Who are Blaine Hardy, Chad Smith, and Pat McCoy? - Rob Rogacki, Bless You Boys
It isn’t often that new players slip by us. Even diehard fans were a bit perplexed last week when the Tigers made a trio of moves to bolster their bullpen, calling up three names that had largely flown under the radar. Most Bless You Boys readers have been clamoring for lefty Blaine Hardy for weeks, but few had anything to say about right-hander Chad Smith or left-hander Pat McCoy. Let’s meet the newest members of the Tigers roster.
Possibly because of the general malaise of the Detroit Tigers’ fan base after the month long skid down into the depths of terrible baseball, but the new relievers Chad Smith and Pat McCoy kind of slipped onto the team under the radar. Rogacki profiles each of the young relievers and gives an idea of what the newly rejuvenated fans can expect from the new bullpen arms.
One of the major challenges that faces a new manager — any manager, actually — is how to manage his bullpen. Picking the right spots for relievers in a game is important, but so is finding the right balance over the course of a 162-game season. Brad Ausmus has been riding three key relievers extremely hard in the first half of his first season as manager of the Detroit Tigers.
Twenty-six American League pitchers have appeared in 34 or more games this season. Three of those 26 pitch for the Tigers, who have played the fewest games of any AL team thus far.
Reaction to Ausmus’ use of the bullpen arms has been, at best, tepid. However when looking at the options he has available, it’s not tough to see why Brad has been relying so heavily on Al Alburquerque, Ian Krol and Joba Chamberlain. Maintaining the health of the Detroit Tigers’ most consistent bullpen arms that are available is paramount, especially seeing as Krol was just placed on the 15-day DL with the dastardly dead arm syndrome. Ausmus’ use of the pen may just be the sink or swim matter of his first season as big league manager.
Ian Kinsler claims it wasn’t personal. He was just saying ‘hi.’
Texas Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis clearly had a different opinion.
Kinsler found himself engulfed in more drama Tuesday night when he waved in the direction of the Texas dugout after his solo home run in the first inning.
Kinsler told reporters after the game he meant no harm in making the gesture to players on the Rangers’ bench, which included several former teammates.
“I was just having fun. I wasn’t thinking,” Kinsler said. “I was just enjoying the moment, and that’s what happened.”
The Rangers players did not react, but Lewis told reporters after the game that he was “disappointed” in Kinsler for making the ill-advised gesture.
Let’s be real, Ian Kinsler is what the denizens of the internet refer to as a troll. He obviously enjoys an impish sense of humor and like seeing others squirm because of his antics. As a Detroit Tigers’ fan, I loved the wave. I thought it was hilarious and didn’t see it as anything more than a “Gotcha, Buddy.” However, I can see where the Rangers’, and especially Lewis, would take offense. Kind of. They know Kinsler, they played with him for years, and I’m surprised they didn’t recognize the wave for what it was, a little Kinsler trolling.