The Detroit Tigers average first half has been a shock to some, especially considering the starts of 6-0 and 10-2, but not as surprising for others who thought the team may take a step back this season.
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But is the issue of this team, as a lot of fans believe, problems with the management? Certainly you cannot say manager Brad Ausmus is doing a bang-up job this season but is this team just victims of bad luck? We offer two conflicting articles on the subject from the staff of the Detroit Free Press.
I don’t think luck is involved here. Everyone except Miguel Cabrera has underachieved this season, including Brad Ausmus. J.D. Martinez began the season slumping but has broke out lately. Jose Iglesias and David Price are having nice seasons, but it is hard to point to anyone else on the roster making a difference on an everyday basis.
What that boils down to is that this team is just an average, .500 team. Prove me wrong, fellas. Prove me wrong….
Speaking of underachievers, the revolving door that has been the fifth starter since Shane Greene‘s demotion last month has come full-circle as Greene prepares to return for the first half finale against Minnesota on Sunday. Many happy returns, Shane. That fifth starter spot has been a dumpster fire since mid-April.
Tigers’ Brad Ausmus firmly on hot seat – Jamie Samuelsen, Detroit Free Press
"The second is a larger issue that should be more unsettling for Ausmus. The argument against him is that he sticks with pitchers too long and doesn’t make the correct strategic decisions when it comes to pinch-hitting and bunting. He also had the questionable decisions to pull Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez late in close games only to have those positions in the order come back up again in crucial spots. Ausmus has clear answers when asked about his in-game decisions. It’s not as if he’s caught by surprise. Some of his gambles have worked; others have blown up in spectacular fashion.You could go game-by-game, pitch-by-pitch and nitpick every move a manager makes, even the best ones. In most baseball cities, you’ll have a group of fans that support the manager and you’ll have a group of fans that hate the manager. That certainly was the case with Leyland, where we once divided the electorate into “Leylanders” and “Skipper Rippers” on our radio show. (For the record, there were far more Leylanders than Rippers. The Rippers just happened to be more vocal.)"
Blame Tigers’ bad luck, not bad management – Drew Sharp, Freep
"This season is becoming a write-off. The Tigers entered today’s series finale at Seattle a season-high seven games off the American League Central lead. They not only must catch Kansas City but also fight off an improving Cleveland team that might now possess the best rotation in the division. And the overall parity in the American League even makes serious contention for a one-game wild card unrealistic if the Tigers can’t sustain decent health.But in spite of their dire situation, it has been a revealingly good week for the Tigers. They indeed might have wedged open that symbolic title contention window a little wider beyond 2015 with shortstop Jose Iglesias and slugger J.D. Martinez earning their first All-Star invitations. Even the most cockeyed optimist couldn’t have foreseen their tremendous first halves, considering Iglesias missed last season with lower leg injuries, and Martinez was still barely a year removed from being tossed by Houston onto the waiver scrap heap for wayward sluggers."
Shane Greene leaves minor-league start early, likely headed to Detroit – Lindsey Foltin, Fox Sports
"Greene had a stellar start to the season, but was demoted to Toledo on June 12 after experiencing a lengthy rough patch. In his last 10 starts with the Tigers, he allowed 41 earned runs, causing his ERA to balloon to 5.87.During his time in Toledo, Greene is 1-1 with a 3.42 ERA and a 1.215 WHIP in four starts."