Breaking down the Dombrowski pow-wow

Dave Dombrowski held court today in what was deemed an informal availability session and broached a number of topics.  Jason Beck was first to the web with the bullet points.  Definitely click through to Beck’s reporting, but I’ll weigh in on the bullets as well.

Pudge Rodriguez

No decision yet on Pudge and Dombrowski indicated the team might use their full allotment of time (10 days after the World Series) to make a decision. I just documented my thoughts on the situation and believe Pudge needs to be back next year. Whether that means picking up the option, or buying him out and inking him to a 2 year deal that pays him $7-8 million per – I’d be okay with both.

Todd Jones

Beck says:

They’ve expressed their interest in bringing Todd Jones back for next year, but while he would come back as a closer to start the year, they wouldn’t commit to keeping him there as the season went on.

I like the plan, and don’t want to see Jones blocking Zumaya. At the same time, if Jones is back, and can’t hold down the closer role that probably isn’t a good sign. Also, Jones is looking to see if Atlanta would be interested so he could be closer to home. I’ll be taking a deeper dive look at Jones coming up soon.

The rotation

Three spots are set and allocated to Verlander/Bonderman/Robertson. One spot will go to a veteran – like Kenny Rogers if he chooses to come back or another acquisition if he doesn’t- and the other spot will go to a kid to be determined. While trading Robertson would bring back some value, it also leaves a hole in the rotation and going into the season counting on more than one of Jurrjens/Miller/Bazardo to hold down a roster spot for a full year is a risky proposition. The thought of the three of them holding down one spot and then being available for injuries/tired arms is pretty appealing. Plus a one year deal for Rogers means the whole veteran presence without commiting to someone who might block a youngster when they are ready.

Left Field

Will look to get a left handed bat for the outfield that could be a starter, or a platoon partner for Marcus Thames. The ability to get a starter will probably be directly impacted on the cost of a shortstop, and whether or not they need to fill Kenny’s spot with a longer term contract that would consume more resources.

Jurrjens and Sheffield

Jurrjens will be spending the offseason with Gary Sheffield and working with Sheff’s trainer so that Jurrjens gains strength. I can only wonder how this came about. Did the club initiate it? Did Jurrjens initiate it? Was it Sheffield’s idea? For some reason this just strikes me as a fascinating conversation and a very interesting dynamic. A veteran slugging outfielder near the end of his career teaming up with a 21 year old rookie pitcher from Curacao to build strength. Good times.

Beck’s Blog: No extension for Leyland … yet


  1. Mark P.

    October 1, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    After reading this, I am not sure I want Jones back if they are not going to have him as a closer. Think of all the runs he will let in if he came in with runners on base in the 7th or 8th.

  2. Kathy

    October 1, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    Re: Jair…..He’s just 21 and lives on some island, who knows where and he doesn’t make any money to speak of. Plus, they don’t want him pitching in any of the Fall or Winter leagues. Sheff will keep him busy, out of trouble and get a little schooling. I think Sheff has a daughter or a son the same age.

  3. Kathy

    October 1, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    The fact that Leyland doesn’t have an extension yet is kinda interesting, too.

  4. David

    October 1, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    Let Pudge walk unless he will take a 5mil for 1 year
    Vance and Rabelo are as good as Pudge offensively, and IMO Vance is a tremendous game caller – better than Pudge, also isn’t bad behind the dish

    Let Jones go, please let him go
    Francisco Cordero, Kerry Wood and Eddie Guardado are all FA

    I really hope Kenny stays he really makes our rotation alot stronger, ie. sets the tone (look at the stats after he has a good starts and then the SP’s ERA until it gets back to him. There really aren’t any good SP that I think we could pick up.

    As far as SS I have already said I think Inge should be moved there as he is being somewhat wasted at third and is the best infielder I have ever seen even with the errors and heads and shoulders above Polanco. IMO we should pick up Lowell for third.

    If not there aren’t really many SS that I think the Tigs could trade for – the Angels seem to have quite a few plus IF prospects maybe trade for OC? but he is kinda big in LA

    Maybe Tejada – has had a off year and would be cheaper. I duno it’ll be up to DD and co.

    LF – Barry Bonds? =P hah no thx. as Leyland has already said

    Adam Dunn? naw we don’t need the record setting K’s free-swinging ways with our team and his HR total would def drop from going from a tiny park to a larger one.

    If the Yanks don’t resign Abreu and we could get him for a decent price maybe

    The guy I’d like to see them go after is Kosuke Fukudome.

    I’d also Torii Hunter b/c he is really good but I’m not a big fan of his prolly b/c he runs his mouth like Shef and has been the face of the Evil Twinkies.

    Andruw Jones? no thx…

    maybe Aaron Rowand. might work he’s been away from the sox long enough that I don’t h8 him anymore

    Could JJ be the next JV? or at least the poor-mans JV in ’08 maybe… Shef please don’t give him any illegal substances… jk

    whos going to win it all? I’m rootin’ for the Tribe myself – let them finish their magical season and their fans are the only in the AL Central who don’t annoy me.

  5. Alan

    October 2, 2007 at 12:31 am

    I think that there are a few players we should pursue, if they do decide to leave Inge at third David Eckstein will be on the market and he is a solid hitter. Of course A-rod can avoid his contract and we can slide inge over, though that is very unlikely he will leave NY.

    What about dealing for Dontrelle Willis, he’s stuck on a horrible team I think he would be a great fit in Detroit and I don’t think his price tag would be to steap. Although there has been talk he will be dealt to philly.

    Also I hope they keep Timo and Santiago in mind for some utility players.

    As for Cleavland I hope they make it all the way and fail just like the Cavs. I think their fans are more annoying than any.

  6. Alan

    October 2, 2007 at 12:42 am

    Should also add Curt Schilling if Kenny decides to go and Milton Bradley in left if he can prove to be healthy (don’t know where he stands with his ACL).

  7. David

    October 2, 2007 at 12:52 am

    Schilling will stay in Boston if he plays. And I wouldn’t touch Milton with a ten foot pole.

  8. Mike R

    October 2, 2007 at 12:53 am

    Yes to Kenny on a 1 year deal. Maybe throw in an option if he wants it.

    Yes to Jones coming back on a 1 year deal and yes to him closing. More situations arise in the 7th and 8th where Rodney and Zumaya are needed then in the 9th. Give me 2 outstanding set up men and a passable closer (you know, kind of what worked in 2006…) and I’ll be happy.

    LF is the easiest spot to platoon. Just as long as Marcus doesn’t start, he’s not a fulltime player.

    Yes to I-Rod if he would like to come back with a 1 year and a vested option based on incentives for a 2nd year and at like $4-5 million. Unrealistic, but ideal.

  9. Mike R

    October 2, 2007 at 1:16 am

    There might not be room for Schilling in the Red Sox rotation. And Theo has proven to be a very shrewd that doesn’t get caught up in the loyalty factor. Their rotation very likely will be Beckett/Dice-K/Wakefield/Buchholz/Lester.

  10. Chris

    October 2, 2007 at 3:03 am

    The Tigers should pass on Rogers and try acquire a more durable innings-eating starter for their rotation. My worry with the Gambler is his health for the long haul of the season. Age is becoming a big factor and the worst thing we will see is the repeat of the problem that hit this team this year: namely, the problem of starters not going deep enough into games, exposing & wearing down the bullpen. If the Tigers are going with one prospect (Jurrjens, Miller, or Bazardo) in the #5 spot, then the other four starting combo is going to have little slack in the innings load. And if they have to turn to their bullpen to carry the load, then we’ll likely see another 2nd half collapse out of the race (also note that this was the cause of the Mets’ October vacation, as well).

    I personally would like the Tigers go after someone like Carlos Silva of the Twins. The last four seasons he put in an average of 193 innings.

  11. Chris Y.

    October 2, 2007 at 6:05 am

    The thought of Silva in a Tiger uniform gives me the willies.

    Silva is nothing more than a durable pinata; career k/9 of less than 4, no winning seasons since 04 on a pretty decent team. Plus, his 06 numbers were absolutely putrid.

    No thanks, I’d take Kenny.

  12. Walt

    October 2, 2007 at 10:12 am

    I think if anyone is going to slide from 3b to SS it is more likely to be Arod than Inge. That being said, I don’t think we sign Arod. If we did however, it could make signing pudge easier at a lower price. I like the idea of pursuing Lowell if the price is not ridiculous. If we signed both Arod and Lowell, we could even play Inge in LF and still only have one hole in the lineup.

    As far as starting pitching goes, I think that if Kenny retires Schilling is a good option. I know that he has talked about going to a team like Tampa and working with a young staff, so why not Detroit? He could work with a young staff and have a chance to win. Again if the price is low enough, I could see signing Schilling and re-signing Kenny and only relying on the two of them to hold one spot in the rotation. If both of them remain helathy, the worst case scenario is the kids get another year of seasoning. It is hard to predict what either will sign for at this point in either of their careers though.

  13. tiff

    October 2, 2007 at 10:38 am

    If Kenny retires, I’d like him to stay on as a part of the coaching staff to the youngsters. I really like the influence he’s yielded on them so far.

    The story of Jurrjens and Sheffield is totally making me smile. Sounds like it could be a movie or a TV show. Young, rambunctious pitcher learns a lesson on life from old wily slugger. And falls in love with his daughter. Perfect!

  14. Chris

    October 2, 2007 at 10:43 am

    Chris Y,

    Not every pitcher on your staff can be a 3.50 ERA/ 18 game winner. That would be nice, but the more realistic hope for a good team is to have two winning star pitchers– guys who can give a majority of quality starts– on top of a staff of 500 winning/4.20 ERA no-names. Guys like Nate Robinson fill that very important no-name role. The key there is to get a lot of innings out of each start so the bullpen doesn’t get too exposed in the season.

    If you have a guy like ’07 Kenny Rogers, someone who goes on the DL multiple times, you then have to put up with a youngster or minor leaguer replacement who typically only goes 5 innings. And then when your regular stater comes off the DL, he too only goes 5 innings for a good part of his reentry into the rotation.

    And then we get the exact problem that sent the Tigers packing last Sunday. With Kenny Rogers out of the rotation, the Tigers were compelled to rush Andrew Miller in as a 5 inning starter. This, along with other problems in starting pitching duration, was forcing the team to dig deep and dig often to an already injury weakened bullpen. And that’s when things began to fall apart in the 2nd half.

    A guy like Silva can get you a lot of starts late in the season where he goes 7+ innings. That is huge because it helps to preserve Rondney & Zumaya for the winnable games where you need your top relievers. It also keeps your mop-up relievers on the bench for those winnable games too.

  15. cib

    October 2, 2007 at 11:22 am

    I think our group might appreciate this:

  16. Kathy

    October 2, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Thanks, cib. I’d hate to be a Mets fan. We, at least some of us, know the utter agony some of them are feeling. Terrible disappointment for them.

  17. don

    October 2, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    FYI, ladies and gents, rotoworld did a list of FAs at each position, along with non-tender and trade candidates. The info’s a couple weeks old, but mostly pretty comprehensive:

  18. Scott

    October 2, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    I agree with you on Silva … I think he would be a good add-on, but I don’t see the Twins letting him go to a divisional rival. Same thing with Paul Byrd, who is also a free agent. Ideally, Rogers comes back AND the Tigers sign or trade for another veteran starter. I don’t think any of the Tigers top pitching prospects (Miller, Jurgens, Bazardo) will be ready for the start of the season. You’ve got to love Chad Durbin… the guy gets the most out of what he has, but I don’t want to see him in there on the starting staff. Ideally, he takes Grilli’s spot.

    A thought occurred to me about this off-season that was rather distasteful: what if the Tigers decide to get cheap. As evidence:
    – Not bringing Casey back … even though he probably would have accepted a backup role at a much cheaper rate.
    – Didn’t Knobler report they wouldn’t pick up Pudge’s option?
    – Jones and Rogers yet to be signed. Both could walk and the Tigers could fill in with cheaper options.

    They could be looking at their roster and thinking we’re going to have to pay some of the younger guys big $$$$ over the next few years, better save some money now.

    I hope I’m wrong, but I kind of wonder if that’s what’s happening.

  19. David

    October 2, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    Silva = Gas Can, its nice to have an innings eater, but not of that quality

    Arod isn’t comming here, neither is Schilling

    We could get another catcher for 4 mil, or sign pudge for alittle more, HE IS NOT WORTH 10mil

    Take that money and use it to help on a SS and OF + Closer, and get a good defensive catcher. Or platoon Rabelo and Vance.

  20. BobS.

    October 2, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    Thanks for that link to rotoworld,don.
    Thin pickings at SS,inluding Eckstein,the most overrated ‘underrated’ player in baseball.
    Some ideas that list of position players (particularly Castillo,Lowell,and Rowand,three guys whose play has always impressed me) brings to mind:1.Castillo for 2B,with Polanco moving to third and Inge to SS. 2. Sign Lowell to play third,again moving Inge to SS. 3. Aaron Rowand,to play either center or left (ideally center,where he’s Granderson’s equal with the glove with a more legitimate CF arm).Regardless of who the regular CF is,Rowand can play there against LHP,with Thames in LF and Granderson on the bench until late innings.

  21. Scott

    October 2, 2007 at 1:38 pm


    I kind of get where you are coming from with some of your ideas, but I can’t agree on anything except Rowand.

    – Inge is a heck of an athlete, but I doubt seriously if he has enough mobility to play shortstop (yes, I know he played there in college … but that was a long time ago).

    – I’d rather keep Polly at 2B, where he is Gold Glove caliber.

    – I’m not thrilled about any of the potential new shortstops either, but I don’t think it’s wise to create a bunch of potential problems to try and fix one problem. I think the hope is to sign or trade for a guy that will play for a season or two unti one of the farm boys, hopefully, is ready to take over.

  22. David

    October 2, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    Thank You Bob for agreeing with me.

    Scott – all of your statements except Roward are wrong.

    your right Inge is a heck of an athlete, oh and Yes he has more than enough mobility to play SS, the fact that he is not already playing SS is probably dumber leaving Jones in for 4 straight Innings.

    No one can argue that his arm-strength is one of the best if not the best in baseball. His accuracy is very very good also

    In ’05 he lead all 3rd basemen in Assists and DP

    In 2006 he broke the Tigers single-season record for Assists and was only 14 short of the Major League record. Only 5 other thrid basemen in the HISTORY OF BASEBALL have collected more in a single-season than Inge in 2006

    Two of those guys are named Brooks Robinson and Mike Schmidt.

    Doesn’t have enough mobility> PSH in fact one could argue that he has too much.

    Poly – now there is a guy who doesn’t have a lot of mobility – has some but not alot but is a sure handed fielder and has a good arm – and has already played 3rd.

    BTW GG caliber doesn’t mean they are a good fielder – DJ has won a few and his isn’t any better than Guillen, GG is normally tied to offense if you haven’t got the memo

    Plus if you go after Castillo you get another switch hitter – who has speed to burn – plus a leadoff hitter.

    Rowand would be ideal for RF because he has a stronger arm than Maggs and much more range.

    Lowell is also a good choice b/c he is a very strong hitter.

    Oh and who do we have in the minors who is ready to take over at SS or 2nd or 3rd?

    The last few years we’ve drafted Verlander, Miller, Maybin and Porcello – 3 SP 1 OF, 0IF, 0Catchers

    Unless we got another Zumaya (late rounder who blossoms) IF I don’t see any farm boys pushing Polanco or Inge away.

    The Angels have some of that though and so do some other teams. Lets go raid their farm, boys!

  23. Walt

    October 2, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    David, you are right. Arod is not coming. He still has a better chance at being the Tigers SS next year than Inge though. If we want a good glove no bat SS it will be Santiago.

  24. BobS.

    October 2, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    I think Inge could quickly become one of the better defensive shortstops in the American League (which admittedly isn’t saying much-all the good ones seem to be in the NL these days-by the way,did anyone see the play Tulowitzki made last night,ranging far to his right and making a strong off-balance throw to first?I can see Inge making that play.).
    I agree with David’s observation that while Polanco is very sure handed,he doesn’t move that great in either direction.Third would be less demanding in that respect.He’s also shown that he has more than enough arm to be a very good third baseman.Castillo’s not exactly a slouch at 2B,either-more range than Polanco and just as good on the DP.In fact,he’s one of the better defensive players at the position,not to mention a legitimate switch hitting lead off hitter.I’d go so far as to argue that collectively Guillen,Castillo,Polanco,and Inge would be the best defensive infield in baseball.
    Yeah,Rowand could play RF (although I think Ordonez’ arm there is underrated-he’s actually a pretty solid defensive player who’s lost a few steps.).Wherever he plays,an outfield with him and Granderson together becomes one of the best defensive outfields in baseball and also reduces the ground the third outfielder has to cover,whoever it is.An additional benefit,which I’ve taken some heat for suggesting,is that it allows you get Granderson’s hole filled bat on the bench against LHP without any defensive drop-off whatsoever in CF.

  25. Mike R

    October 2, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    The Tigers should pass on Rogers and try acquire a more durable innings-eating starter for their rotation. My worry with the Gambler is his health for the long haul of the season. Age is becoming a big factor and the worst thing we will see is the repeat of the problem that hit this team this year: namely, the problem of starters not going deep enough into games, exposing & wearing down the bullpen. If the Tigers are going with one prospect (Jurrjens, Miller, or Bazardo) in the #5 spot, then the other four starting combo is going to have little slack in the innings load. And if they have to turn to their bullpen to carry the load, then we’ll likely see another 2nd half collapse out of the race (also note that this was the cause of the Mets’ October vacation, as well).

    I personally would like the Tigers go after someone like Carlos Silva of the Twins. The last four seasons he put in an average of 193 innings.

    He does eat innings while posting league average numbers — his only non league average year was the 06 season which he was abysmal in.

    But, before this year, Kenny averaged over 193 IP for the previous 7 years of his career (2000-2007) and that includes a 20 start, 120 IP year in 2001.

  26. Greg

    October 2, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    Moving from 3B to SS is easy as falling off a log, at least for me, so it’s difficult for me to see it being such a problem for a MLB caliber 3B to move to SS. Going from SS to 3B I could see being a challenge if you didn’t have enough arm strength, but going to SS it’s shorter so it only gets easier.

    In one sense, I like the thought of Inge’s range at the SS position. On the other hand, I’m pretty discouraged that most have their sights set sooo low in terms of filling the holes. If AROD or any top shelf athlete is mentioned, he’s immediately dismissed as an impossible signing/trade aquisition.

    If all they’re going to do is grab a Luis Castillo, or the functional equivalent, that’s very, very disappointing in my opinion. It would indicate that Dombrowski sets his goals rather low, and I just don’t get that from him in either his moves, or his interviews. Especially with the amount of $ support Illitch has delivered and says he will continue to deliver.

    Unless Guillen, Leyland, and company are deliberately trying to deceive people, what I hear is they’ll make an EARNEST EFFORT to bring a top shelf SS in here. I think its AROD, if its not him, at the bare minimum it should be a ‘Lowell type'(.300+, 20+ HR and great defensively). But I’m not so sure Lowell is a risk I’d want to take. He’s coming off a career year, and he’s had some pretty lean years during his tenure. In 2005, Lowell was a poor man’s Brandon Inge offensively, 8 HR’s and .236 BA, he’s not getting any younger, and has had NUMEROUS health problems, as well as numerous steroid rumors floating around him(not saying he did them, but there’s enough smoke to consider it a legit risk). It wouldn’t be at all surprising to see him put up 2005 numbers in ’08, so he’s very high risk IMO. His defense is always stellar though.

  27. Mike R

    October 2, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    Aaron Rowand will get a bundle of money and become overpaid for his services. No thanks on that. I have no problem shelling out money, as long as the Tigers do it wisely.

    And Granderson’s numbers will improve against LHP. Grady Sizemore was abysmal against LHP and it improved and Granderson, to me, is on the same path as Grady (just with less walks).

  28. greg

    October 2, 2007 at 4:52 pm

    Short term(meaning putting the best team on the field to win the game), it makes sense to bench Granderson vs. lefties. But long term I think its a huge mistake, in my humble opinion. If Granderson was 30+, fine, make him a platoon player, but in my opinion, he’s too young for that, he’s GOT to learn how to hit lefties and he’s not going to do that as a platoon player. So I respect the logic, just don’t think its the right play for the Tigers long term. It was actually one of the frustrating things about Leyland(who I think overall is a fantastic manager btw), he’s put the Toledo Mud Hens on the field, ‘give away’ games if you will, to rest his players, and yet usually bench Granderson vs. lefties.

  29. BobS.

    October 2, 2007 at 7:39 pm

    It’s rare to find a free agent who isn’t overpaid.I think Rowand may actually have to settle for less than he’d ordinarily get based on his 2007 since Andruw Jones and Torii Hunter are both free agent CFs this year.
    I wish I shared the faith that Granderson will continue to improve against LHP,but there’s no guarantee he’ll follow Sizemore’s learning curve.I hope he does,but let him learn in winter ball and spring training.His spot in the batting order is a black hole and he belongs on the bench with lefthanders on the mound.

  30. Jojo SunDevil

    October 2, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    I wonder if I am in the minority here, but I think Pudge is definitely worth $8-$10 million per year.

    First, he has been the pitching coach, not Chuck Hernandez. He coaches these young pitchers through these games and makes them better pitchers. There is no better in game catcher than Pudge in the major leagues right now. Period. Vance Wilson???? Come on…

    Another reason is Pudge’s defense. He keeps those walks and singles off of second base. He is always the league leader in fewest runners attempting to steal on him.

    And he’s a leader in the clubhouse. If the Tigs got rid of him, they would be looking for a veteran in game leader. Guillen and Polanco, close but not quite. The Tigers need Pudge. He is the in game leader of this baseball team.

  31. don

    October 2, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    First, inge is NOT MOVING TO SHORTSTOP. Period, end of story. Maybe he *could*, sure, but how many 3B have ever moved to shortstop? None that I know of. Anyways, stop thinking about acquiring a 3B and moving inge, it just isn’t happening.

    Expect to hear rumors about the tigers trading for a mid-level veteran SS: renteria, tejada and furcal are all guys on teams with prospects ready to replace them and/or teams that are trying to unload them. I’d be happy with any of them so long as we don’t give up a maybin/miller to get them. replace casey’s sad line with renteria’s 300/360/450 or tejada’s 290/340/460 and we’re looking good. It’d also be a good time to buy low on furcal, who was playing through injury this year and is still relatively young.

    sign kenny, jones and pudge, give the farm some time to develop contributors and give it a shot in 08. Also, anyone care to explain why we can’t give thames 500 abs in LF? I’d take 250/300/500 from him, hessman’ll give you the same line Or put raburn out there and hope for 275/330/450. Same with maybin, but add 30 steals. No need to spend big bucks on a LF who’d be a marginal upgrade over our own guys.

  32. don

    October 2, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    also, the FA pitcher list is here:
    As you can see, this is a terrible, terrible year for FA pitching. Bring back rogers or roll with the kids, jurjens/miller are close to ready, at least close enough that we don’t have to give kyle lohse or carlos silva a gil meche deal.

  33. billfer

    October 2, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    A thought occurred to me about this off-season that was rather distasteful: what if the Tigers decide to get cheap. As evidence:
    – Not bringing Casey back … even though he probably would have accepted a backup role at a much cheaper rate.
    – Didn’t Knobler report they wouldn’t pick up Pudge’s option?
    – Jones and Rogers yet to be signed. Both could walk and the Tigers could fill in with cheaper options.

    This has nothing to do with slashing payroll. Sean Casey wasn’t particularly valuable because of his lack of performance and the fact he can only play one position. The Tigers want both Jones and Rogers and have said so, it’s really up to those 2 if they want to come back. The money is there for both of them, and if they don’t come back Dombrowski said he’d sign replacements (who probably won’t be much if any cheaper).

    And Knobler was offering an opinion. No decision has been made on Pudge yet, at least not one that’s been announced.

  34. Adam

    October 2, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    Greg…whoa. Moving from 3B to SS doesn’t happen, man. I mean, Cal Ripken did it (and then moved back to 3B fifteen years later) but that’s not going to happen in Detroit, not with Inge, not with Lowell, or with anyone. First of all, it’s not “easy as rolling off a log” to switch positions. Well-established players at their position (Inge, Lowell) won’t do it. Carlos Guillen is an example of necessity, as even he can see he’s worth more to us at first than at short – because he’s not performing at his position. If you traded for a third baseman, and then told him to play short stop, he’d probably throw a fit.

    Come on, man. Let’s talk about shortstops. Renteria, maybe.

  35. Greg- other Greg

    October 2, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    Been there, done that, it’s easy for me. It’s like eating food, and I’m not 1/100th the ball player compared to the worst Major Leaguer. A ground ball is a ground ball. A throw to first is a throw to first. Actually, 3rd base itself was a little tough because it’s such a long throw, it just got easier moving to SS.

    I’m not saying they SHOULD move Inge to SS, just saying its easy.

  36. David

    October 2, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    The positions aren’t that different except at third you’d like alittle stronger arm b/c of the longer distance and at SS you’d like alittle more range due to more balls being hit there and the bigger area you have to cover.

    I see this move as a no brainer and don’t understand why it wasn’t already done. You have no clue if Inge would or would not want to do it.

    I’d guess he would have no problem with it b/c well that seems to be his personality. Also he played it in college and can basically play anywhere they want him.

    Honus Wagner one of the best players to ever play went all over and spent quite a bit of time at 3rd before establishing himself as the best SS to ever play.

    His defensive skill was worth most to the team there because it can be argued that SS is the most important position on the field.

    Going from OF to IF or IF to OF or Catcher to either (which is what Inge has done) is a much bigger step than from third to SS.

    Inge has said he doesn’t want to catch, but never SS. but my personal belief is that putting him in SS would give us everything and more that the best SS could give us. Plus the way he can go get balls in foul territory – how many more of them are hit in between SS and LC I bet he would get quite a few more. Plus all the balls in the hole and up the middle that Guillen never could get to or dive for. As we all know Inge can dive and will dive for anything he thinks he can get to.

    His range is unmatched. His arm strength is right up there with the elite IF. Go watch the archived Vids of him if you disagree.

    In order to get the most out of his defensive whiz skills you put him there, I don’t understand why so many are blind to that fact. Its common sense to stick him there.

  37. Greg- other Greg

    October 2, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    David – good post. A lot of what you say here makes sense. I totally agree about his range and that would seem to translate well to SS(it would be interesting to ‘rerun’ the season, statistically, with Inge at SS, with his increased range to see the marginal increase in wins, I doubt that’s possible though).

    It just would be nice to get some heavier sticks around Inge in the lineup so he’d see better pitches to hit more often, then we might see the 2006 version of Inge show up again(offensively)

    David wrote:

    His range is unmatched. His arm strength is right up there with the elite IF.

    Agree, agree. Plus, he plays with that ‘gnarly hustle’ Eric Byrnes talkes about. I like that.

    I’m starting to like this idea…..though, I’d still prefer AROD at SS


  38. Mark P.

    October 2, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    Moving Inge to SS is a poor idea. There is more coordination and positioning that goes into SS than 3B. Remember how many people complained about Inge’s defense when he first moved to 3B. That’s because it is difficult to learn a new position especially at the Major League level for a contending team. It is generally accepted that moving from 3B is harder than the opposite. This has been researched by Bill James.

    Not to mention Inge is entering his prime and will only slow down. We need him to be at the height of his talent level at a position he is comfortable with. He has admitted that changing to 3B affected his hitting because of his extra work on defense instead of hitting. He barely hits above the Mendoza line already. Do you want it to get worse?

    Let’s DD work his magic and find a SS. I vote for Brent Lillibridge…next year’s Tulowitzki (with more SBs and less power).

  39. BobS.

    October 3, 2007 at 8:15 am

    I think the move would be difficult,particularly turning the DP,but not as hard as becoming accustomed to the ball coming off the bat instead of being delivered by the pitcher.I wouldn’t recommend it for everybody,but Inge seems to have the tools.
    By the way,I’ve been thinking the Twins should experiment with a similar transition from C to 3B for Joe Mauer.I realize that a catcher,especially one who can hit like Mauer,is one of the rarest commodities.On the other hand,I’d be looking already at ways to extend Mauer’s career,who’s pretty tall for the position (leading me to think it might make him prone to back problems as he ages).

  40. Greg- other Greg

    October 3, 2007 at 10:31 am

    Mark wrote:

    He has admitted that changing to 3B affected his hitting because of his extra work on defense instead of hitting. He barely hits above the Mendoza line already. Do you want it to get worse?

    The notion that players have a limited amount of time and have to ‘choose’ between practicing hitting or fielding is a myth. The notion they don’t have time for this or that. Baseball players live the life of Riley. There are 24 hours in a day. Plenty of time for both. He has to sleep 8 hours, a little time for travel, maybe a press conference here and there and a little volunteer work, that’s it, heck, these ballclubs have hired servants that run around and do errands for them. Let’s face it, he doesn’t work for a living, he plays a game. He has all day to do whatever he wants. Now, maybe it would cut into his hours playing Halo with Zumaya. It’s all about priorities, which comes first, Xbox, or a little extra time for practicing baseball.

  41. David

    October 3, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    well said Greg- other Greg

  42. billfer

    October 3, 2007 at 11:08 pm

    Actually moving to 3rd, and more specifically away from catching, was credited with improving Inge’s offense because he didn’t have to devote as much time on game calling. I doubt that a move from short to 3rd would cause his offense to decrease.

    That’s not to say that the move is easy either.

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