He really has the stuff to be a major league pitcher. He showed it last Saturday against the Milwaukee Brewers. He’s got solid poise for a youngster. Hell, he even has the hat wearing skills of his cousin Fernando! I’m looking forward to watching him pitch this weekend, and I can’t quite figure out why. It isn’t that I am super impressed with him. I don’t think he is going to shut out the Astros. Maybe it is because finally for the first time in a month, the Tigers have a pitcher in the five slot that can actually compete to win.
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that rookie pitchers in Detroit’s recent history have been dominant. Maybe I hope to see a glimpse of Edwin Jackson, Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello. Maybe deep inside, I am praying this poor kid’s career isn’t ending before it had a chance to start. The goal will be to keep his composure and as Jim Leyland says:
“It’s all about talent. It’s not about age or service, veteran or rookie. It’s not about any of that. It’s about talent. It’s about being able to get the job done.”
If Figaro can get the job done throughout this stretch up to the All-Star break, it gives the Tigers at least a few options. If they have true faith in him, then he could be the starter that helps propel them to enough wins for a playoff birth. If not, he at least becomes a prospect that teams have witnessed do well against major league competition. Coming into the season, Figaro was in the middle of the pack when it came to prospects. Now he has showcased a 97 MPH fastball with good control for a twenty four year old. He also has witnessed that he can remain calm when he gets into tough situations. Though it seems cliche, he really does care about winning. That was evident last Saturday after his final strikeout of the game.
Like the last few years, ‘sellers’ at the deadline remain to be small. Possibly the Cleveland Indians, but there is now way a deal would get done between division rivals. Billy Beane stated a few weeks ago that his team was still in the hunt, and that players like Matt Holliday weren’t available. Now, the A’s are nine games out of first place in the American League West. The Rangers will get Josh Hamilton back after the all-star break. The Angels are finally getting completely healthy for the first time all year. That doesn’t mean that Beane would deal Holliday. There is talks that he will try and offer him an extension at the end of the year. We all know that Beane isn’t going to deal his pitching either. Only because their whole staff remains one of the youngest in Major League Baseball.
There is no doubt the Washington Nationals need pitching help (even though they drafted god in June.) Could Figaro fit in a package to get slugger Adam Dunn? The Nats wouldn’t mind unloading the rest of his eight million dollar salary this season, and twelve million for next year. Figaro might be just enough for Dunn, who really knows. He is another base clogger, hitting only .258. He does have 18 home runs so far this season. Though many hope the Tigers add him to their lineup, I shade away from this theory. He is a wonderful fielder though……
It will be interesting to see what is to come. Let’s just hope that Mr. Alfredo Figaro can keep us in the ball game tonight versus the Houston Astros.