Mesa released

Yeah, I’m kind of late on this, but the news came down during my journey home from Cleveland.

The Mesa signing was kind of a mystery at the time. I guess the Tigers were hoping to get some better than replacement level bullpen depth. What they got was a whole lot less. I think Mesa’s stay was extended with the injuries to Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya, but he couldn’t do anything with the extra chances.

I’m thrilled that the Tigers are going to stick with the guys who have been performing well, and that Fernando Rodney will be back to stabilize the 8th inning.


  1. Mark in Chicago

    June 3, 2007 at 10:39 pm


    Any idea if another move is in the works? Releasing Mesa creates an opening on the 40-man roster and Leyland likes to keep 12 pitchers.

  2. cib

    June 3, 2007 at 10:49 pm


  3. Kyle M

    June 3, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    It’s about time that they cut Mesa loose. The sad thing is that if he would have pitched decently he really could have helped the team with all of the pitching injuries. There’s got to be someone still down at Toledo who can locate a fastball to pitch in the 6th inning and mop up.

  4. Mike R

    June 3, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    Someone mentioned the 40 man roster, and this isn’t related to Mesa but it reminded me of my question: Billfer do you have any idea why Kyle Sleeth is still on the 40 man roster? He’s sucking it up in Double-A baseball and it’s getting pretty clear his injuries have killed any chances he’s got to be an effective big leaguer, so why not drop him from the 40 man roster?

  5. Mike R

    June 3, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    Also, I’m not sure where to put this but I thought some stat heads/prospect lovers/baseball fans interested in the MLB Draft would find this mildly interesting. John Sickels, runner of had a community mock draft for the upcoming MLB Draft (to be aired on television, for which I am absolutely stoked).

    They had one person be the “scouting director” and the rest of the fans of that team would debate on who they should take leading up to the draft. Anyways, this is who they picked for the Tigers:

    1st Round
    27th overall: Todd Frazier, SS/3B, Rutgers.

    Frazier was drafted three years ago, but he honored his commitment to Rutgers, following in his brothers’ footsteps. He’s off to a tremendous start with a .775 slugging percentage. Considering the dearth of college bats in this class, it’s hard to imagine he’ll last long on draft day.

    That’s the quick summary scouting report on him. Jeff Frazier, was Tigers property and struggled for us (last I knew, he was like 25 and still in High-A Lakeland), but Todd is supposed to be the much better of the two.

    Supplemental Round
    60th Overall: Kyle Lotzkar, SP, South Delta High School, South Delta, BC

    Fellow Canadian Phillippe Aumont has been getting most of the buzz, but Lotzkar deserves some as well. He’s got an intriguing power package with a fastball/slider combination. How well he can harness and command his stuff, along with doing more with a third pitch, will determine whether he’s a starter or reliever in the future

    2nd Round
    91st Overall: Eric Eiland, Outfielder, Lamar HS, Houston.

    Eiland is a toolsy high school outfielder who really put himself on the map at the Area Code Games last year. His performance this year hasn’t necessarily lived up to that impression, but his skills are still undeniable. A hamstring injury hampered him for part of the season, but when healthy, Eiland has the ability to use his speed on both sides of the ball. He’s got great bat speed, which could lead to more power. How much people think he’ll hit could determine his draft status.

    3rd Round
    121st Overall: Kyle O’Campo, SP, Poly HS, Riverside, Cali.

    O’Campo was likely behind some of the other California prep arms heading into the Urban Youth Academy Showcase, but he stepped it up there. With a cleaner delivery and some good added weight, his fastball was jumping out of his hand.

    4th Round
    151st Overall: D.J. LeMahieu, SS, Brother Rice HS, Michigan.

    LeMahieu is built tall and rangy, with a high waist and long, strong limbs. That frame allows him to get very good extension at the plate, and he controls the strike zone well, with the ability to go the other way. At the Aflac All-American Classic, all of the balls he put into play were to deep right field, showing his opposite field power and willingness to go with the pitches that were thrown to him. He is an advanced hitter with plus power. Defensively he is rather smooth at shortstop now, but his frame will likely call for a move to either third base or a corner outfield spot down the road. He has a strong enough arm to play anywhere on the field. A Midwest player from Michigan, LeMahieu has committed to play for LSU.

    5th Round
    181st Overall: Angel Morales, Outfielder, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, Caguas, Puerto Rico.

    Morales is an extremely fast outfielder who likes to run and is fun to watch patrol center field. He still needs to learn how to use his speed to help his offensive game. If he can do that by playing small ball — more line drives, hitting the gaps, bunting — he could evolve into a pretty good leadoff type. Right now, except for the pure speed and the plus defense, everything else is a projection.

    Hopefully all the html is correct, otherwise this post will look like a mess, haha.

  6. Mike R

    June 3, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    Oh, damn. The kids name at the bottom of each of those boxes goes with the scouting report at the start of the next box. Oh well, it’s legible.

  7. Jim

    June 3, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    How’s de la cruz doing?

  8. Matt

    June 4, 2007 at 12:40 am

    Just heard the Tigers are looking into getting Eric Gagne…

    I’d still check on Brad Lidge, at least his thing is mental and not physical and he has been playing well as of late.

  9. Tim in TX

    June 4, 2007 at 1:27 am

    Hallelujah!! I never understood this pickup. We have enough pitchers in the minors with significant upside to need a player who had already shown obvious signs that the end was here. A split with CLE and a set at TX (where I will attend at least one of the games) and things are looking up.

  10. billfer

    June 4, 2007 at 7:47 am

    Mark – Mesa was released to make room for Rodney, so he’s your 12th pitcher. It does free up a spot on the 40, but I don’t think there are immediate plans to use it. They’ll need that spot when Rogers comes off the DL, hopefully later this month.

    Mike – I think that Sleeth is the next to go off the 40. There hasn’t been a pressing need to free up the spot, hence he’s still on there. And he’s at Lakeland now to try and get him more work. The org says he wasn’t getting enough time in at Erie.

  11. Mike R

    June 4, 2007 at 9:24 am

    Sleeth would’ve probably got more time in Double-A, had he not pitched like Jose Mesa.

  12. Ryan S

    June 4, 2007 at 10:27 am

    Wow, the weekend really did end on a high note!

  13. colin

    June 4, 2007 at 10:53 am

    Nice to see some performance-based roster management.

  14. Chris in Nashville

    June 4, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Yeah, it’s pretty easy to see that Joe Table had nothing left to get big league hitters out…..good riddance.

  15. Chris in Nashville

    June 4, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Yeah, it’s pretty easy to see that Joe Table had nothing left to get big league hitters out…..good riddance…I NEVER trusted that guy when he came in the game.

  16. Billy

    June 4, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    Yeah you were a little late on Mesa….good riddance.

    You might have forgotten this one too.

    Sheffield says Latin players easier to control than blacks news services

    Updated: June 3, 2007, 4:17 PM ET
    The percentage of African-Americans playing Major League Baseball is at an all-time low and Gary Sheffield says he has a theory why that’s the case.


    In an interview with GQ magazine that’s currently on newsstands, the typically outspoken Tigers designated hitter said Latin players have replaced African-Americans as baseball’s most prevalent minority because they are easier to control.

    “I called it years ago. What I called is that you’re going to see more black faces, but there ain’t no English going to be coming out. … [It’s about] being able to tell [Latin players] what to do — being able to control them,” he told the magazine.

    “Where I’m from, you can’t control us. You might get a guy to do it that way for a while because he wants to benefit, but in the end, he is going to go back to being who he is. And that’s a person that you’re going to talk to with respect, you’re going to talk to like a man.

    “These are the things my race demands. So, if you’re equally good as this Latin player, guess who’s going to get sent home? I know a lot of players that are home now can outplay a lot of these guys.”

    According to a 2005 report by the University of Central Florida Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, only 8.5 percent of major leaguers were African-American — the lowest percentage since the report was initiated in the mid-1980s. By contrast, whites comprised 59.5 percent of the majors’ player pool, Latinos 28.7 percent and Asians 2.5.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    Any guy who use to work out with Bonds is bad news…PERIOD.

  17. Luke

    June 4, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    Yes…..I agree with the Sheffield comments. He’s always been known to open his mouth up and dumb/idiotic things come out of it. Once again he has proven it. Total Jag!!!

  18. Joey the K

    June 4, 2007 at 5:16 pm



    So long, we won’t miss you.

    PS- Take Neifi with you.

  19. Mark

    June 4, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    Which pitcher will drop out of the rotation when Rogers comes back, and what would you expect that person’s role to be. Will they trade who ever ends up getting sacrificed?

  20. Chris in Nashville

    June 4, 2007 at 5:39 pm

    Durbin will go out of the rotation for sure once Rogers comes back, but I think we got all we could ask for out of Durbin. I’m sure they would put the Durb in the bullpen for long relief and be a sixth starter…even though that would appear to be what Miner’s role is now with Mesa gone. But with no options left for Durbin or Miner, the chances of trading either of them and getting value back is slim and none.

    By the way…I wonder how all of Sheff’s hispanic teammates are taking his comments? I bet Pudge would have a few choice words for him.

  21. Andrew

    June 4, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    Adios Jose.

    And Sheff goes from the frying pan (bat tossing incident) to the fire (Hispanic comments). Old man Leyland needs to chew on Sheff’s behind like he would a big ‘ol cigar.

  22. Adrienne

    June 4, 2007 at 6:01 pm

    I know that this is irrelevant to this post but I was wondering if Curtis Granderson was married or had a girlfriend. I heard rumors that he has had affairs but I don’t know if those were just rumors.

  23. Dave Wagner

    June 4, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    Curtis is unmarried. Plus, he has some sort of accounting degree in case this baseball thing doesn’t work out – what a catch!!!

  24. Adrienne

    June 4, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    Does Curtis seem like a nice guy? The reason I’m asking these questions is because well, frankly, because Pistons season is over it is time for the Tigers and I really like Chauncey Billups and I always thought that Curtis was like him. Ya know, nice, confident and I was just wondering if that was true.

  25. Nate

    June 4, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    You can learn more about Curtis, in his own words, on his blog, Adrienne.

  26. Jeff M

    June 4, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    Durbin will go out of the rotation for sure once Rogers comes back

    Not necessarily. Durbin’s numbers are significantly better than Maroth’s. Mike will probably keep his job for because Durbin has demonstrated that he can be effective out of the pen, and Maroth hasn’t, but it’s definitely not a sure thing.

  27. Dave Wagner

    June 4, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    But…but… Mike’s left-handed! LEFT-HANDED!

  28. Mike R

    June 4, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    Maroth will keep his job. That’s just how it’s going to go — whether at that point Durbin has more numbers or not I don’t think will make much of a difference.

    And Miner’s out of options? I thought he had 1 left.

  29. Chris in Nashville

    June 4, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    You could be right about Miner, I’ll have to check on that. Come on…get real Jeff M…Maroth is doing his job and is an established Major League starter…Durbin has had a few good starts and would be a tremendous spot starter and long reliever, but I wouldn’t trust him in the long run. Durbin is the odd man out when Kenny comes back.

    Maroth is an EXCELLENT 5th starter, most teams would kill to have a 5th starter as good as him.

  30. billfer

    June 5, 2007 at 9:43 am

    Miner still has options left. This year is already an option year for him, seeing as he was already in the minors. He’ll still have an option after this year as well.

  31. Sam

    June 5, 2007 at 10:02 am

    I will not be surprised if it is Maroth who is pulled from the rotation. Maroth WHIP and HRs allowed are atrocious.

    Durbin has much better stuff, and is kind of the pitching version of Monroe/Thames in the fact that he was at one time a very highly regarded prospect who had several small auditions through the years and failed each time. Now that he is getting a regular turn, he is pitching well.

    I don’t think Maroth gets any preference because he is not a Leyland pet. They left him off of the post season roster last year and chose Miner instead. Miner only had 1 insignificant appearence in the post season. Maroth could of easily taken Miner’s place.


  32. Chris in Nashville

    June 5, 2007 at 10:39 am

    Thanks for clearing that up Bilfer….I was trying to find that info for a while last night and I actually learned a lot about options in the process. But Durbin is still going to the pen when Rogers comes back.

  33. Jeff M

    June 5, 2007 at 11:05 am

    get real Jeff M…Maroth is doing his job and is an established Major League starter…

    Maroth is a middle of the road starter who’s trying to prove he can still be effective after a serious surgery. He sucked at the end of last year and he’s not looking much better than a “replacement pitcher” so far this year.

    After 10+ starts each, every one of Durbin’s numbers are noticeably better. Maroth has certainly earned the benefit of the doubt, but if we continue to lose ground to Cleveland and Durbin continues to outpitch him, you have to consider switching.

  34. Chris in Nashville

    June 5, 2007 at 11:42 am

    I’ll give you this Jeff M…you make a compelling argument. Durbin’s numbers are a little better than I thought, and Maroth’s are worse then I thought. I did some research on Run Support and actually Maroth has more and it appears they have pitched against similar teams…so Durbin has been a lilttle better at this point of the season. I also just read that Kenny might be back as early as June 20…so this whole topic might become more of a debate quickly.

  35. T Smith

    June 5, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    Joining the discussion late… have to agree with Jeff M on this one. Maroth isn’t the same pitcher he was before the surgery, and Durbin has settled in nicely. Maroth also loves to give up the long ball — and in a dog fight with home-run happy Cleveland down the stretch, I prefer Durbin. Save for the first couple starts, Durbin has actually been the most consistent pitcher. That said, not sure if Leyland et al will see it that way; I would never presume to figure out Leyland’s roster decisions

  36. Andrew

    June 5, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    Remember how well Zach Miner started out last year after replacing Maroth? He went 6-1 through July 8th (first half of 2006).

    He ended up 7-6 with a 4.84 ERA and was pitching out of the bullpen at the end of the year.

    I’ll take Maroth and his Major League experience right now.

    What happens if Maroth is demoted and Durbin struggles like Miner did? What will Maroth’s psyche be like if he is called back up to be the 5th starter again?

    Remember, this is a guy that still wants to have confidence in his arm holding up.

  37. Andrew

    June 5, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    Remember last year when Zach Miner began the year 6-1?

    He finished 7-6 with a 4.84 ERA and was pitching out of the bullpen at the end of the season and playoffs.

    Sure Durbin is doing well right now, but what happens when teams start seeing him the second, or third time through?

    I am not giving up on Maroth just yet.

  38. Dave Wagner

    June 5, 2007 at 5:26 pm

    I’ve always loved Maroth, but since his surgery all of his previous negative tendencies have just gotten worse. He’s giving up 2.2 homeruns and over ten hits per 9 innings right now, and his K to BB ratio has gone all to hell (3.08 : 3.52 ) – not a great sign for a pitcher who’s main selling point is control.

    I’d be very surprised to see him on the team next year – I’m not happy about it, but what can you do?

  39. charlie

    June 5, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    the tigers shopped maroth around in the off season…i believe they are still trying to move him.

  40. Daniel

    August 2, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    I have to say, that I could not agree with you in 100% regarding Mesa released, but it’s just my opinion, which could be wrong 🙂

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