It seems that most everyone associated with the Detroit Tigers is happy this season is coming to a close. Fans, players, coaches, managers, front office, announcers and everyone can probably agree that while baseball is great, losing baseball is not, and it will be good to get away from it all for awhile.
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Sorta like a “reboot” to our baseball passion. See what I did there?
One person probably not looking forward to the season’s end is one Justin Verlander. Finishing the season just red-hot after a little over a half of season of play, JV has righted his career ship. But, is he an ace? He is arguably the ace of this team currently, in the post-David Price era, but is he again one of game’s best pitchers?
Although this run has been great, perhaps we need to see it over a longer stretch, such as a full season. At the very least it will be interesting to see how Verlander comes back next season. Will he continue the fire he’s shown these last four months or so or will he forget what he’s doing right and start the 2016 season off shaky (something not unheard of even in vintage JV years).
One thing is for sure, as the Tigers enter free agency with a huge need in that starting rotation, can they count on Verlander to be the ace of that staff again? Or do they need to spend, perhaps overspend, to bring in a new ace?
We know for sure that Verlander will be back next year, even if we don’t know which version of him we will see. For Alex Avila, it seems like he’s pretty much already gone.
“Pretty much already gone” is probably a phrase we could have used one week ago to describe Brad Ausmus, so don’t shut the door on anything.
Alex Avila coming back is not something many fans want to hear. The cries of nepotism would truly reach a fevered pitch, but Brad Faber says it may not be such a bad idea.
Good or bad idea, I think the plan after this year was always to shed Avila, whether Dave Dombrowski or Alex’s dad was the GM. With the extremely limited playing time he’s been given since coming back from the DL in August, I think that is very telling on the Tigers’ future. In other words: best of luck, Alex.
Finally, MLive prints their favorite pictures of the 2015 season and offers fans a way to submit their own photos.
Tigers desperately need Justin Verlander to reclaim role as Detroit’s ace in 2016 – James Schmel, MLive
"Verlander’s resurgence continued Monday night in Texas when he allowed just one run in six strong innings to hand the first-place Rangers their third straight loss.It was yet another sign that Verlander, who has endured an injury-shortened campaign, appears to have finally overcome a core muscle injury that played a key role in his less-than-mediocre performance in 2014.And it was yet another sign that Verlander’s days as a legitimate ace, which many believed was a thing of the past less than three months ago, has yet to expire."
Detroit Tigers Shouldn’t Rule Out Bringing Alex Avila Back In 2016 – Brad Faber, Rant Sports
"It is worth noting that McCann, also a right-handed hitter, has only posted a .615 OPS against right-handed pitching this season, compared to a robust .923 OPS against left-handed pitching. Obviously, the talented McCann will likely improve in this area, but it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad idea to pair him up with a left-handed hitting backup once again. To accomplish this, the Tigers would be wise to either consider having a reunion with the switch-hitting Brayan Pena or simply bring Avila back.Amid all of his struggles, Avila has posted a 19.2 percent walk rate and a .356 on-base percentage against right-handed pitching this year. He remains a steady defender behind the plate as well."
Check out our favorite Detroit Tigers photos from the 2015 season, and submit yours – Mike Mulholland, MLive
"Most Detroit Tigers fans have been looking forward to next season for awhile now. But, before the page can be turned, it’s time to take a look back at 30 of my favorite photos from the season.We also want to see some of your favorites, too. Whether you made a trip to spring training in Lakeland, Fla., made a trip to Wrigley Field in Chicago, or just came down to Detroit for a home game, we want to see them all."