It’s obvious the Tigers need some relief pitching right? Well, I won’t argue the Tigers could use some help in the bullpen. I don’t particularly believe it is a desperate need, as Bruce Rondon and the role changes for Drew Smyly and Joaquin Benoit seem to be working out, but the likes of Phil Coke and Evan Reed could certainly be upgraded. I don’t see the Tigers pushing Phil Coke to the minors (though they should), so they are likely in the market to upgrade from Evan Reed.
Jul 19, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Bruce Rondon (43) delivers a pitch in the eighth inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
The good thing is the Tigers don’t have to overspend and get into the closer market. A seventh inning arm would suffice, which means they can widen their search.
Recent events could mean that bullpen help isn’t really the biggest of the Tigers worries. The Biogenesis business, and the recent suspension of Ryan Braun could mean that Jhonny Peralta indeed could be suspended before the end of the season. Needless to say, this could be a huge blow to the Tigers, because Danny Worth and/or Ramon Santiago aren’t going to suffice. Hernan Perez could play SS in a pinch, but again, that is a lot of lost production.
The Tigers also aren’t getting a ton from Andy Dirks at this point either. While Dirks isn’t a terrible player, he isn’t productive in terms of the position he is playing. His modest offensive output has had people calling for Nick Castellanos, but the Tigers lineup is weak in left handed hitting, and could use a lefty bat in the corner outfield spot.
For a World Series contending team, there are some noticeable issues to fix here, however, if the Tigers don’t do anything, they will still likely win the division going away.
A left handed corner outfield bat, a preferable left handed hitting middle infielder, and a relief pitcher. These are the Tigers needs. It’s up to Dave Dombrowski to find help without giving away the farm.
My suggestions? I’m not necessarily saying these players specifically, but a Pedro Florimon type could work for the middle infield. An Alejandro De Aza type for the corner outfield. And a Jose Veras type for the bullpen.
It’s Dave Dombrowski’s time to shine. Hopefully the Tigers end up with some gems, and not some horse apples. It could be the difference between just making the playoffs, and winning a World Series.