Tigers Minor League Wrap 4-30-08

Toledo 3 Louisville 4
Matt Joyce was 2 for 4. Erick Almonte singled and homered. Jon Connolly allowed 4 runs, 2 of which were earned, in 6.2 innings.

Erie 4 Akron 8
Wilkin Ramirez who homered twice yesterday was a homer short of the cycle today. Deik Scram and Ryan Roberson each had 2 hits and Scram added 2 walks.Andrew Kown allowed 4 runs on 4 walks, 4 K’s, and 6 hits in 5 innings.

Lakeland 5 Dunedin 6
Rick Porcello pitched 4 innings of shut out ball before allowing 2 runs in the 5th. He walked 3 and didn’t fan anybody. Ryan Strieby had 3 hits, including a homer, and a walk. Jeramy Laster bested him with 2 homers and a single.

West Michigan 6 Wisconsin 1
I just noticed that every team in the org is on the road tonight. Joe Tucker had 4 hits. Kody Kaiser doubled and homered. Kyle Peter singled twice and doubled. Lauren Gagnier fanned 11 in 6 shut out innings of work.

Game 28: Tigers at Yankees

PREGAME: The Tigers look to get an early grip on the series in New York.

Jeremy Bonderman will look to not walk everyone. He’s allowed 13 in his last 2 starts and 21 in 27.1 innings this season. Somehow he has a 4.28 ERA but it won’t stay that low if he can’t find the strike zone with any kind of consistency.

Andy Pettitte has been up and down this season with 3 quality starts and a couple un-quality ones. His last time out Cleveland got to him for 5 runs in 5 innings on the strength of 11 baserunners and two homers.

The Tigers lineup is:

  1. Rodriguez, C
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Sheffield, DH
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Cabrera, 1B
  6. Guillen, 3B
  7. Renteria, SS
  8. Thames, LF
  9. Inge, CF

DET @ NYY, Wednesday, April 30, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

POSTGAME: Did the Tigers just make it through a game with only 2 pitchers? Did a starter get 23 outs? Did Placido Polanco hit 2 homers? Yes, it all really did happen.

Continue reading Game 28: Tigers at Yankees

Jason Grilli traded!

The Tigers have dealt Jason Grilli to the Colorado Rockies for Zach Simons. This frees a spot for the activation of Francisco Cruceta who will join the team tomorrow.

I’m surprised on a number of levels.

  1. That the Tigers would part with a pitcher given the woes of the starting rotation. The starters aren’t going deep and have generally been unreliable. Meaning the Tigers could use extra options as spot starters (like Zach Miner) and the Tigers have leaned heavily on their long men.
  2. That they’d make the move without Cruceta available to join the team considering Bonderman has walked 13 in his last 2 starts. They might need that arm tonight.
  3. That Grilli would be trade-able at any point in the season.
  4. That Zach Miner wasn’t optioned to Toledo. I think Miner can be effective but the guy has given up runs in 5 of his 10 outings this year. He’s been good in 3 of the last 4 appearances, but still…Grilli has been more effective this year and has pitched 11.1 scoreless innings since some early season rockiness. The longest scoreless streak for a reliever this year is 13.1 IP just as an aside.

As for Simons, he’s a 23 year old right hander in High A ball. He was transitioned to the bullpen last year and bumped up his strike out rate to nearly one per inning. He does struggle some with control with a walk almost every other inning.
Beck’s Blog: Cruceta to join Tigers, Grilli traded

links for 2008-04-30

Programming Note: Blogger Roundtable

I’m pretty excited that I’ll be participating in a Detroit sports blogger roundtable on WDET 101.9 FM on Tuesday morning. I’m excited because first I love talking about blogging. But second, the other participants in the group are: Big Al of The Wayne Fontes Experience and Side Lion Report, Matt Watson of Detroit Bad Boys, and Bruce Macleod of Red Wings Corner and The Macomb Daily.

The discussion is part of the Detroit Today program and is set to kick-off at 11 am. If you’re in the area you can tune in at 101.9 FM or via their website if you’re anyplace else.

UPDATE: We’re getting bumped for the president. He decided to make a speech today and WDET will be airing that. Perhaps Wednesday morning at 10am.

Bumping this to reflect the new program time: 10am April 30th

UPDATE: Here is the audio from the show. We’re on about 15 minutes in. It was fun being in the studio and talking shop with fellow blogger Matt Watson. The segment lasts 15-20 minutes, but it seemed to fly by.

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Tigers Minor League Wrap 4-29-08

Toledo 4 Louisville 3
Mike Hollimon doubled, tripled, and walked. Brent Clevlen added 2 hits and a walk. Derek Wathan homered. Eddie Bonine moved to 5-0 with a 6 inning, 3 run, no walk, 8 K effort.

Erie 7 Akron 4
Wilkin Ramirez homered twice, doubled, and walked and is now hitting 316/350/621. Max St. Pierre, Danny Worth, and Ryan Roberson all had multiple hits. Lucas French allowed 3 unearned runs in 4 innings. Freddy Dolsi got his second Erie save with a scoreless inning.

Lakeland – DNP

West Michigan 5 Wisconsin 7
Jordan Newton was a homer short of the cycle. Justin Henry added 2 hts. Manny Miguelez allowed 3 runs on 6 hits, 4 walks, and 5 K’s in 5 innings.

Game 27: Tigers at Yankees

PREGAME: It will be two pitchers going tonight with a combined ERA of 15.51. That combined is added of course and not the average of Kenny Rogers’s and Phillip Hughes’s lines.

Hughes has nearly as man walks as strike outs (10 versus 11) but that bests Kenny’s 15:9 ratio.

The Tigers trot out their full lineup, fresh from an off day.

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Sheffield, DH
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Cabrera, 1B
  6. Guillen, 3B
  7. Renteria, SS
  8. Rodriguez, C
  9. Jones, LF

The Yankees however are a little short and coming from a late night in Cleveland. Jorge Posada is out with shoulder issues and Alex Rodriguez is out with a quadricep injury.

  1. Johnny Damon, CF
  2. Derek Jeter, SS
  3. Bobby Abreu, RF
  4. Hideki Matsui, LF
  5. Jason Giambi, DH
  6. Shelley Duncan, 1B
  7. Morgan Ensberg, 3B
  8. Robinson Cano, 2B
  9. Chris Stewart, C

Programming Note: This will be simulcast on FSN and FSN+ until 10pm. At that time the Red Wings will be on FSN and the Tigers on FSN+.

DET @ NYY, Tuesday, April 29, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

Game Time 7:05
POSTGAME: That’s not a bad way to start a road trip…other than twice walking the bases loaded. Continue reading Game 27: Tigers at Yankees

Off Day Discussion: Thoughts on Comerica Park

It’s the first day off the Tigers have had in awhile. In the interest of sparking discussion that deviates a little bit from “The Tigers need to bench Gary Sheffield in favor of Brandon Inge” (which given the historical feelings about Inge I find to be a surprising sentiment) I thought we’d talk about the home of the Tigers.

For those of you who have been to Comerica this year, or in year’s past even, what are your thoughts on the place. Give me two: a)Favorite things about the park b)least favorite things about the park c)simple changes that could be made to make it better (I’m not looking for big reconstructions here, actually feasible things).

Favorite Things

  1. The concourse. It’s big. It’s covered (nice in the rain). You can still see the game. It’s something they really got right.
  2. The food selection. You have choices. While some might call it heresy to have anything but a dog, I like being able to get the Mucho Nacho, or a Pulled Pork sandwich in the beer hall.

Least Favorite Things

  1. Disinterested concession employees. I don’t mind lines due to the place being busy. What I hate are lines because the concession workers don’t seem the least bit motivated to get your order quickly. I know every stand isn’t bad, but it seems to be the rule more than the exception. The stand behind section 213 (where I sit) is one of the offenders.
  2. The under-utilization of the scoreboard. It’s better than it was, with more stats being shown. But I look at other places with comparably sized scoreboards and they communicate so much more information. Plus replays are hardly ever shown. The commercial to replay ratio on the video board is very heavily skewed to the former (ergh Chad Johnson from Lady Janes)

Things I’d change

  1. Go back to larger sized beers. I’m willing to pay for more. But the 16oz cans are a joke, especially in the 32oz cups. Bring back the 32oz beer!
  2. Better utilize the scoreboard. It’s touted as one of the biggest. Use it!

Tigers Minor League Wrap 4-27-08

Indianapolis 1 Toledo 7
Mike Hessman, Jeff Larish, and Mike Hollimon all homered for the Hens. Jeremy Johnson allowed just 1 run on 4 hits and no walks in 7 innings.

Altoona 4 Erie 5
Wilkin Ramirez was 2 for 4 with a homer. The Seawolves stole 6 bases, 3 by Freddy Guzman. Benjamin Fritz allowed 4 runs in 6.2 innings. Freddy Dolsi got his first save at Erie with a scoreless inning.

Fort Myers 3 Lakeland 8
Justin Justice, Brennan Boesch, James Skelton, and Jeramy Laster all had 2 hits. Matt O’Brien had a quality start and got the win allowing 3 runs in 6.1 innings with 1 walk and 2 K’s.

West Michigan 9 Cedar Rapids 2
Kody Kaiser singled plus added 2 walks and stole 2 bases. Ronnie Bourquin tripled, singled, and walked. Ramon Garcia pitched 7 strong innings fanning 5 and walking 1.

Game 26: Angels at Tigers

PREGAME: It’s the rubber game against the Angels after two pretty well contested battles. For the Tigers tonight is noteworthy because it will be the first time that the Tigers have their full projected lineup together. It will also be Carlos Guillen’s first start since his Mariners days at third base.

On the mound it will be Justin Verlander and Jered Weaver. Verlander reclaimed some of his missing velocity his last time out after tweaking his arm angle. He also earned his first quality start going 6 innings allowing one run.

Weaver has struggled with consistency – or a lack thereof. He’s allowed 10 hits in each of his last two outings. The time before that he allowed 5 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks. And the time before that he pitched 7 innings of 3 hit shut out ball. The Tigers have a limited, but productive history against Weaver.
LAA @ DET, Sunday, April 27, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

Game Time 8:05

POSTGAME: Well that kind of sucked. Justin Verlander looked like the Verlander of old through the first 3 innings. The first run came in the 4th on a poorly played ball by Ordonez in which Verlander should have been out of the inning. And the run that scored in the 5th came on a single, a weird balk/rushed-delivery-thingy, and two fly outs. But oh man, that 6th inning…

A walk and a single and a bobble by Guillen put runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. Verlander quickly got ahead of Torii Hunter 1-2 who had chased a curve ball down and away. After another curve ball which Hunter fouled off it seemed that Verlander had him set up for the elevated fastball for a much needed K. Instead he went back to the curve which Hunter grounded down the line, out of the reach of a pulled in Guillen scoring two more. Hardly a rocket, but why couldn’t Verlander put a free swinger like Hunter away? Why go with 3 straight curve balls?

And then the intentional walk was followed by an unintentional walk, and a ground ball single and the game was out of reach. Verlander was hardly “rocked” in this game. But in the end it added up to a horrible night as he was undone by the 3 walks in the 6th.

As for his velocity, it looked good on the ESPN gun with him at 95-96 on the fastball, but pitch f/x had him 3 mph slower. I don’t know where the truth is.

As for the offense, they were doing a good job laying off of borderline pitches and picked up two walks in each of the 3rd and 4th innings. But a double play, a caught stealing, and a pick off made sure that Weaver didn’t have to work too hard at all.

I guess the bright spot for the night was Pudge Rodriguez gunning down two baserunners with perfect throws to second.

Tigers Minor League Wrap 4-26-08

Indianapolis 6 Toledo 7
Jeff Larish doubled, tripled, and walked twice. Erick Almonte was 3 for 3 with a homer and two walks. Derek Wathan was a homer short of the cycle. Yorman Bazardo allowed 3 runs in 4 innings on 6 hits with 1 walk and no strike outs. Casey Fossum allowed 3 runs in 2.1 innings as he walked 3 and allowed 2 hits.

Altoona 3 Erie 9
Max St. Pierre was 4 for 4 with 2 doubles and is hitting .383. Danny Worth has been batting in the two-spot and has lifted his line to 316/375/494. Not bad for a guy drafted last year playing at AA. Josh Rainwater allowed 2 runs in 6 innings on 3 walks and 6 K’s.

Fort Myers 2 Lakeland 3
Jonah Nickerson didn’t allow a baserunner until the lead off man reached in the 8th inning. He only allowed 2 singles, both of which scored, and he fanned 4. Justin Justice had 2 hits and 2 RBI.

West Michigan 7 Cedar Rapids 8 (11 innings)
Joe Tucker had 3 hits. Chris Carlson and Kody Kaiser each had 2 hits. Jon Kibler allowed 5 runs on 5 hits and a walk with 5 K’s in 7 innings.

Game 25: Angels at Tigers

PREGAME: Armando Galarraga makes his 3rd start in Dontrelle Willis’s spot in the rotation. In the first two he has allowed 4 hits, 4 walks, and only 2 runs in 12 innings.

For the Angels it will be Dustin Moseley. Moseley allowed 7 homers in 92 innings last year, but he’s already at 4 in 19.2 innings in 2008. He made one start against Detroit in 2007 and was knocked out in the 5th inning after allowing 4 runs.

This game is a Fox game of the week. The good news is that this is the “B” game meaning we avoid Joe Buck. The bad news for everyone not living in LA or Detroit you won’t be able to see the game.

LAA @ DET, Saturday, April 26, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

Game Time 3:55pm

POSTGAME
: Another game for Armando Galarraga, another rough day for opposing offenses. After a rough first inning featuring 2 walks and an error, Galarraga got out of it and carried a no hitter into the sixth inning. And like with Nate Robertson’s start the night before, he did it very efficiently getting into the 7th inning on only 80 pitches.

The Angels figured him out though in the 7th inning, or he just got rattled after an error fielding a bunt. Regardless, it was another quality start for a team that is desperate for them.

Aquilino Lopez nearly got out of the 7th with the lead, but a 2 out single plated the tying run negating the win for Galarraga.

As for the offense, it’s funny how things work out. On Friday night the Tigers had some real good at-bats and well hit balls turn into outs. Today they had some poorly hit balls go their way. Gary Sheffield hit a ball to the wall on Friday night that if it just a little harder would have been a grand slam. Today he hit a chopper over the mound that if it were hit just a little harder would have been an inning ending double play. Instead it resulted in an RBI. Curtis Granderson also benefited from a bloop double. So these things kind of resolve themselves.

Granderson also picked up a triple. And Polanco had his second consecutive multi-hit game. Things are starting to look normal at the top of the Tigers line-up.