There have been a lot of interesting Tiger articles over the last week or so, both National and local.
- Baseball Prospectus did a Q & A with Dave Dombrowski. The most interesting element may be some insight into his opinion of statistics as an evaluation method. He doesn’t dismiss them, but still values scouting.
There’s also a lot more focus on the statistical side now. There are a lot more general managers who are younger. A lot of decisions are now made based on statistical analysis, and that allows you to acquire some good baseball people you may not have considered years ago. There’s a tremendous ability that scouts still bring to an organization, though. The foundation for being good is that you have to have those quality evaluators of talent. Sometimes people attempt to take the short cut by only looking at statistics and downplaying scouting contributions.
- Bryan Smith from Baseball Analysts took a look at the next great class of pitchers now that many of the previous class have graduated to the pros. He’s not as high on the next group, but in the comments he had this to say about Humberto Sanchez.
Humberto Sanchez is one of my favorite prospects, and I have him pretty highly rated, I think. His start at Triple-A last night indicated that he’s very close to making a contribution in the big leagues. While Joel Zumaya has likely found a home in the bullpen, I hope the Tigers let Sanchez prove he should be a reliever before making the switch. This guy is ready to start in the bigs now.
- Danny Knobler writes that Pudge Rodriguez has said he’d like to finish his career as a Tiger, and he’s not talking about retiring at the end of his contract. He wants to play 4 more years beyond this season. His current contract has one more guaranteed year and an option year in 2008. Pudge doesn’t look at all close to retirement behind the plate, and while his offensive performance doesn’t warrant $10 million a year he has been productive. Right now with the lack of catching depth in the organization I’d be surprised if the club didn’t pick up the option for 2008. But I’d be surprised if they signed another 2 year contract after that.
- In another BP premium article, Nate Silver does an excellent job looking beyond Justin Verlander’s strike out rate to see just how good he is. Silver finds that with Verlander’s command and stuff he will have no problem striking people out when he wants to. He also quantifies something I’ve suspected based on observation.
What’s especially interesting is that Verlander does manage to rack up strikeouts when he most needs them. Thus far in the 2006 season:
* Verlander records a strikeout 10% of the time with nobody on base;
* Verlander records a strikeout 21% of the time with runners on;
* Verlander records a strikeout 27% of the time with runners in scoring position!
- Pudge is about 35,000 votes behind Jason Varitek in All Star Voting. If you’d like to vote for Pudge, the ballot can be found here. Right now it wouldn’t surprise me if the Tigers only got one representative. Joe Mauer is the most deserving catcher, which may hurt Pudge if he isn’t voted in. I’d say that Kenny Rogers and Magglio Ordonez are the most likely cases to represent the tigers at this point.