Some Detroit Tiger related links from the last few days that you might have missed:
- Baseball Analysts on the Central: Aaron Gleeman and the Cheat join Rich and Bryan to break down the AL Central. The consensus was that the Tigers are probably the 4th best team in a pretty good division.
Aaron: Right. Detroit doesn’t have any real stars, but I could see them being average or better at every position.
Bryan: Seems to me the Twins and Tigers will be battling for having the third and fourth offenses in the division, but the Twins strength in pitching puts them way ahead.
Cheat: I’d rate the Tigers offense ahead of the Twins, but your point still stands. The difference in pitching is too much to overcome.
Bryan: It seems funny to say that in the AL Central that a good offense and mediocre pitching staff doesn’t have a ton of hope for third. That’s new.
Aaron: Yeah. This Tigers team could have competed for the division title a couple years ago.
- Love for Craig Monroe: Greg Eno is a big fan of Craig Monroe and would like to see him inked to a long term contract.
So DD better stop fiddling around and keep Monroe in a Tigers uniform for years to come. He has the strength to muscle the ball over Comerica Park’s distant walls in left and left-center field. He doesn’t drop the ball with his glove, and can throw it with some accuracy and zip. He is also another rarity among Tigers players of late: he is not baseball stupid.
Now I like Greg as a writer, and I like Craig Monroe, but I can’t agree here. Monroe’s production is fairly typical, not extraordinary. He has two more years of arbitration eligibility and there is no need to sign him to a long term deal. I love his work ethic, his attitude, and I have no desire to see him leave. However, he is probably also one of the more replaceable players on the roster.
- Former Tigers, current Nationals: Jason Beck writes about the former Tigers who find themselves with the Washington Nationals. The contingent includes Robert Fick, Damian Jackson, Mike DiFelice, Andrew Good, George Lombard and Brandon Harper.
- A Rockies fan bashes Detroit: Bad Altitude, a member of the Baseball Toaster family has been preparing Hastily Assembled Previews for various teams. He’s not big on Detroit to say the least:
It’s almost besides the point to try and predict a record or finish for the Tigers in 2006, because for teams with no chance of contending records are looked to for signs of progress. If the Rockies win 75 games this year, that’ll be a nice little accomplishment and pats on the back will be due all ’round. If Detroit wins 75 games in ’06, or 84, or 64, who cares, because it’ll be the exact same story in 2007. And the year after that…and the year after that…. They’re duking it out with Baltimore for the coveted title of Worst Organization in MLB (Kansas City is disqualified as they haven’t been actively trying to field a major league team for some time now). I kind of wish they were in our division.
Now the author qualified it as a hastily assembled preview, and if I tried to put quicly put together several hundred words about a team outside of the Central I would struggle. Still, I’m not impressed with the work here. He criticizes the Tigers for overspending on Rogers (which they probably did), for sticking with the mainstays in the rotation (Bonderman, Robertson, Maroth), and for rushing Verlander and Zumaya. I’m really not sure who he invisions pitching in Detroit. They can’t use their highly touted prospects, they can’t use the average, cheap, homegrown players they have, and they can’t sign free agents.
Dombrowski and the Tigers are certainly open to criticism. The Rogers, Jones, and Ordonez contracts all fall in the category of excessive no matter what your criteria is. However, at least in the case of Rogers and Jones the length of the contracts don’t seem to prohibit anything else (spending, player promotions/development). If you want to call them the worst organization in baseball for the totality of the last 12 years that is fine, and difficult to argue. To base it on the last 2 seasons just doesn’t make sense.
- BA’s Top 50 Okay, so you probably didn’t miss this one. In case you hadn’t heard, 3 Tigers made the top 50. Justin Verlander checked in at 8, followed by Cameron Maybin at 31, and Joel Zumaya at 35. I happen to think that Zumaya is probably ranked a little low, but at the same time I don’t know enough about other teams prospects to really complain to much. In any case, 3 players in the Top 50 is probably pretty good for one of the worst organizations in baseball.