ICYMI: MCB Digest–Detroit Tigers Week That Was

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Oct 26, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher James Shields throws a pitch against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning during game five of the 2014 World Series at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Now, on to who is still on the Tigers or who should be on the Tigers…

In the hours before the Scherzer stuff hit the fan, Zane Stalberg looked at how the team should make a play for James Shields.

Bringing James Shields to Motown Makes Sense

"In the wake of trades for Shane Greene, and Alfredo Simon, David Dombrowski has repeatedly denounced the idea that the Tigers have any interest in adding to their rotation. But Tigers fans know better. Ask even the most casual baseball fan in the Motor City what the Tigers’ general manager means when he says he is content with the current roster, and they will tell you that a move is on the horizon. And, while the recent rumors of Detroit’s involvement with James Shields may just be leverage in a bidding war between Dombrowski and Max Scherzer’s infamous agent Scott Boras, it may ultimately be more beneficial for the Tigers to focus their attention on Shields, and let Scherzer walk. Tigers fans are familiar with Shields’ most recent work. In 2014, the one-time Tampa Bay Ray helped anchor both the rotation, and the clubhouse, for a Kansas City Royals team that forced Detroit into a divisional race that lasted until the last day of the regular season. However, if Shields sports the Old English D in 2015, Tigers will assuredly warm up to their former foe, and the reasons for that shift are two-fold. To begin, Shields is one of the premier arms in all of baseball. He has pitched over 200 innings in each of the last eight seasons, and in the last four seasons he has a record of 58-39. Shields is enticing for many teams throughout baseball, but he should be particularly enticing for Detroit. Not only is he familiar with the division, but Shields has excelled at Comerica Park in recent history. According to ESPN, in the two games Shields started at Comerica in 2014 he pitched 13.1 innings, went 1-0, struck out 11, walked only two, allowed just three runs, and held the Tigers’ offense to a .156 average. For context, the Tigers led the MLB in team batting average during the 2014 season (.277). READ MORE"

Monday, Tom Zahari looked at how the time is now for James McCann.

James McCann Will Get His Shot with the Detroit Tigers in 2015

"Alex Avila is easily one of the most polarizing players on the Detroit Tigers’ roster. Many fans called for the Tigers top catching prospect, James McCann, to be called up and get regular playing time. Those fans well get their wish this season as McCann should start the season with the Tigers and get regular playing time against right handed pitching. Against right handed pitching, I fully believe Alex Avila should bat second for the Detroit Tigers. Against left handed pitching however, McCann, not Avila, should get the regular reps. In 66 games against left handed pitching in 2014, McCann had a .336/.396/.469 split with 12 walks and 21 strikeouts. Against right handed pitching, his split was .276/.316/.406 with 13 walks and 71 strikeouts in 102 games. Avila’s split against right handed pitching in 2014 was .215/.340/.380. It is obvious that McCann sees the ball out of the lefty’s hand rather than the righty’s by the walks to strikeout breakdown. An interesting note is that all of McCann’s 7 home runs in 2014 were against right handed pitching. It will also be interesting to see how McCann makes his transition from AAA to the Major Leagues. In 12 at bats with the Tigers in 2014, McCann went 3 for 12 with one double, 2 strikeouts, and a steal. McCann will not only have to get used to hitting against new pitching, but also catching new pitchers. Some players adjust, while others struggle when the “see the big buildings” as Jim Price says. READ MORE"

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