Detroit Tigers Links: Should Ray go to pen, Porcello’s emerging stardom, Dirks and V-Mart


May 11, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Robbie Ray (38) pitches against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers Should Put Robbie Ray in the Bullpen – Rich Seroka, Detroit Jock City

"The Tigers should put Robbie Ray in the bullpen either as the long relief guy or a left-handed specialist. This would improve their bullpen by removing one of the players who are not getting the job done. Players like Phil Coke whose inconsistent performances at the start of the season nearly cost the team games. Luke Putkonen and Jose Ortega have had stints with the team this season but have failed to secure a spot on the active roster. Robbie Ray could a gap in the sixth and seventh innings while helping to add bullpen depth. The only benefit to keeping Robbie Ray in the minors would be the opportunity for him to start on a consistent basis."

It’s tempting, but Ray needs to be in Toledo if he’s not starting in Detroit. He will be a starter with the Tigers next year, so there is no need to use him out of the bullpen this year–unless it’s the playoffs. Brad Ausmus did use him last night, 2/3 of an inning, but I wouldn’t expect the appearances out of the bullpen to last. He’ll get another chance to start on Thursday with Rick Porcello‘s next start being pushed back a couple of days because of a seemingly minor injury.

Detroit Tigers’ Rick Porcello among 25 best pitchers in baseball? – Brian Manzullo

"David G. Temple of FanGraphs wrote about Porcello’s improvement thus far, calling him one of the top 25 pitchers in baseball – and that’s on a pitching staff with two Cy Young winners (Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer) and another pitcher who would be the top starter on many teams (Anibal Sanchez)."

Not only is he in the Top 25 because of his eye-opening start, he’s a legitimate Cy Young candidate. Yes, yes, it’s very early, but his numbers are impressive thus far.

A Healthy Andy Dirks Could Be A Great Addition To Detroit Tigers’ Lineup – Brad Faber, Rant Sports

"The Tigers have the switch-hitting Victor Martinez, but that is about it when it comes to dependable left-handed hitters. Utility man Don Kelly may be batting .316 but he has only had 38 at-bats, and Alex Avila is only batting .218 although he does have a solid on-base percentage of .346. The light-hitting, switch-hitting Andrew Romine is now batting just .169 from the left side of the plate. The potential return of a healthy Andy Dirks next month could truly help balance a Tigers’ lineup that is heavily skewed to the right."

Dirks has always been frustrating. He seems to have the skills necessary to succeed in the majors, and shows flashes,  but often disappoints. It might take him a little bit to get back into the swing of things since not seeing any baseball action since mid-March, but he could give the team a slight upgrade should Rajai Davis continue his recent struggles.

Tigers’ Martinez is a rare type of hitter these days – John Shea, SFGate

"Martinez has a homer-to-strikeout ratio this year that’s unheard of nowadays – nine homers, nine strikeouts. Nobody’s alarmed that Jose Abreu, who leads the majors with 15 homers, has 50 strikeouts a quarter of the way through the season. Five-tool genius Mike Trout has 53 K’s, second in the majors, to accompany his eight homers. Which brings us to the king of the homer-to-strikeout ratio, Joe DiMaggio."

Pretty high praise for V-Mart. I’m hoping there’s some behind the scenes work being done to lock Victor up for next year and beyond–before the end of this season.