Mark Gorosh presents 15 things we need to discuss about the Detroit Tigers, May edition. Check out his April edition here.
1. Let’s start with some good news… the Detroit Tigers have gone 6-7 in May.
In the first 13 games of the month here are some positive performance numbers
Robbie Grossman 314/429/588 179 wRC+ 15.9% BB%
Jeimer Candelario 350/458/525 181 wRC+ 14.6% BB%
Niko Goodrum 289/396/372 126 wRC+ 13.2% BB%
Pretty damn good..not many other bats have contributed much of anything besides Akil Baddoo with an astonishing 7 walks in 31 PA…I would prefer if he hit the ball hard somewhere as he did in early April.
In May the team slash line has improved to 264/347/371 and the team BB% is 10.2% almost 3% higher than their season number.
2. I have admired how AJ Hinch has maintained his principles making players earn playing time. Never-ending prospects like JaCoby Jones Willi Castro Nomar Mazara are going to need to start producing or face being demoted or DFA’d…like Farmer and Reyes.
3. Michael Fulmer has easily, been the most pleasant surprise of the 2021 season, his stuff has returned to 2016 quality with improved command. Fulmer has found a home in the bullpen and it’s time to make him the closer using Cisnero in the 8th and Soto in the 7th. The rest of the bullpen has been an absolute nightmare ranking last (30th) in baseball.
4. The highlight of every Al Avila season is the trade deadline..it’s where 6 years of false promises are marketed. So as part of this fun, I am introducing a new feature ranking the Tigers’ 5 most valuable trade pieces at the moment we shall call it Gorosh’s most valuable Typically I’m not going to include players who are young and unlikely to be dealt, you know who they are.
1. Michael Fulmer-people love leverage BP pieces
2. Matthew Boyd- get’em while they’re hot..(maybe Gleybor Torres) LOL
3. Spencer Turnbull will never be worth more, which means Avila will never get equal value
4. Jose Cisneros- if the slider comes back he may ascend to #1
5. Greg Soto-yes Greg Soto..stop whining people
Now the only issue will be.. an incompetent GM who has made so few remarkable trades in 6 years that I tremble in fear at the idea he is in control of getting fair value for an actual asset.
“If you can’t spot the sucker at the table in your first half-hour, then YOU ARE the sucker” Rounders 1998
5. Progress in Sports, Business, and Life is never linear, it’s filled with failure and bad decisions, the reward only comes if you persevere and recognize when to make changes. (Chris Illitch this was for you)
6. There were some excellent articles written this week on the state of the Detroit Tigers rebuild..which I refer to as a TEAMBUILD
- RJ Anderson CBS Sports- by far the best of breed
- Ashley Maclennan-FanGraphs
- Chris McCoskey, Lynn Henning, and Tony Paul — Full detailed piece on the Avila era including podcast..yeah guys..Al is outta time..rehashing trades.. it’s old..worth the read though.
- Cody Stavenhagen — Within the context of the excellent Franklin Perez piece at The Athletic ($) Cody dropped a few truths about the current state of the Tigers and the Avila history.
7. Been frustrated and fascinated by Tarik Skubal, have discussed this with my favorite collaborator on pitching Brandon Day. Just puzzling how Skubs can come out firing bullets in full attack mode in the first inning and then suddenly decide he’s a finesse pitcher. Not gonna work. Evan Petzold wrote a great piece detailing this exact issue in the Free Press with a ton of good perspectives from Hinch and Jake Rogers.
8. Justin Verlander is NOT coming back to Detroit not next year and likely not ever. Blame your owner, JV isn’t gonna finish his career on a last-place team for a discounted contract.
9. Wanna do something fun, check out Alex Fast Bass Hits every Monday night on Twitter. Alex is a baseball analytics genius and he plays a damn funky bass
10. Mathew Boyd has been a revelation, everybody loves Matthew Boyd, well maybe except me, I never trust pitchers who have a 19.5% SO%, he was 22.1% in 2020 and 30.2% in 2019. Winning at that number isn’t sustainable and neither is 2 HR allowed in 47.2 innings. It’s fools gold believing a pitcher who has allowed 81 HR in his last 426 innings suddenly has found some magic Homer Run antidote.
11. Batting average in MLB (.234) is down to its lowest level since 1968 strikeouts are at 25% and HR are down. Not a fun game when it’s played this way.
12. When is the last time the Detroit Tigers played .500 baseball for a 40 game stretch, not sure myself, but it’s a pretty low bar. I’ll report back on this, my guess been 4 years or more
13. I know all you people like these nice line drives Nomar Mazara hits to left field for singles once every three days, but here are the facts, If Mazara doesn’t pull the baseball he’s useless, he didn’t pull the ball last year in Chicago he finished with wRC+ of 67 and one HR..he has 13 hits in 2021 he has ONE XBH he’s pulled its a bad sign.
14. Pay attention to how Casey Mize has changed his pitch mix, he was drafted 1-1 because not only was he supposed to have advanced command, (he didn’t) he possessed a 70-grade finishing pitch (his split) Mize has abandoned his split in the last few outings and its helped his run prevention, but, he’s gonna need to find that split to become great.
15. Last but not least good teams are constructed with at least 4, yes FOUR players who have an OPS over 800 and another one or two at 750, or better ask yourself how many of those players do Detroit currently has on their roster. How many has Al Avila developed in 6 years?