Trade Deadline Wrap-Up and More

Some opinion on the Tigers at the deadline and other thoughts…

The deal that was made

After some additional reflection on the Sean Casey trade, my opinion hasn’t changed greatly. I don’t think it is a bad trade by any means, but I agree with Beyond the Boxscores that it probably isn’t much of a difference maker.

Casey does add something that is lacking from the offense and that is a high OPB. And ironically enough the biggest beneficiary may be Chris Shelton who gets to work on things without the spot light. But as Samela points out, once again the Pirates stick it to Shelton.

The other nice aspect is that while Casey is injury prone, so is Dmitri Young. This provides some nice insurance. The Tigers have added organization depth because they didn’t give up Shelton.

And finally it was nice to hear Dave Dombrowski say that Chris Shelton is still the first basemen of the future.

The deals that weren’t made

The Tigers didn’t have to chip in to their major league roster, which I can appreciate as a long term fan. I’ve often thought that Craig Monroe was the most upgradeable amongst the position players. At the same time I really want Monroe to succeed here in Detroit for the simple reason I like the guy. He works hard, seems to be a genuinely nice guy, and is easy to root for. I know those are the worst reasons not to make a move, but I have a soft spot for the guys who were here during the lean times.

Also, the blockbuster for Alfonso Soriano never took place so the top organizational prospects Humberto Sanchez and Cameron Maybin remain intact. While we are still a couple years away from seeing Maybin, Sanchez very well may be on display come September.

And yes, the Tigers probably could have made a move to improve their middle relief. But then again it is middle relief. Think about what is typically asked of those guys and I don’t view it as a pressing need.

The 8.5 game lead

While 8.5 games is certainly more comfortable than 1.5, just ask the White Sox how quickly things can change. On July 12th the White Sox were only 2 game behind the Tigers and ahd a 6 game lead in the Wild Card. They’ve given up 6.5 games in both instances and it only took a couple weeks. There are 2 full months left to play. While I wouldn’t say you should expect the same thing to happen to the Tigers, it would be foolish to not to acknowledge it couldn’t.

Bonderman didn’t have a melt down

I heard too many times today about how Jeremy Bonderman had a melt down in the 8th inning yesterday. The only thing that Bonderman did wrong was commit the balk. The rest was on his infield and general fluky-ness. Bonderman continued to make good pitches and induce weakly hit balls. That game got away from the Tigers, but it didn’t get away from Bonderman.

Dmitri and doubt

The unfortunate thing about Dmitri Young’s personal problems is that nights like tonight will happen and people will start to question things. Four errors, 3 of them simply not catching balls thrown to him, combined with a couple miserable looking strike outs and it is hard not to be suspicious.


  1. Kyle J

    July 31, 2006 at 10:56 pm

    DY’s fielding was pretty bad, but I do think he deserves a break on the throw from Guillen. He was fully extended and the ball glanced off the end of his glove. He would have had to come off the bag to catch it. Maybe he should have, but that one wasn’t as easy a play as Rod Allen made it out to be.

    Bigger concern for me is Rogers. Not sure what can be done at this point, but he sure looks like he’s lost his mojo. Here’s hoping Maroth still has his when he gets back. We’re going to need somebody’s mojo down the stretch and into the postseason . . .

  2. Nick G

    August 1, 2006 at 12:30 am

    I had the Tampa Bay feed on the MLB TV package. After the third DY error, the TB announcers likened him to pop star Michael Jackson: Both are wearing one glove for no apparent reason.

    Maybe that’s an old joke but it made me giggle at the time. And, I like DY and wish him the best. It’s ironic to me that we had some pretty extensive threads here about our fielding at first base the last day or so, then this happened.

  3. Josh B

    August 1, 2006 at 9:01 am

    The Tigers need to be careful with Chris Shelton. Leyland’s unwillingness to move him up in the lineup was as instrumental as his inability to lay off the high fastball in causing him to slump in the past few months. When given the job and left alone, the guy can flat out rake. He’s going to be good for a .300 average and 100 RBIs a year as soon as we just leave him alone and let him do his thing.

    I love Sean Casey and think that platooning the two of them is not a bad idea, especially as it would add some patience to the lineup against tough right-handed pitchers, but sending Shelton down now has got to be a blow to his confidence. If Leon Durham is such a great batting coach, maybe he should stay with the major league team all the time.

  4. Dennis

    August 1, 2006 at 10:58 am

    i think durham’s best in the minors for the same reason jeff jones should stay there…in the minors, you can afford to break a guy’s mechanics down, then rebuild them, a process that can take weeks. you generally don’t have that luxury in the big leagues.

    plus, when you’re working on mechanics, it’s vital that the student understand that results are not important right now, proper form is…results will follow form. another lesson that is much harder to teach in the pressure of the big leagues.

  5. Jim

    August 1, 2006 at 2:52 pm

    CASEY: I think Sean Casey is more of a difference maker than people generally give him credit for. There is way more to “making a difference” than hitting a few home runs. When you look at the Tiger’s lineup do you think “we need to hit more home runs?” I don’t think that; I think we need to get on base more often. I also think we need to strikeout less with a runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs. Mr. Casey will help both of these areas quite a bit. It actually pained me to see Brian Rogers traded. I think he was having the best season at AA (even including Humberto Sanchez). Their opponents batting average were both great, but Rogers had better control, walking many fewer batters. However, the best you hope for out of any prospect is to get a decent major-league player; we got that with Casey. I know it doesn’t look like he fits into next year’s roster, but I hope we re-sign him. I like guys with high AVG, OPB and low K rate. He fits the mold of guys like Hal Morris, Mark Grace, Rod Carew. The only thing I don’t like is that in his career he has 0 sacrifice bunts.

    YOUNG: I’m willing to cut him some slack, at least for a while. Including the minors he’s been playing now for 2 weeks? He’s still in his spring training. I admit it was a bad inning, but I’ll stop short of saying I wouldn’t let him play the field anymore.

    BONDERMAN: That 8th inning was a terrible TEAM effort, but not pitching. Every pitch that was hit was low and on the corner. And I remember 4 ground balls in a row. On any kind of natural turf they would have been outs. Jeremy was a VICTIM. It’s a shame he didn’t get the win.

    THE TRADES WE DIDN’T MAKE: Hooray for DD. The last thing I wanted him to do was trade away the minor-league talent he has stockpiled in an effort to WIN NOW. First of all, the team with the best record in baseball doesn’t need to play catch-up; all the other teams do. Second, I’d rather see a winning streak of several years, like we had in the 80s, or Atlanta’s nice streak in the 90s, etc. instead of blowing it all on one year. Soriano may have improved the offense by 1% for 25% of the season, but so does Sean Casey in my view. I was really afraid Dave & Jim would give away everything in order to WIN NOW like they did in Florida. This makes me feel much better about the team for years to come.