comes back from his knee injury all nice and healthy.

Quintin Berry

Ahh, Quintin… such a hot button topic.

My thoughts earlier this season to his “not being an everyday player” are being turned into “I’m a hater.” So not true.

Even in regards to Delmon, who I can’t stand as a ballplayer or a person, if he helps the Detroit Tigers win games, then I’m all for him.

Quintin Berry is no different.

But that said, the little quirks in his game have to go. His defense has been improved: he’s not taken such horrible routes on baseballs hit to him (in order to fix himself and make a SportsCenter Top Plays type catch), his fielding of balls though hit to him out there on the ground still stands for improvement, and arm strength will likely still be an issue. My biggest issue with Quintin though, is his baserunning.

Yeah, his baserunning. But Mr. Displaced Tiger Fan dork, he’s the fastest man on the team!!!

That’s awesome. I’m glad he’s the fastest man on the team. Doesn’t make him a great baserunner.

Sure, he’s gone and made every stolen base attempt count, but situational basrunning is a lost art to Berry. Today, despite a 5-run lead, Quintin tried taking home on a wild pitch, but the ball wasn’t nearly far enough from home plate to warrant trying to score. I understand the aggressive nature, but just because you’re fast, doesn’t mean you can make every base, every time. If he’s on 2nd base, and a grounder to the short stop is something he’s running on (and he has), then he’s going to get thrown out almost every single time he tries for 3rd base.

Bottom line, don’t give away outs. No matter what.

I’m all for giving Quintin the playing time, especially since the Tigers need him thanks to that troublesome Andy Dirks achilles injury. But in the end, he doesn’t have the defense, the power, or the extreme fundamentals that will help this team to the next level. Doesn’t mean he won’t develop them, but so far, I’m not convinced. Oh, and practice your bunting… because you’re on a team that’s not built to manufacture runs, so the least you could do is be better at it.

American League Central

Surprise, a team I thought would go nowhere thanks to transition is, well… in first place.

Yes, the Chicago White Sox, a team I predicted would finish no better than 3rd place, thanks to their rookie manager Robin Ventura has proved me wrong… so far. A few key things are definitely sparking the pale hose: Chris Sale, Adam Dunn, Alex Rios. Sale has been rather unhittable out of the rotation, and despite the strike outs and low batting average, Dunn is killing the baseball like he once was, proving that he wouldn’t be the total punching bag that he was last season.

The Indians press on, but for how much longer? As of this moment, Chris Perez finally had some words to eat as he’s gone and blown the last game before the break. Will his regression (and mouth) continue through the 2nd half?

The Royals and the Twins will still be confusing to me. The Royals, still proving they still are relatively offensive, are rather enigmatic on the mound. The Twins are playing some prime trade bait on the field, but are seemingly okay with the status quo, which is a shame because their farm system is depleted. With Carl Pavano and Scott Baker out with injuries (Baker had Tommy John surgery earlier this season), you’d think dangling guys like Denard Span or Ben Revere… or even Josh Willingham for some prospects or other future considerations would be in their plans, but evidently it’s not the Twins way to do that, or they might be stocking up for the future.

———-

Enjoy the All Star break, folks… where we can all whine about how and why this game has to matter for World Series home field advantage, listen to the terrible commentary, and most of all: watch about half-a-roster from each league pretend they care at all about the outcome.

Onward, 2nd half…

———————

Follow me on Twitter, @DisplacedTgrFan.

Next Tigers Game View full schedule »
Friday, Aug 2222 Aug7:10at Minnesota TwinsBuy Tickets

Tags: American League Central Austin Jackson Chicago White Sox Cleveland Indians Delmon Young Detroit Tigers Jhonny Peralta Kansas City Royals Max Scherzer Minnesota Twins MLB Prince Fielder Quinitn Berry Victor Martinez