Verlander on the 4th?

I’m not necessarily advocating this, but Danny Knobler raised the issue of Justin Verlander pitching part of the doubleheader on the 4th. My first reaction was “absolutely not!” But then I thought, would it really be that bad?

If everyone understands that this is a one game call-up, and that no matter how he performs he would return to Erie, I don’t see it having major consequences. From a roster management perspective, the Tigers are already using a 40 man spot, and option year for Verlander. From a service time standpoint, one day of service time isn’t going to accelerate his arbitration clock.

Now Verlander only has two starts at AA, and he’s done well, but that is very limited exposure above A ball. If he pitches poorly, it could rattle his confidence and mess up the progress he’s made. If he pitches well, the Tigers will face pressure to keep him up (which I’d be against).

So while there aren’t really compelling reasons not to bring him up, there are even fewer reason to give him a shot. While it would definitely create a buzz, that is about the only positive. I’m not sure that he would give the team a significantly better shot at winning than Matt Ginter or Kenny Baugh would. While it would be more interesting to see Verlander pitch, that is a pretty lame reason.

I guess my take is that I wouldn’t be upset if it were to happen, but I don’t really see the point.

What do you guys think? Please Discuss.

Buzzkill

Now is the time. With the Pistons playoff run finished, and several weeks until NFL training camp the Tigers have the attention of Detroit sports fans all to themselves. Going into last night the team was poised at .500 with back to back high profile series against the White Sox and Yankees. They also had their best hitter back in the lineup, and Ordonez rehabbing to join the team next week. Things were looking good…until the Tigers suffered their second 2-1 loss in the last 4 games.

Now granted, Mark Buerhle is one of the top pitchers in the American League. And to the Tigers credit, they did make him throw 113 pitches in 6 2/3 innings. But how many times are going to have to tip our hats to the other pitcher this season?

I think most disappointing was the inability to score Rodriguez after his lead-off triple in the ninth. The easy thing to do is blame a lack of clutch hitting, and in this case Young, Monroe, and Shelton failed to deliver a clutch hit. However, the bigger issue is a lack of hitting in the first place.

David Pinto recently ran a table of team left on base. The Tigers were next to last in the majors in the number of runners left on base. Meanwhile, they have a .287 average with RISP (against a league average of .276). The problem with the Tigers isn’t getting the big hits, the problem is getting the runners on base in the first place.

But in case you were wondering about Dmitri’s performance with RISP, his .214 batting average is the lowest among regulars on the team. I’m not knocking Dmitri, and that measure is what he has done, not what he will do. But it just hasn’t been good.

Now all is not lost. As was discussed on It Is What It Is on WDFN (hosted by friend of DTW, Sean Baligian), if the Tigers can go 6-4 over the next 3 series they will be in good shape. Because, the next 8 games will be against Tampa and Kansas City. With one loss, the 6-4 goal is still attainable.

TV Time
Of course everything I just wrote about I wasn’t able to watch because the Tigers weren’t on TV again. In looking at the schedule next week, Fox Sports wasn’t covering 5 consecutive games (four in Cleveland and one in Tampa Bay). Now the problem isn’t Fox which is carrying 110 games, the issue is a lack of over-the-air coverage.

Fortunately for Tiger fans, ESPN will air 3 of those 5 games in the Detroit market. According to Brian Britten of the Tigers, the front end of Monday’s doubleheader, Wednesday night’s game, and Thursday night’s game will all be on ESPN.

Miscellaneous Stuff

  • After starting 0-5 in one-run contests, the Tigers then won 10 of their next 17. They have now lost two in a row to lower their record to 10-14. However, because of their record in 2 run games, they are 20-20 overall in games decided by two runs or less.
  • Brandon Inge has failed to reach base in his last two games. Fortunately, that’s the first time this season he’s gone back-to-back games without a hit or walk.
  • For the second time in a 2-1 loss, Nook Logan was picked off in the late innings. With Ordonez set to return, playing time will be harder to come by for Logan, and he’s not helping his cause.
  • The Tigers have been successful on 17 of their last 19 stolen base attempts (plus two pickoffs)

Links of Note

Sorry for the lack of content, but I’m resorting to a links post.

New Tiger blog on the block…Bless You Boys is the new Tiger blog offered up by Sports Blogs Inc. It is written by former Tigerblog writer Jeff. Jeff did excellent work for Brian, and he should thrive with his own site.

Exiled…I did a chat with Vince from Exile in Wrigleyville previewing the Tigers series. He’ll probably have it up tonight, but here is a link to the front page of the blog.
UPDATE: Here is the link for the chat.

Greg is ENOugh…Greg Eno has a high quality blog that you should be reading. He’s a real writer that churns out good feature length stuff. Here is a recent profile he did of Ruppert Jones.

Major Minor news…There are two excellent sources of minor league coverage. One are the Tigerscentral minor league correspondents. The other is the Motown Sports Minor League Forum that features minor league game threads amongst other analysis. And if you were wondering about Magglio Ordonez’s first rehab stint, he had a bounce out, a double and a walk in 5 innings…As for Joel Zumaya he picked up another 6 strike outs in 7 innings to go along with 2 hits, 3 walks and no runs.

The week ahead… I’m working on a post discussing the Tigers payroll next year which I’ll hopefully have done tomorrow. I also plan to make a new Win Shares treemap once Hardball Times updates them. And of course, anything else the catches my Tiger fancy will be covered.

Guillen’s back

Carlos Guillen has been reinstated and he is available to play today in Arizona. Tony Giarratano was optioned back to Erie.

Depth Charge

Despite yesterday’s lineup, the Tigers are on the verge of experiencing something strange and unusual – organizational depth. With the return of Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen expected in the next several weeks, Trammell will start facing some tough decisions as to who plays.

Of course Trammell has faced tough decisions in the past. There were all those nights in 2003 when he was filling out his lineup card and having to decide who should start – Kevin Witt or Ben Petrick. Or last year when he had to decide who to hand the ball to in the bullpen, Al Levine or Esteban Yan. This year, with the return of the injured Venezuelan’s, Trammell has a cadre of guys who have proven (or are proving) they can play well at the major league level.

Outfield
Since Ordonez went down, the Tigers outfield of Rondell White, Nook Logan, and Craig Monroe has played admirably. The defense has been quite good, with Tiger outfielders committing only 6 errors. Rondell White and Craig Monroe rank second in zone rating at their respective postions.

Offensively, Nook Logan’s success, while nowhere near what a health Ordonez can produce, has helped to temper the blow of losing Maggs. The problem has been that Marcus Thames hit so poorly, so that when Rondell White had a day off there was such a dramatic dropoff.

With the return of Ordonez, Logan will see a decrease in playing time. However, when White (or Ordonez) will need a rest, Monroe can slide from centerfield to the corner, and there is a solid backup.

Additionally, waiting in Toledo are Curtis Granderson, and to a lesser extent David Espinosa.

Infield
The trade for Placido Polanco has greatly bolstered an area of need for the Tigers. The middle infield was supposed to be all set. However, Guillen’s recovery, Infante’s struggles, and the inadequacies of Ramon Martinez and Jason Smith left the Tigers with quite the hole. Now, with Polanco in the fold, Guillen on the verge of returning, and Infante turning it around (I know it’s only a week but it has been encouraging) the Tigers have the makings of a nice rotation in the infield. Add in the fact that both Polanco and Infante could spell Brandon Inge at third (or allow Inge to move to center).

Guillen, Polanco and Inge don’t make Infante expendable. They allow Trammell to rest guys and still field a solid team.

At first base, the rotation of Dmitri Young and Chris Shelton seems to be working. Neither are the defensive stalwarts that Carlos Pena is, but neither have really been detrimental defensively. They are making the plays they are supposed to make. As for Pena, he seems to be putting things together in Toledo hitting 333/444/493

Catcher
Yeah, still no depth there. Vance Wilson has been very disappointing. His career number suggest he should do better (254/308/384), but he’s basically been a void in the lineup this year. Unfortunately, there isn’t help available in the minors either.

The Rotation
The four main starters have all done a great job, and give the team a chance to win everytime out. Dombrowski did a good job of signing minor league free agents in the offseason to build up Toledo’s rotation. One of those signings, Sean Douglass will make his first Tiger start tomorrow. The Tigers also have Kenny Baugh pitching effectively at AAA and he could be next in line if injury or ineffectiveness befalls any of the starters.

Going a little deeper in the organization Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya are both having phenomenal seasons. While neither is probably ready for the rotation right now, both are getting close. If Verlander can continue what he started in AA, and Zumaya can continue to improve his control, both could be candidates for September call-ups or rotation spots next year.

Meanwhile, just because Wil Ledezma struggled as the 5th starter earlier this year, it doesn’t mean his career is over. He’s still young, and still has the tools to be a good pitcher.

Bullpen
Even with Ugueth Urbina leaving, the bullpen is still strong. Franklyn German is throwing strikes, Fernando Rodney and Chris Spurling are recoverd from last year’s surgeries, Kyle Farnsworth is the pitcher everyone hoped he could be, and Jamie Walker continues to be one of the better lefty relievers in the league.

Another offseason minor league signing, Doug Creek, has only allowed one of 12 inherited runners to score.

Whether or not the Tigers can maintain this depth remains to be seen. Jason Johnson, Rondell White, Placido Polanco, and Kyle Farnsworth are all key contributors this season that are pending free agents. However, with Maggs and Guillen’s return, the emergence of Shelton, and some help waiting in the minors, Trammell should be able to rest his starters and still field a capable team.

Douglass up, Ginter Down

The same day that Sean Douglass was named to the AAA All-Star team, his contract was purchased by the Tigers. Matt Ginter meanwhile was outrighted to Toledo. Douglass should get his first start on Saturday.

Douglass has been very solid for Toledo this year, striking out nearly a batter an inning and a K/BB ratio of 2.8. Douglass made 14 appearances (including 3 starts) for the Blue Jays last year. Control was his biggest struggle as he walked 28 batters in only 38 innings.

Douglass was a non roster invitee to spring training, and he eventually signed as a minor league free agent.

What will be interesting is how Douglass is used in the rotation. Will he be a regular part of the rotation, or will he be a swingman used to keep guys on 4 days rest? Part of it will probably depend on his perforance, and part will depend on how the schedule sets up.

During the telecast of Sunday’s game, Rod Allen indicated that Bob Cluck favors the 4 man rotation. His reasoning was that there are usually enough off days that by and large 4 guys can still pitch on 4 days rest. Looking at the Tigers schedule until the AS break, there is only one off day – which is Monday.

Starting with Douglass’ start on Saturday, here is how the pitching might lineup:


June 25 Douglass
June 26 Bonderman 4
June 28 Robertson 5
June 29 Johnson 5
June 30 Maroth 5
July 1 Bonderman 4*
July 2 Douglass 6
July 3 Robertson 4
July 4 Johnson 4
July 5 Maroth 4
July 6 Bonderman 4
July 7 Douglass 4
July 8 Robertson 4
July 9 Johnson 4
July 10 Maroth 4

On July 1st, it will be a matter of whether they keep Bonderman on 4 days rest. I’m not sure what they’ll do, because there aren’t really implications on whether or not Bonderman or Douglass starts that game. Considering its a Friday night game against the Yankees, and I have tickets, I’m hoping to see Bonderman.

After the break, the Tigers play 14 straight games so they will need to utilize a 5th starter for the forseeable future.

Future’s Game Selections
Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya will be making their Comerica Park debut on July 10th during the Futures Game. Former Tiger prospect Scott Moore, who was part of the Kyle Farnsworth trade will also be playing.

Break on through

The .500 mark has been a glass ceiling, or kevlar roof, for the Tigers this season. Finally, with a great all around effort against the Twins the Tigers are one game over .500.

Jeremy Bonderman had his best outing of the year throwing 80 strikes and only 27 balls in his first complete game effort of the season. When Bonderman did get into jams, his defense helped him out with a couple of great double plays and Pudge chipped in a pick-off and caught stealing.

While Bonderman was efficiently mowing down the Twins, Tiger hitters were making Kyle Loshe work. Loshe threw 105 pitches and didn’t make it through the 5th inning. Loshe averaged 4.6 pitches per batter.

Placido Polanco didn’t seemed phased by American League pitching as he picked up another 3 hits. As for tomorrow night, he has faced Joe Mays 3 times and has 3 singles.

More Good News
Justin Verlander made his AA debut, and he didn’t do to badly. For the night he threw 7 innings of one-hit ball striking out 11 hitters.

Even More Good News
Going even deeper in the Tigers organization, sort of, 5th round selection Jeff Larish tied a College World Series record by hitting 3 homers. He had an opposite field shot, a blast to right, and the 9th inning game-tying shot went to straight away centerfield.

Winning is fun and stuff

Sports Talk Radio Caller in the top of the 9th inning:
Troy Percival is awful! There is no way that we should have ever traded Ugueth Urbina. He was the only reliever worth anything in the bullpen, and what do we have now? A slap hitting second baseman. Yeah, Polanco’s been pretty good but it doesn’t mean anything if your bullpen is blowing the games. But part of this has to go on Trammell. Once again, he failed to take out a reliever before he gave up a home run. Everybody who was watching could tell Percival had nothing. I was watching the game with my buddy and I told him, here comes a change up that’s going to end up in the seats. It was so obvious. And look at the number of runners the offense left on base, this should have been a blowout. Once again, no clutch hitting whatsoever. Every time this team gets close to .500 they find a way to screw it up. This team sucks!

Sports Talk Radio Caller 20 minutes later:
Great win today! Yeah, Percival struggled, but his teammates picked him up. Where would we be without Polanco? Dombrowski continues to build this team into a winner. What a great trade. This team is really coming together. It was really nice to see some clutch hitting late in the game. We’ve gotta keep this going in Minnesota. Go Tigers!

The emotions of a sports fan – ya gotta love it.

In any case it was a great series and a great homestand. Let’s take a look at what happened and what might happen next:

Gettin’ on and Gettin’ in
Trammell used almost the same lineup in each game. The top 7 spots remained the same throughout the homestand, with Giarrantano, Infante, Gomez, and Logan alternating in the bottom two spots. Here’s what the top 7 in the lineup did:


OBP SLG
#1 429 720
#2 444 560
#3 231 217
#4 400 727
#5 417 522
#6 333 571
#7 333 609

That’s some pretty impressive balance and performance throughout the lineup – with one glaring exception. A slumping Dmitri Young probably kept the offense from being even more potent. Am I worried about Dmitri? Not really. Could he use a day off, or should he switch places with Pudge in the lineup? It might not be a bad idea.

The team still struck out 38 times against 16 walks, but they seemed to be in more hitters counts, and seemed to be hitting more line drives to all fields.

Wake up call
I don’t know if this was a case of a “wake-up call,” or simply a case of a player getting extra time to straighten things out, but Omar Infante looked like a different hitter. In two days he raised his OPS 58 points. Even he can sustain this against Minnesota, it may take the pressure off the Tigers to rush Carlos Guillen back (despite reports Guillen will be ready on Thursday).

Speed Differential
I don’t know what, if anything, this means but the Tigers had six stolen bases in six attempts. San Diego and San Francisco had 0 stolen bases on 1 attempt.

One Last Thing
This isn’t related to this weekend series, but Sam from Blue Cats and Red Sox will be covering the Tigers for the Most Valuable Network. She’ll be joining the current Tiger bloggers to provide some entertaining commentary (and regular updates I hope!).

New Draft Signings

The Tigeres signed 4 more players from this years draft. The most recent additions to the Tiger family include:

3rd Round: Chris Robinson
4th Round: Kevin Whelan
6th Round: Clete Thomas
26th Round: Schuyler Williamson

The Tigers have n ow signed 7 of their top 10 picks and 23 overall. Still remaining unsigned are first rounder Cameron Maybin, 5th Rounder Jeff Larrish (Boras), and 9th rounder Paul Coleman.

Reports are that Maybin is looking for bonus money in the $3 million range as one of the top rated talents in the draft. However, the players picked around Maybin have received bonus right around $2 million.

In the case of Williamson, the Tigers must have worked out an agreement with the military. Williamson is a West Point grad and owes the military some service time. Fortunately, it appears that the army is accomodating it’s athletes who sign professional contracts.

Keeping Score

A couple of months ago when I was going through a box of stuff from my parents house, I came across four sheets of paper. They had yellowed a little bit, and the pencil marks had faded, but they still told their story. These sheets of paper were where I kept score for the 1984 World Series. It’s great looking back and seeing the old names, and my little kid writing, but that’s not what makes them so special.

You see, in 1984 I was all of ten years old, and of course the World Series takes place in October on school nights. My parents, while fully aware of my love for the Tigers, were also quite responsible so there was no way I was going to be allowed to stay up for those games. Now that didn’t stop me from writing down the lineups and keeping score for the first few innings. I was actually one of those “who are keeping score at home.” Below is an image from Game 2 (click for a larger image).
Box Score

Now if you look closely you can see that in the bottom of the 4th inning, the handwriting went from my scribbles to something more legible. My Dad picked up the scoresheet each night after I went to bed so that when I woke up first thing in the morning I could know exactly what happened. In the process, the two of us together created a document that symbolizes our love for baseball and my Dad’s love of me.

My love for baseball came from my Dad, and it was always a common ground. No matter how busy he was at work, he always made it to my baseball games where he would be coaching first base. I could also count on him giving me a hard time whenever my favorite player, Lou Whitaker, made an error. Fortunately that hardly ever happened.

One year we had Tiger tickets on my birthday, and had a flat tire on the way to the game. It was about 88 that day and my Dad was soaked by the time the tire was changed, but we still made it to the game on time and had a wonderful day. It helped that my Dad was accommodating enough to head down to the stadium early enough for batting practice, and those extra hours ensured we’d make the first pitch. That game, like each we attended meant a new pennant for my bedroom. Back in the old days, like 1986, it used to be that the vendors would sell merchandise from the visiting team as well. The result was a felt triangle to commemorate the day.

My Dad taught me how to play the game – at least to the best of my limited ability. We played catch a couple times a week – including him squatting to give me a good target when I was pitching – despite arthritis that would leave him aching. He taught me about the history of the game. His baseball cards and autograph books let me see the game the way he saw it as a kid, when he’d take the bus to the stadium and wait outside the clubhouse until the players emerged hours after the game.

Now, as a father I have the pleasure of sharing my love of baseball with my son (and daughter). My four year old boy has recently started T-ball and has attended his share of Tiger games (Nook Logan is his favorite player). As for those pennants that I got as a kid, they are currently decorating his room. And my two year old daughter, she says hi to each Tiger as they come up to bat.

I know I’ve gone all sentimental, and “baseball as a metaphor for life” has been done repeatedly. I also know that if my Dad wasn’t a great provider and loving man, that this baseball stuff wouldn’t mean anything. But on this day, and in this forum, I just wanted to say thanks to my Dad who taught me, and my Grandpa who taught him. Thanks for serving as great role models of fatherhood. Thanks for introducing me to baseball. And thanks for teaching me to keep score.

And if you’re interested, here are the scoresheets from game 1, game 3, and game 4 as well.

Splitting Time

Fresh off a sweep of the first place San Diego Padres, let’s peruse some interesting splits.

Heating Up
I know that when it gets warmer, it can help offense. However, when we kept hearing that the Tiger bats would heat up when the weather got warmer I was a little skeptical. First, just because the temperature changes it won’t break someone out of a slump. And second, wouldn’t the same hold true for Tiger opponents. Well, then I did some checking. Below is a table of Tiger and opponent runs per game based on temperature as recorded in the box score (yes I am that geeky if you had any doubts).


Temp Det Runs Opp Runs Games
40s 3.1 5.1 7
50s 3.8 4.1 18
60s 4.4 3.4 11
70s 5.3 4.2 19
80s 5.4 6.4 8
Total 4.5 4.4 63

If the game time temperature is between 60 and 79, I like the Tigers chances. What’s amazing is that 25 of the 63 games have been played in sub 60 temperatures.

Home Cookin’
No wonder Brandon Inge isn’t complaining about Comerica. His OPS is 117 points higher at home than it is on the road. While he has a better batting average at home (and thus a better OBP), the biggest jump is in slugging percentage. He’s slugging 520 at home against 417 on the road with two thirds of his triples and homers coming at home.

As much as Inge has benefitted from Comerica, Carlos Guillen never wants to leave. With a OPS of 1110 at home and 659 on the road, I’d be surprised if Carlos ever got on the team plane again.

Craig Monroe, Dmitri Young, and Rondell White all hit for more power at home. However, Young and Monroe hit for a higher average on the road.

With all the fire power at home, and a pitching staff who’s ERA is a half run lower at home, it’s hard to believe the Tigers are struggling to play .500 in their own park.

Home Cooked Stew
So there must be enough Tigers who can’t figure out the park to keep the record down. Nook Logan much prefers to be, well anyplace but Detroit. His OPS is 992 on the road, and only 472 at home. It’s pretty ironic the one park the Tigers need his speed and defense the most, is the one park he can’t do anything offensively.

Switch Switch Hitting
Speaking of Nook, looking at his splits it might be time for him to stop switch hitting. Against left handers his OPS is 895 and against righties it’s 685. If he can hit lefties that well from the right side, I’d imagine that he could hit righties at least as well as the 685 he’s been posting. I know it may have bunt implications (being closer to first, drag bunting, etc.) but I don’t know that the current performance justifies switch hitting.

The Tigers other big lover of southpaws so far has been Pudge. His OPS of 1028 against lefties dwarfs his 676 against lefties. As I’ve talked about before, right handed hitters will generally have an OPS 9% better against lefties than righties. In Pudge’s case I’d expect both numbers to move towards the middle.

Downtime
I apologize for the site being unavailable this morning. As near as I can tell it was down from about 3am until a little after noon. Apparently the problem was with the hosting company. Thanks for your patience.

Verlander
It appears that Justin Verlander has the Florida State League figured out. His latest performance included 9 strike outs and 1 walk over 7 innings. He allowed seven hits and one run to lower his ERA to 1.67. He will surely be promoted to Erie within the next few weeks. After that, it wouldn’t surprise me to see in Detroit as a September call-up. He’s already on the big league roster, and already using an option year so there would be very little downside.


Signings

The Tigers announced the signing of 19 players. They are:


Rd Player Position
7 P.J. Finigan RHP
8 Brendan Wise RHP
10 Kevin Ardoin RHP
11 Anthony Clagget RHP
12 Matt Joyce RF
13 Louis Ott SS
14 Casper Wells RF
16 Michael Hollimon SS
18 Agustin Guzman 2B
19 Burke Badenhop RHP
22 Matthew Norfleet RHP
23 Mark Haske SS
25 Jake Baxter RHP
27 William Rhymes 2B
30 Ryan Roberson 1B
31 Timothy Robertson RHP
32 Christopher Torres C
33 Loren Fraser RHP
35 Jeffrey Hahn RHP

This and That

I know I said I’d have commentary on the roster moves last night, but I was tired and the moves weren’t that compelling. So here is the delayed and brief analysis:

Gomez up Thames down: The bottom line is that Marcus Thames wasn’t effective getting spot duty. His 4 strikeouts on Sunday certainly didn’t help. The hope is that Alexis Gomez will be better suited to the role.

Guillen to DL and Jason Smith up Fortunately Alan Trammell didn’t get a chance to use Carlos Guillen as a pinch hitter on Colorado. Otherwise, this DL move wouldn’t be retroactive to last Tuesday. Hopefully he’ll be able to come off the DL when he is eligible on June 23rd. As for Jason Smith, he can be effective in small doses. The bigger question is when will Omar Infante play again? Placido Polanco of course will be the starting second baseman, and without Tony Giarratano really dominating one would think that Infante would get some starts at shortstop – at least against left handers.


Roster Implications:
Neither Gomez or Smith were on the 40 man roster. The Tigers had one spot open, and to create the other slot the Tigers put Gary Knotts on the 60 day DL. The Tigers will utimately need to make room for a 5th starter at some point. If that starter is Kenny Baugh it won’t be an issue because he’s already on the 40 man roster. If it’s Sean Douglass, chances are either Smith or Gomez will be DFA’d or Bobby Higginson moved to the 60 day DL.

Good Reading Yesterday the Tigers beat writers each had interesting pieces. Danny Knobler said it’s time for Tiger hitters to stop complaining about Comerica. Brandon Inge had this to say:

“I look at it as a triples park,” said Brandon Inge, among the American League leaders with five triples (three of them at home). “Hit it on the barrel, and run for days. I need some more triples.”

“There shouldn’t be any excuses,” Inge said. “No excuses. Our ballpark is fair. Completely fair.”

Inge then went out and knocked a homer to straight away centerfield.

The Freep had a piece on the Carlos Pena reclamation project in Toledo, and early reports are positive:

“I’m not here going crazy, ‘My goodness, when are they going to pull me up?’ ” Pena said. “I’m trying to focus on the now. I don’t want to get anxious. I don’t want to get desperate.

“I want to learn what I need to do to be the best player I can be. I know when the time is right, I’ll be back up there.”

It also sounds like Larry Parrish and Leon Durham have figured out some of his problems.

John Lowe addressed the Tigers lack of offense citing a lack of patience and a failure to make adjustments among the many reasons.


Resting

Trammell has recieved a lot of criticism for resting players too much this year, some of it from me. But let’s look closer at the resting patterns. Ivan Rodgriguez has received considerable rest, and it may seem like too much. But if you look at innings caught in the AL, Pudge is 7th with 427 innings. Now 7th might not sound like much, but aside from Jason Kendall who has caught 483 innings, catchers 2nd through 7th have caught between 441 and 427 innings. Essentially, Pudge is catching as much as your typical AL starter.

In the case of Rondell White, as Jason pointed out in the comments, he’s an older player with a long injury history. Keep in mind his nickname when he signed here was RonDL White. What makes the rest tough to stomach is that he’s one of the few Tigers hitters producing.

Now if you look at the rest of Trammell’s resting patterns, guys are playing the bulk of the time. Dmitri Young is on pace to play 154 games. Craig Monroe is on pace to play 157. Since entering the starting lineup on April 17th, Nook Logan has started every game but two. And Brandon Inge has started every game but one this season.

In short, the guys that have been healthy and producing have been playing pretty much every day.