Apr 22, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila (13) before the game against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers Links: Improving the Bullpen, Alex Avila's Caught Stealing Rate, Rajai Davis' Value

Why Alex Avila can’t catch base stealers – HookSlide – Bless You Boys

But just how flawed is that “caught stealing percentage” stat? Does it take into account how quickly the pitcher is delivering to the plate? Does it take into account who is running? Does it take into account the kind of pitch thrown, whether that pitch even made it to the plate, or whether the catcher decided to challenge the runner with a throw?

The data below is enlightening, to say the least.

HookSlide gets out the stopwatch to see just how many times Alex Avila‘s pitcher has given him a chance to throw out base stealers.

5 reasons the Detroit Tigers might have difficulty trying to upgrade their bullpen – Chris Iott – MLive

The bullpen for the Detroit Tigers got off to a bit of a rough start this season. General manager Dave Dombrowski will certainly keep an eye out — as he always does — in an attempt to upgrade it.

But that is easier said than done. Here are five reasons the Tigers might have a difficult time improving their bullpen:

Chris Iott throws out five reasons why the Detroit Tigers may not be able to instantly improve the bullpen. Included are: good lefties can be hard to find, Toledo is barren, and external options such as Joel Hanrahan carry their own question marks.

Chad Smith promoted to Toledo, Tigers bullpen likely set for now – Jason Beck – Beck’s Blog

That void at Toledo was filled Monday with the promotion of right-hander Chad Smith from Double-A Erie. That restored the Hens roster to full strength and likely means the Tigers is bullpen — with both Miller and Ortega — is set, at least for the upcoming two-game series against the White Sox.

Detroit won’t need a fifth starter for something like eight days, so we’re looking at an expanded bullpen for a week or so. Note that expanded doesn’t necessarily mean better.

Tigers’ surging Rajai Davis might steal full-time job – Kurt Mensching – Detroit News

Davis has hit .353 with a .416 on-base percentage, both team-leading figures. He also has as many stolen bases in the first month of this season as Austin Jackson accumulated in all of 2013.

In terms of offensive wins above replacement, Davis has been the most valuable player in the lineup.

Kurt notes that Rajai Davis has been better than anticipated (he’s currently the team position player WAR leader) thanks, in part, to improved swing and contact rates. He (i.e. Davis) could be quite the bargain if he can keep it up.

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