Game 57: Tigers at Athletics

by billfer on June 2, 2008 · 207 comments

in 2008 Season,Game Post

PREGAME: I know this is a Tigers blog and all. And I usually try to stay pretty much on topic. But there’s kind of a big hockey game tonight. And I figure many people who frequent here are Detroit sports fans. So GO WINGS! And along with Ian, in the interest of blogger solidarity, a shout out to the Red Wing blogging brethern:

As for our little baseball game, it will be Kenny Rogers and his crazy Oakland splits against Rich Harden. Harden strikes out oodles of people, but he’s already made 6 starts this year making any pitch a potential season-ender at this point.

UPDATE: Carlos Guillen is back at third. Brandon Inge tweaked his oblique on a check swing and is day-to-day.
1. Granderson, CF
2. Polanco, 2B
3. Guillen, 3B
4. Ordonez, RF
5. Cabrera, 1B
6. Larish, DH
7. Renteria, SS
8. Thomas, LF
9. Rodriguez, C

DET @ OAK, Monday, June 2, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

Game Time 10:10

POSTGAME: I guess you can say that if you have 3 walk-off decisions on a road trip, at least your competitive. Too bad the Tigers need to be better than competitive and start notching some W’s with regularity.

I can’t get too upset with the offense in this one. Rich Harden is good. Rich Harden was on his game. But the Tigers did manage to bust up a shut out and scratch across a couple of runs. They made a guy throwing mostly strikes work to the tune of 4.3 pitches per PA running his pitch count to 115 in the 7th. They got a clutch hit from rookie Jeff Larish to take advantage of a rare scoring opportunity.

Rogers struggled a little early on, but limited a first inning bases loaded situation to 1 run. He pitched out of a few jams as things went on, but still gave the team 7+ innings.

But oh that bullpen. Bobby Seay walked the .163 hitting Travis Buck to load the bases and fell behind Deric Barton 3-0 before escaping the 8th inning. And then Francisco Cruceta happened to the 9th inning. Again he takes the loss. Again.

 
 

{ 207 comments }

tiff June 2, 2008 at 9:13 pm

Go Wings! [Go Tigers!]

Tbone June 2, 2008 at 9:40 pm

Meh. I’m still watching the Tigers.

Tonight’s lineup is brought to you by Crazy Skip, Inc. makers of the new hit game everyone is talking about: “Who’s In Left?” Winners of tonight’s contest receive a free single-service pack of Splenda from Leo’s Coney Island. Go ahead, place your bets….

Granderson, CF
Polanco, 2B
Guillen, 3B
Ordonez, RF
Cabrera, 1B
Larish, DH
Renteria, SS
????????, LF
Rodriguez, C

Sean C. in Illinois June 2, 2008 at 9:49 pm

Funny, Tbone. I hate to pick apart a joke, but I need to know what Splenda is.

Sean C. in Illinois June 2, 2008 at 10:04 pm

“I know this is a Tigers blog and all.”

I posted something a while back that I was afraid might be misunderstood. Just in case it was, I want to say that I’m a Detroit sports fan and don’t have a problem with any Detroit sports talk. Or any sports talk. Or any talk at all, really, except for utterly contrived, manipulative, axe-grinding soapbox stuff. That’s all I was trying to say with my little “shouldn’t we be talking about the Tigers?” thing.

I like freedom of expression, and usually consider complaining about anything here akin to calling the FCC to complain about a TV or radio program instead of simply changing the channel or turning it off.

Go Penguins! (hehe)

Sean C. in Illinois June 2, 2008 at 10:11 pm

I guessed Raburn, so I lose.

That oblique thing is really going around. A tweaked oblique. Is that like a bruised obtuse?

Dave BW June 2, 2008 at 10:12 pm

Splenda is a sugar substitute provided as an option by many fine family establishments. It is also often used in soft drinks

Mark in Chicago June 2, 2008 at 10:17 pm

huge powerplay goal ties it for the wings as maggs strikes out.

Dave BW June 2, 2008 at 10:18 pm

Speaking of DL-prone pitchers, I noticed that Mark Prior again suffered a season ending injury. Maybe it’s time to take a year off or something, Mark.

Dave BW June 2, 2008 at 10:19 pm

sup Hannahan

Mark in Chicago June 2, 2008 at 10:25 pm

nice K, kenny.

wings lead 3-2, amazing period

Sean C. in Illinois June 2, 2008 at 10:28 pm

“Maybe it’s time to take a year off or something, Mark.”

He can’t throw in the towel now.

ron June 2, 2008 at 10:29 pm

Stanley, Stanley

Kevin in Austin June 2, 2008 at 10:29 pm

Goodness Cabrera…there was the 3rd out. If anymore runs score remember that play…reminds me of the 7th inning last Sat. Maddening.

Tbone June 2, 2008 at 10:30 pm

Defense at the corners, all season long…

Mark in Chicago June 2, 2008 at 10:31 pm

that could have been a lot worse for kenny

Sean C. in Illinois June 2, 2008 at 10:31 pm

Thank you for the Splenda, Dave. Suddenly I’m thirsty for a Fresca. Do they still make it? And why is it nearly impossible to find Vernor’s in Illinois? This place is a pop cultural backwater.

How are the Wings, I mean the Tigers, doing?

Chris June 2, 2008 at 10:32 pm

Hopefully the Wings can close this one out…… looks like the only championship in Detroit this year for any of the pro teams.

Go Wings!!!

Ken in Cincinnati June 2, 2008 at 10:33 pm

Well, I guess that could have been worse. Despite a ton of pitches in that inning, Kenny looks like he has good command and will have a good k/BB rate tonight. They just had some nice hits.

Dave BW June 2, 2008 at 10:38 pm

I have it on good authority that Vernors is readily available as far as California, so the blame really does rest with Illinois specifically.

As for this game, Harden is eviscerating our lineup, much to the surprise of absolutely no one.

ron June 2, 2008 at 10:41 pm

Oh nooo!

Dave BW June 2, 2008 at 10:42 pm

Mr. Bill????

Chris June 2, 2008 at 10:52 pm

I’m taking bets that this will be another shutout for the Tigers.

Kevin in Austin June 2, 2008 at 10:54 pm

I’ll take that Chris. $5 via paypal?

tiff June 2, 2008 at 10:55 pm

his stuff is filthy. or at least they are making it look like it. hopefully the second time through they’ll make adjustments…. ah, who am I kidding? night ya’ll.

Dave BW June 2, 2008 at 10:56 pm

Jack Cust’s OBA is ridiculous.

Chris June 2, 2008 at 10:57 pm

Is Emil Brown’s neck really that much thicker than his head?

Tbone June 2, 2008 at 10:59 pm

I’m thinking the A’s will need at least 2 to win. I call no shutout!

Tbone June 2, 2008 at 11:04 pm

Okay – I’m officially tired of hearing Mario tell us how Polanco “rarely strikes out”, especially after these last few games.

RudeMood19 June 2, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Ah, Rogers keep escaping barely. Harden isn’t giving much. Tigers better start working counts, get him out of the game as early as possible.

Dave BW June 2, 2008 at 11:07 pm

Yes, Chris, I’m afraid that it is. http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=111548

And am I going to have to hear the incessant and tuneless caterwauling of that air-horn all night?

Kevin in Austin June 2, 2008 at 11:07 pm

7 ks for Polanco in his last 5 games…something isn’t right.

Sean C. in Illinois June 2, 2008 at 11:13 pm

I’m pretty stunned. I was sure Guillen to LF was the catalyst that was going to make this team start hiiting. Oh wait, he’s at 3B. No wonder. Never mind.

Sean C. in Illinois June 2, 2008 at 11:13 pm

I’m pretty stunned. I was sure Guillen to LF was the catalyst that was going to make this team start hitting. Oh wait, he’s at 3B. No wonder. Never mind.

Sean C. in Illinois June 2, 2008 at 11:14 pm

So stunned I had to say it twice. Sorry.

greg June 2, 2008 at 11:18 pm

quote of the day:

Dave wrote

As for this game, Harden is eviscerating our lineup, much to the surprise of absolutely no one.

ron June 2, 2008 at 11:22 pm

One of the all time great Red Wing games going on.

Freddy Fantastic June 2, 2008 at 11:27 pm

Rod needs to ask Harden out for dinner and a movie!! He really won’t stop talking about how good he is.. I understand the guy is dealing, but its no surprise, the Tigers suck vs. decent or better pitching.

Vince in MN June 2, 2008 at 11:28 pm

Looks like Shutout no. 10 coming up.

How long does the Larish experiment last?

Dave BW June 2, 2008 at 11:32 pm

“How long does the Larish experiment last?

longer than four days, probably

Vince in MN June 2, 2008 at 11:33 pm

Emil Brown has as many RBI as Maggs – sad.

Brenden June 2, 2008 at 11:33 pm

Good pitching absolutely dominates this team….it makes absolutely no sense…

Freddy Fantastic June 2, 2008 at 11:35 pm

Yah, I haven’t been to impressed by Larish, however anything is better then Sheff at this point..

Vince in MN June 2, 2008 at 11:36 pm

Is it only four days? Seems a lot longer.

Kurt June 2, 2008 at 11:37 pm

What’s Marcus gotta do to get two starts in a row? Or even one.

(although I see the logic of course)

Tbone June 2, 2008 at 11:38 pm

Curtis breaks through! Great AB…

Brenden June 2, 2008 at 11:38 pm

Woo Hoo!!! We have offense!

billfer June 2, 2008 at 11:38 pm

Pay up Chris.

8 pitch ab. Beauty

Freddy Fantastic June 2, 2008 at 11:38 pm

Be a switch hitter apparently!!

Mark in Chicago June 2, 2008 at 11:38 pm

bye bye shutout

Chris June 2, 2008 at 11:39 pm

I think leyland is making a big mistake not playing Larish at 1st…. let him get his groove while playing in the field, where he has been in Toledo all season. Making him DH is putting too much emphasis and pressure for him to hit. … not good for an early rookie career.

Chris in Nashville June 2, 2008 at 11:39 pm

THATTABABE GRANDY!!!!!

greg June 2, 2008 at 11:39 pm

That helps

Vince in MN June 2, 2008 at 11:40 pm

Wow! an extra base hit – a homer even. A very rare sighting lately (again).

Tbone June 2, 2008 at 11:43 pm

Larish looks slow. Give me Clete Thomas with a little more speed.

Tbone June 2, 2008 at 11:46 pm

And of course he delivers on cue!

greg June 2, 2008 at 11:46 pm

Harden’s pitch count is up to 103.

Kurt June 2, 2008 at 11:46 pm

Larish to DTW: take that!
DTW to Larish: whoo hoo!

Brenden June 2, 2008 at 11:46 pm

So…we have a lead….but I am not too sure about that base running by Cabrera…not sure if that was a mistake or if it helped Guillen get home…

greg June 2, 2008 at 11:48 pm

hey billfer – u like IBB’s now?

;-)

Tbone June 2, 2008 at 11:48 pm

I’m ok with Cabrera there. It looked like it might have been close at home so going to 3rd insured the run would score.

Sky June 2, 2008 at 11:49 pm

Brenden, I am sure about that baserunning. Cabrera plays like he has his head up his butt sometimes. He has done that twice in the last week. It is as if he has no clue about baserunning basics in this game. It is just stupidty and there is no excuse for it.

Sky June 2, 2008 at 11:50 pm

Mario says he gave himself up to ensure the run………I don’t by that…..

Vince in MN June 2, 2008 at 11:52 pm

Another quality start – gotta like that.

Sky June 2, 2008 at 11:55 pm

Earlier in the game, on the exact same kind of play for Oakland, we had them nailed going to third. But Cabrera dropped the throw in. Luckily Kenny struck out the next batter. But although Cabrera can hit, and sometimes he even gets clutch hits, his overall attention and baseball skill is suspect. He is getting better at first…but he sometimes seems muscle bound and distracted. Sometimes he seems to make little league mistakes that I can’t understand.

PHT in HK June 2, 2008 at 11:56 pm

A couple of good and tight games for Detroit teams tongiht. Wish I was somewhere downtown in a Motown bar tonight watching . Let’s hope the Wings pull it out and the bullpen can save the game.

Vince in MN June 2, 2008 at 11:57 pm

Isn’t it the 3B coaches responsibility to bring himon or hold him up there? My guess is that unless Cabrera has eyes in the back of his head, he wasn’t aware of where Guillen was as he rounded second.

Dave BW June 3, 2008 at 12:01 am

$5 for Kevin in Austin! That’s a gallon of gas and some change!

Kurt June 3, 2008 at 12:01 am

I think Cabrera’s decisions are a Rorschach test for people’s feelings about him

Brenden June 3, 2008 at 12:04 am

Crap…..

Brenden June 3, 2008 at 12:04 am

I did have hope for a win….now it’s gone…

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 12:12 am

2-2 after 7. Have the Tigers already blown it? I can’t be THAT far behind. Can I?

Tbone June 3, 2008 at 12:27 am

Cruceta up in the pen – eek!

greg June 3, 2008 at 12:29 am

whoa! choppy video here on mlb.com but Rajai looked safe on that force out.

Brenden June 3, 2008 at 12:29 am

The bullpen is moments away from giving this game away…same old bull crap…different day…

Kevin in Austin June 3, 2008 at 12:37 am

Don’t worry guys, Deric Barton isn’t good enough to get three hits in one game.

T Smith June 3, 2008 at 12:37 am

Seay it isn’t so

Tbone June 3, 2008 at 12:38 am

Seay escapes…barely!

T Smith June 3, 2008 at 12:39 am

That was a little too close to a meltdown for my taste

Vince in MN June 3, 2008 at 12:39 am

Seay = Rollercoaster Jr.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 12:41 am

I had complete confidence in Seay. I wasn’t nervous at all.

T Smith June 3, 2008 at 12:43 am

Still life with Larrish

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 12:44 am

Hey, did you guys know Seay walked in the winning run in the 12th once? (Johnny Carson voice) I did not know that. Weird.

Vince in MN June 3, 2008 at 12:45 am

Or, since he is lefthanded, Retsoacrellor.

T Smith June 3, 2008 at 12:46 am

Ha Ha Ha Johnny. Good one. (McMann voice)

Kevin in Austin June 3, 2008 at 12:47 am

Tough game for the Wings. Terrible high-sticking, just lazy stick handling. That’s okay, Wings will win in 6. Let’s see if Detroit can win one before then.

ron June 3, 2008 at 12:48 am

You gotta have thick skin to be a Detroit fan. We’ll get em’ in Pittsburgh.

Brenden June 3, 2008 at 12:49 am

Renteria is an idiot….wow….

T Smith June 3, 2008 at 12:50 am

He’s not an idiot… he’s just sloooowww

Vince in MN June 3, 2008 at 12:50 am

Or, since Seay is lefthanded, Retsaocrellor.

Brenden June 3, 2008 at 12:52 am

Cruceta’s in…..oh boy…I think it’s time for sleep….I can just dream of a Tigers win, cause I don’t think it is going to really happen…

RudeMood19 June 3, 2008 at 12:53 am

now it’s over. Cruceta’s in..

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 12:53 am

Sorry about the Wings.

Oh, Cruceta’s in. This one’s in the bag. But which bag? Give me a “You are correct, sir!”

Sam June 3, 2008 at 12:53 am

I think the game is over now that Cruceta is in there. I hope I’m wrong!

-Sam

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 12:55 am

Don’t worry, Cruceta is golden with men on. I can see an IBB with a man on first.

Tbone June 3, 2008 at 12:55 am

Cruceta is the new Grilli.

Sam June 3, 2008 at 12:56 am

Keep bringing in Cruceta in those high leverage situations Jimmy! Good Job!

-Sam

Vince in MN June 3, 2008 at 12:57 am

It was only a matter of time.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 12:57 am

Ah, quick and painless. Thank you, FC.

RudeMood19 June 3, 2008 at 12:58 am

what a joke. He’s like Jose Mesa. I can’t believe he let a .265 hitter beat him.

Cruceta is crap. What a horrible loss.

ron June 3, 2008 at 12:59 am

Good thing I don’t drink anymore.

ron June 3, 2008 at 1:03 am

They both lose in a 5 minute span. Go Lions.

Vince in MN June 3, 2008 at 1:03 am

Holding steady at 9 games under .500.

greg June 3, 2008 at 1:04 am

Oh well, the losses don’t sting as much anymore because I’ve come to expect them.

They should bounce back tomorrow with a lefty on the mound.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 1:08 am

Let the second guessing begin. I mean, continue. Why was Rogers brought in for the 8th at 100 pitches? I mean, aside from the Tigers bullpen. That seemed odd.

I see the Tigers got 5 hits. The Tigers seldom win with 10 hits. How are they gonna do it with 5? Yeah, the bullpen lost it. But not without help.

Eric Cioe June 3, 2008 at 1:11 am

Rogers was brought back out at 100 pitches in the 8th to act as a lefty specialist. He was done even if he struck out the lefty he was sent in to face. I don’t think that was a bad move at all.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 1:14 am

“I can’t believe he let a .265 hitter beat him.”

What I can’t believe is what happened with the .160 hitter – who had grounded out 3 times – the inning before. Who is T. Buck? Obviously a force to be reckoned with. Gotta say, his neck gives Ellis a run for the money. The Tigers need some necks like that. Forget the facial hair, guys. Necks.

Chris June 3, 2008 at 1:16 am

When the game is close, you just KNOW the Tigers will lose. They are 2-8 in games decided by 1 run. Three of those games came in this road trip.

This season SUCKS!!!!

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 1:26 am

Bautista in, Cruceta out? I’m just asking. It’s probably a wash.

Kenny Rogers with another good start. Any help from the D? Didn’t sound like it.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 1:29 am

Thank you, Eric. I don’t know that it was a bad move, but I didn’t understand it at the time. But why not Seay as the lefty specialist right away in the 8th? Because they’re down to one and might have needed him later?

Eric Cioe June 3, 2008 at 3:56 am

Right. The A’s had a few back to back lefties tonight, and I think Leyland was saving Seay for those guys. It isn’t ridiculous to send a veteran with what, 102 pitches under his belt, out to go after one more batter. Worst case scenario (for his arm), he has a 15 pitch at bat. Oh well. Kenny hasn’t exactly thrown a lot of pitches this year, so he can probably be called on to do it from time to time.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 8:45 am

The Detroit starters have put together quite a little run of decent starts.

It was great to see Larish get that go-ahead RBI last night. That’s got to be a confidence booster for him, coming through in that situation against Harden.

Good to see the bats come alive for a little bit late in the game, if only for one inning. That has been rare when the Tigers have been shut down for a number of innings, especially against quality pitching. Way for Granderson to start it off. That at bat alone gives me a lot of hope he’s on his way back.

T Smith June 3, 2008 at 9:39 am

It was a painful loss, for sure. But the team is playing better. No defensive miscues, good quality starting pitching — I think that’s the main thing. The Ws will come as long as 1-5 can keep it up.

Of course what I’m concerned about is the offensive will start to light up the board right about the time 1-5 decide to go back to sleep. It’s been that kind of season.

tiff June 3, 2008 at 9:42 am

of all the losses we’ve suffered this season, this one was a little easier to stomach. Quality pitching, breaking through on a dominant pitching performance, manufacturing runs… Now if we can turn of a couple of these walk-offs into wins, we’ll be okay.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 10:07 am

Continuing to look on the bright side, there are now only 55 losses to go. With 50 wins to go along with them, that won’t be so bad, especially in a rebuilding year.

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 10:10 am

I agree with the sentiments that the team is playing better. The starting pitching has been considerably more efficient, and the offense is showing signs of working a little harder in their at-bats on a consistent basis.

Now if we could only get Leyland to stop putting Cruceta in during a pressure situation. Where’s the Director of Common Sense on that one?

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 10:42 am

Yeah, the DoCS needs to revoke Jimmy’s Cruceta priveleges. As I believe I’ve mentioned here before, I finally figured out what ‘Jason’ and ‘Grilli’ translate to in Spanish. Other than that, I think the team is showing signs of slowly righting itself with the decent starts they’ve gotten for most of the past 3 weeks or so. Call me a cockeyed optimist, but there’s still time to make a push. As long as they are 5 or fewer GB at the All Star break they should be OK.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 10:43 am

“Now if we could only get Leyland to stop putting Cruceta in during a pressure situation.”

Yes, I think the time to worry about showing confidence in Cruceta came and went before last night’s game. I don’t know who the other options were, though (availability). No one has been spotless just lately. I take it Jones was not available. Either that, or they simply don’t care to use him outside of save situations.

You could feel it slipping away in the 8th. The 9th was the time to use up that go-to guy, and Jones is the closest thing they have. Cruceta? Hmmm. Lopez was frightening last time out, but at least he has a track record of some success.

This wouldn’t have hapopened if Jose Mesa were still here. 8th inning, 9th inning, 10th inning – that guy could do it all.

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 10:46 am

I think Jones not being used was due to the fact that they were on the road more than anything else, Sean. If they were at CoPa, we may have seen him in the 9th. At least they would’ve had a chance to come back after he gave up a go-ahead HR in that scenario. Anyway, theoretically Rodney should be back in short order which, God willing, will banish Cruceta into Bolivian.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 10:53 am

Good thinking, Chris. By the way, thanks for coming through with those follow-up stats on Inge. I’m not sure what to make of it yet, but I’m convinced there’s something to it. It might only be a reflection of which pitchers he tends to catch, if there’s any trend there.

Today’s factoid: In games where the Tigers have taken +3 to +8 more walks than they’ve given up, they are only 4-4.

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 10:56 am

Oh yeah? Well chew on this little nugget of info. The Tigers are 24-0 when outscoring their opponents. I love sabermetrics.

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 11:01 am

Agree Chris, I stand by my prediction of a good June for the Tigers, and I still think we’ll be above .500 by month-end. It’s a long season and the White Sox are showing signs of imploding (thank YOU, Ozzie Guillen).

Sean you make a good point about alternatives, one that I usually make. I think you’re right that Leyland prefers to use Jones in save situations, which is why you wouldn’t go to him there on the road (at home where a save isn’t possible, my guess is you would see him). Sadly, the only choices at that point were Miner and Lopez. Lopez was terrible last time, but so was Cruceta (the last 4 times, actually), and as you mention, Lopez at least had some success earlier in the year. This is a function of carrying 6 starters I suppose. That and trading Jason Grilli.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 11:01 am

Where was the Director of Common Sense just prior to the Guillen to LF brainstorm? Admittedly, the experiment with Thames dragged on for so long and was a miserable failure, but still. This is what finally did it, knocked me off the fence and into the camp of the pessimists. I love what I read about it somewhere, how the move gets Guillen, Cabrera, and Inge into the lineup simultaneously. Oh, really? No other way to do that, I guess. Jim Leyland, you are wise.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 11:16 am

It’s funny, Mark, but not so long ago I was thinking what a pleasant surprise the bullpen had turned out to be. Now that the starting’s getting good, the games get closer, the situations become more high-leverage, and now the warts are starting to show again.

You make a good point about the cost of carrying 6 starters. It would seem they are tied to this for a while, unless Willis dazzles right away, a most unlikely propsect.

I know better play is the solution. Simply delivering on that talent and potential. I won’t propose any trades as a cure, but still, indulge me.

I’m pretty ignorant about the rest of the league. I think the Tigers could use a 3B and a catcher. I’m not saying THEY think so or that you should, but ARE there any players at these positions that could be available mid-season that could – in theory – help the Tigers? Tell me who they are, and I promise I won’t campaign for their acquisition. Just need something to keep my mind off all there is to complain about.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 11:25 am

“The Tigers are 24-0 when outscoring their opponents.”

Hey, man – are you mocking my factoid? I had to work for that one – it wasn’t something I read somewhere, you know.

And I still think it’s remarkable that the Tigers are 3-28 when outhit. Independent of other factors, including walks. Yes, being outhit makes a team somewhat more likely to lose – but 90% likely?

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 11:37 am

Sean: I wasn’t mocking your factoid. Just adding to the wealth of information that we provide for all 14 people who read the comments section. As for your question about the 3B/C conundrum….I don’t think there’s anyone who really jumps out at you in those positions, especially C. As far as impending Free Agents go, guys like Casey Blake and Joe Crede will be available. Hank Blalock and Chipper Jones have club options. None of those are particularly appealing options. Crede and Blalock are too risky health-wise, no way the Braves don’t pick up Jones’ option and Blake is 35 years old and sucks anyhow. So yeah, slim pickins. By the way, you can find out all of this crap on http://www.mlbtraderumors.com

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 11:38 am

Sean, I was with you, pleasantly surprised by the early returns on the bullpen. However it’s definitely a different story lately, although Dolsi has been a good find and looks like he has some ability. Not that I’m depending on them, but if Zumaya and Rodney can be anywhere near their usual selves when they come back, the bullpen suddenly doesn’t look bad with Cruceta/Dolsi/Miner for the 6th and 7th, either Rodney or Zumaya for the 8th, and Jose Mesa, er Jones in the 9th (sorry didn’t mean to get your hopes up).

As for filling in holes, I think the entire league is looking for catching (especially prospects), it’s very hard to come by right now. To get an idea who might be available, take a look at all the bad teams who are likely to be sellers and see who catches for them. It generally isn’t pretty.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 11:51 am

“Just adding to the wealth of information that we provide for all 14 people who read the comments section.”

Ha! All right, Chris, I’ll let you off with a warning this time. I’m very sensitive about my factoids. I sweat and slave to come up with some overlooked and possibly useful information to compensate for my largely useless comments, and what I do I have to show for it? Bupkus. Not even an “attaboy” or “nice try” from Billfer. Well, I don’t need this crap. I’m going over to motownsports.com and argue with The Strategy Guy. Yeah. I sure don’t need youse guys.

By the way, Marcus Thames has a .275 BAbip against RHP. Way better than against LHP. I didn’t work for this one.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 11:57 am

Mark, Dolsi really has been a good find. He’s been a bit shaky in tight spots, but he’s a hell of an upgrade over Grilli for middle relief. He gets ground ball outs. I just wish the Tigers could make more (as in any) double plays out of them.

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 12:04 pm

“I just wish the Tigers could make more (as in any) double plays out of them.”

That would require infielders who were able to move “left” or “right” as well as bend over and touch the ground. And yes, that was a thinly veiled jab at Edgar Allen Poe, er, Renteria.

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 12:08 pm

just out of curiosity Sean, where did you get the BABIP numbers for Marcus? I get sick of doing the calculationg when I want to figure it out for somebody.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 12:16 pm

Mark – baseballreference.com

The stat I cited was for 2008. Small sample size. Still interesting, though. I was looking at platoon splits for Thames and Granderson and thinking irrational thoughts about platooning them in LF.

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 12:17 pm

You can find BABiP numbers on the splits page at baseball-reference if I’m not mistaken. (Sorry if I beat you to the puch on that one, Sean). I like that ‘Dolsi’ is an anagram for ‘Solid’. I think I’ll start calling him Freddy Solid. That sounds cooler. Much more intimidating.

T Smith June 3, 2008 at 12:19 pm

The lack of DPs, it seems to me, stems from Renteria’s sluggish release out of the glove. Unless it’s taylor-made, the 6-4-3 double play is tough one with the Tiger’s current infield configeration.

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 12:20 pm

I wasn’t aware they had that stuff on the bball-ref page, I have alway stuck to the main stats page. Thanks for the heads up, guys. Also, I managed to dig up fangraphs, which has BABIP too.

Freddy Solid is most definitely a kickarse nickname, Chris. Well done.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 12:21 pm

The Telltale Shortstop. No matter where you bury him in the lineup…

I’m guessing “proud” Edgar is much too proud to be replaced late in the game by Santiago. But the last time I advocated for more playing time for Santiago, he goofed up against KC. Still, that could some “stuff” for Jim to try in the short time he has left.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 12:24 pm

Freddy Solid! Cool. Cruceta is an anagram for another kind of solid – oddly, a slang term of only 4 letters.

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 12:25 pm

Wow I made a typo. It turns out I didn’t beat Sean to the ‘puch’ anyway. So yeah, I’m an idiot. Anyway, I’m not overly enamored with the pitching matchups for the remainder of this Oakland series. I had the Tigs penciled in for a win last night due to the Rogers/McAfee factor. Now I have them penciled in for a sweep. Before the season looking at this series on the schedule, I’d definitely have thought the Tigers would cremate the A’s. Funny how perceptions change in 2 short months…

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 12:26 pm

well guys, thanks for wasting the rest of my afternoon. ;-)

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 12:26 pm

oh man i’m totally not getting anything done today…

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 12:31 pm

OK since I am a complete dork, I plugged in ‘Francisco’ and ‘Cruceta’ into the ol’ anagram machine and came up with ‘Succinct or a Farce’. That works. He’s succinct in that his outings are decided very quickly, and he’s a farce in that he…well he’s a farce. It’s really a shame he doesn’t have a K in his name though…

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 12:31 pm

ok, so did anybody else know that the Tigers drafted Rodney Peete (3B – University of S. California) in the 28th round of the 1990 draft?

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Succinct Farce! Excellent!

We’ve ruined Mark, Chris. We shouldn’t have told him.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 12:36 pm

you’re not an idiot, Chris. You couldn’t know that here at work, I am Mr. Broadband, actually in sync with the rest of the world, as opposed to an inning or so behind like I am when I try to keep up with a game thread from home..

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 12:38 pm

Yeah, of course I knew about Peete, Mark. Everyone knows that. Talk about stale news. You and your baseballreference.com.

Just kidding.

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 12:39 pm

I actually didn’t know that about Rodney Peete. I’m so out of the loop. And I call myself a Tigers fan. Geez

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 12:40 pm

baseball-reference rules. Although I find myself wasting more time on Baseball Prospectus these days. I’m such a VORP-y.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 12:42 pm

“The lack of DPs, it seems to me, stems from Renteria’s sluggish release out of the glove.”

That jibes with a number of comments on plays I’ve heard.

The DP you should have gotten is the same 4th out you give out with an error. It’s worth looking into what the impact of this has been on the Tigers season so far.

I’m not a Renteria-hater, but this aspect of his game is getting on my nerves. Is “proud” Edgar too proud to be pulled late in the game for Santiago? Although – the last time I advocated for more playing time for Santiago, he goofed up against KC. Still, this is some “stuff” Jim might want to try in the short time he has left.

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 12:43 pm

I’m going to make a rare non-Tigers related comment here. I’m going to assume that some of you are Wings fans so you’ve been watching the Stanley Cup. I’ve come to the conclusion, however, that if Don Cherry and Craig Sager were ever to appear on the same TV screen, the universe would collapse upon itself. Just a theory.

T Smith June 3, 2008 at 12:44 pm

Edgar is somewhat of an enigma. I’m not sure he warrants a late-inning replacement for defensive purposes .. He’s pretty solid in a range 10 degrees to the right and to left of where he’s rooted (word choice not accidental) — but it just looks like he moves in slow motion all the time. I don’t expect any sparkling plays from him, ever. As a matter of fact, I don’t recall any so far.

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 12:47 pm

What’s even more troubling than Renteria’s “range” is the fact that his throwing arm makes David Eckstein look like Ichiro. He can not make a play in the hole to save his soul. I didn’t even mean to rhyme there, it just came out that way.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 12:53 pm

A’s series: Chris, take heart. A lefty is on the mound for Oakland. Thames is going yard, and Guillen and Cabrera, too. It’s also time for Brandon inge’s weekly big multi-RBI hit, if only he can play. The oblique thing might cure him of the check-swing Ks. A grand slam by Polly wins it in the 9th.

I’m liking Dontrelle’s K/BB ratio. It favors some regression to the mean. And we won’t be seeing Cruceta, either. Until tomorrow.

T Smith June 3, 2008 at 12:56 pm

How short of a leash do you suppose Willis will be on tonight? Do three walks in the first, for example, get him yanked? Or are we committed to see what he has thru 5?

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 12:58 pm

I’m kind of a VORP-y too, although I really only understand what it means, I don’t often apply it to specific players, etc. So I guess I don’t have a good feel for in what context VORP is considered ‘superstar’ level over ‘very good’, etc. I appreciate the value it brings in comparing players.

I also like to use EqA, since it’s really easy to understand, but since I won’t subscribe to BP, I don’t often compare players with it. I can’t really find it elsewhere.

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Also, since I haven’t ripped on Leyland in at least 20 minutes:

Good to see that “Marcus is going to be our left fielder” apparently means 4-6 at-bats per week. What the eff did the guy do to get jerked around like that?

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 1:03 pm

I splurged on the $4.95/mo to get the premium content on BP (did I mention that I’m a dork yet?). If you want me to look anything up just let me know. Wouldn’t it be a kick if we had VORP for real life? I’d like to see what my VORP is stacked up against my co-workers.

Sean: Your unbridled enthusiasm makes me feel better about tonight. Although you really went out on a limb with your theory on Willis regressing to the mean. Considering he hasn’t actually struck anyone out yet… ;-)

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 1:05 pm

Yeah, Mark. Poor Marcus. The one thing that I always respected about Leyland is that he’s a no BS type. What he says is what he means and the players seem to respond to that well. The Thames situation runs contrary to that.

T Smith June 3, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Rumor has it Marcus hid Leyland’s secret-squirrel cartoon of smokes in Jason Grilli’s empty locker. It was just a joke, afterall. But it didn’t go over too well.

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 1:08 pm

Chris, no doubt your VORP in real life is like fifty (that’s good, right?)

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 1:13 pm

T Smith, what you’re saying in essence is that a late-inning defensive replacement for Renteria is kind of like… pinch-hitting Thames for Sheffield. It might work, it might not, but it’s probably already too late. And I can’t point to any truly sparkling replacement for him on the bench, really.

More stuff for Jim to try: Inge at SS, Renteria at 3B. What the heck – martial law applies now. After the Guiilen-Cabrera switch, after Sheffield in LF for a week, after Guillen to LF, I think anything goes. Let’s come full circle and put Guillen back at SS.

I wonder how Carlos feels about his Gold Glove replacement. Might aggravate his condition.

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 1:16 pm

Yeah a 50 VORP is pretty decent. Much better than Inge’s -3.8 or whatever it was last year. It’s gotta sting to have a negative VORP. Of course that’s nothing compared to Ivan Rodriguez’s negative OBP, but I digress.

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 1:18 pm

Sean: I think they should go with 5 infielders and just let Granderson and some other random fast guy patrol the outfield. Maybe Gorkys Hernandez or Cameron Maybin. No, wait…

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Chris,

Can you get a career VORP for Neifi Perez?

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 1:28 pm

T Smith, I will lend credence to the rumor. You don’t mess with a man’s smokes. Especially not a three-pack-a-day guy’s smokes. (I smoke, but I can’t even imagine going through 3 packs a day.) Thames is toast. But good-natured, country-strong Marcus would never come up with a prank like that on his own. He was the fall guy. Someone put him up to it.

Anagram for Thames: H(e)’s meat.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 1:31 pm

I checked Neifi, and there was only data on VURP for him.

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 1:34 pm

For whatever reason, I could only get VORP going back to ’05, but Neifi has put up a 7.4, -7.6, -6.0 and -5.6. That is, how you say, fugly. And he was once traded for Jermaine Dye. I had forgotten that.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 1:35 pm

“I think they should go with 5 infielders”

Really not a bad idea, Chris. I think it’s legal as long as you call one of those guys an outfielder on the lineup card. And Brent Clevelen is fast, isn’t he? As long as the Tigers can also get an allowance for 3 DHs, I see a winner here.

Dave BW June 3, 2008 at 1:35 pm

Sean, I second your statement about cigarettes. You touch my packs and you are entering a world of pain.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Clevlen. He really should spell it my way.

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Here’s how it should look:
Cabrera 1B, Polanco 2B, Renteria SS, Inge 3B, Guillen 4B, Granderson R/CF, The Speedy Freddy Guzman L/CF.

And then here’s the batting order:
Granderson R/CF
Polanco 2B
Guillen 4B
Ordonez DH
Cabrera 1B
Ordonez DH
Ordonez DH
Ordonez DH
Renteria SS

You see, I like to maximize Maggs’ plate appearances, so this lineup accomplishes that. OK I’ll stop trying to be funny now.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Dave: Leave me. I’m in flavor country.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Call me easily amused, but that was funny, Vorpy, er, Chris. But without Pudge in the 9 hole, the lineup lacks balance.

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 1:51 pm

See, chemistry like this thread is exhibiting today is the reason why the Tigers are set for a big June (I’m going to keep saying it in the hopes that it will actually come true).

Those are some, shall we say, godawful numbers for Neifi. And for this he was paid millions of dollars and took PHD? Any team could have easily run a AAA player out there and saved themselves the cash to spend on a reliever or something.

I don’t know who’s worse, the GM that acquires Neifi on purpose, (I’m looking at you, Dave Dombrowski) or the batsh*t-crazy manager that keeps running him out there (this especially means you, Dusty Baker and Jim Leyland).

I know there is a saying that if managers always did what the fans wanted them too, pretty soon they’d be sitting with them. And I accept this. However, that does not mean the fans are always wrong, and every fan I’ve talked to that knows baseball understands that Neifi Perez is not particularly good at playing it. How did he keep finding work?

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 1:52 pm

You know all of this talk about smoking made me sneak away for a smoke myself. And as I was puffing away, I had a revelation. I’ve *finally* figured out the fascination with Cruceta. You see, he’s not a reliever. He’s actually a late inning defensive replacement for the pitcher. It all makes sense now. JL is more crafty than you think.

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 1:54 pm

Mark: I think the VORP statistic should officially be renamed to VONP (Value Over Neifi Perez). You think we could make it happen? Let’s get BP on the phone and get this thing done.

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 1:56 pm

That is a good lineup Chris, lots of extra VORP in there with the quad-magglio.

Any chance we can get our pitchers an allowance of 8 balls before a walk is issued and a requirement of one strike before the out is recorded? (A foul counting as a strike, of course). Then I think we could win some games!

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 2:01 pm

My God, Chris. That is absolute genius. Bravo, sir! Bra-{applauding}-vo!!

Henceforth on this site, VORP will forever be replaced with VONP, at least whenever I talk about it.

Of course, it then follows that VONP > VORP, since Neifi technically had negative VORP, so he was not as good as a fictitious replacement player. I’m fine with that. If you’re better than a AAA player, you’re WAY better than Neifi.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 2:12 pm

Yeah, Chris is rolling today. Or should I say we are. Hey-oh!

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Both you guys are crushing it, I’m just trying to keep up. This must be how Pudge feels when 1-8 in the lineup has 2 hits apiece… hey-oh!!

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 2:18 pm

We’re like the Rat Pack. T Smith can be Dean Martin. I’m calling Sammy Davis, Jr. The candy man can, cause he mixes it up with baseball and makes the world taste good.

Ken from Cincinnati June 3, 2008 at 2:21 pm

Speaking of Marcus “H(e)’s Meat” Thames, check this out for a laugh. Maybe everyone knows this in Michigan, but the Wolverines may receive a committment from Mississippi WR Dennis Thames. Dennis is Marcus’s nephew, but instead of having that slight to zero resemblance that most uncles and nephews share, he looks like Marcus’s clone. Here’s the link with his picture, but if that doesn’t work, just google the guy.

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 2:21 pm

oh, we OWN this thread. we’re more like the A-Team.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 2:39 pm

You’re right, Ken. Both that Dennis looks like Marcus and that I wouldn’t have expected him to.

Kevin in Austin June 3, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Are the Tigers sellers???…A columnist in today’s Dallas Morning News talks about the possibility of the Rangers trading for Bonderman (amongst other things). Not from a source or anything, but at least one MLB columnist is thinking it.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 3:02 pm

“Despite evidence to the contrary, the revolving rotation doesn’t mean the Rangers are unable to find pitchers. They found Chris Young for San Diego and John Danks for the White Sox and Edinson Volquez for Cincinnati.”

That was good.

I don’t know about Bonderman going anywhere. The Tigers have got to be in the market for pitching themselves. Who could the Rangers give us for Bonderman, anyway?

Did you write that, Kevin? You could live in Austin and still write for a Dallas paper.

“Mike R” is Jim Leyland, by the way. I’ll present my case another time, but the evidence has become overwhelming and incontrovertible. The jig is up.

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 3:06 pm

interesting article, Kevin, and you wonder where the columnist got the idea. Sabathia and Perez in that conversation make sense, as they are discussed as trade bait at one time or another. But Bondo’s name doesn’t often come up.

I would think it would take a pretty attractive package of prospects for DD to move Bonderman, as well as the assurance that Willis has straightened out and he can find a serviceable 5th starter (Galarraga or some other).

tiff June 3, 2008 at 3:12 pm

you guys are rolling this afternoon!

Dennis does look a lot like uncle Marcus, minus the ridiculous dimples. I always thought Thames and CMo coulda been brothers.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 3:12 pm

Nate Robertson to Texas instead. No joke.

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 3:30 pm

Yep, I was thinking that too, Sean. Although Nate is locked in to a very reasonable contract to get league average (or slightly below) performance. It’s actually pretty hard to find that. His ERA+ the last 5 years including 2008: 91, 95, 119, 96, 70. The 70 is for this year, which most likely will improve over the course of the season. His WHIP in those years: 1.40, 1.36, 1.31, 1.47, 1.51. Career 6.1 K/9. Remarkably consistent, although if his WHIP stays high this year I would be concerned it’s the beginning of the end. All this for $4.75 million this year, $5.75 million next year, and a club option for $8 million in 2010.

Now consider that Jason Marquis has a career ERA+ of 96, a career WHIP of 1.43, and a career 5.4 K/9, and he’s making $7 million per.

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 3:32 pm

Sorry I was out at lunch so I’ve been behind the times here. The Rangers can gladly send Hamilton over for Bonderman straight up, even as much as I like Bondo (which is a lot since we share a birthday – a dumb reason, I know). I remember the hot rumor around here prior to ’07 was Bondo for Teixeira, but that obviously didn’t happen. I suppose I could insert the generic blockhead fan quote here – “we should trade _____ for a bag of baseballs.” Note how I used “we”. :-P

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 3:34 pm

Mark: I think Nate’s been hit-unlucky this year, though. His K/BB is easily the best on the staff, and last I checked his K/9 was a tick above his career norms. That suggests he’s been throwing well. There’s only so much you can do about balls in play, especially with this defense. His biggest bugaboo has been ill-timed HR allowed.

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 3:35 pm

Oh by the way – if we’re the A-Team, I want to be BA Baracus. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 3:54 pm

Yeah Chris, Nate’s peripherals are solid and his BABIP for this year is .333, which is a little high but not crazy. The killer, as you mention, is the ill-timed HR, which has resulted in a .489 SLG against. The numbers to back up what all already know: the SLG against is .598 the second time through the lineup, .577 pitches 50-75, and .635 in the 4th inning alone. Yikes. For some reason, he actually improves after that, so it’s probably not fatigue, he (or Chuck Hernandez) may just be slow to make adjustments. I doubt it’s even just HR, he’s given up 9, so he’s getting hit very hard when he makes mistakes.

Also, bball-ref totally rocks. Hat tip to them^^

greg June 3, 2008 at 3:59 pm

Neifi Perez was an awesome baseball player, especially at the plate.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 4:04 pm

Mark, fellow team members (we have room for more than 4, but I get to be the George Peppard guy, unless that’s who Chris called):

Nate is not bad and is a bargain. I am guilty of patience at an end with him. He always seems on the cusp of being really good, just like Brandon Inge always seems to be on the cusp of not so bad.

If I’m a Tigers fan (and who’s to say I’m not?), I think: Nate is mediocre and isn’t getting better. Not good enough for this team. We need someone who can, well, rise above mediocre once in a while in terms of shutting ‘em down, not just peripherals. Even if they flame out after a couple years. Or one.

If I’m a Rangers fan, I think: Nate is solid. He’s exactly what we need. Keep us in the game, and the guns will get it done. Just don’t blow up. And Nate rarely does. He’s the bomb! (Hey, didn’t I make a kind of backdated oxymoron thing there? Totally unintentional. Speak in cliches and it happens.)

I love Marcus’s dimples. Dimples make the man. And if we’re Seinfeld, I want to be Elaine. No connection between those two statements, I assure you.

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Can we be Facts of Life? I want to be Tootie.

Sean, I agree with your argument from the Rangers viewpoint, however wouldn’t the same logic apply for the Tigers? Basically, don’t get shelled out there, eat some innings and the $100 million Pinto (er, Ferrari) of an offense will score some runs. Nate is never going to be an ace, but for a #4 or #5 starter, he’s perfectly acceptable. Sure it would great if Nate could step up and deliver 8 ip, 1 er every so often, but how many guys at the back of any rotation do that?

I am probably also guilty of endless patience with Nate, he always seems SO CLOSE to turning the corner but never does. But as my favorite argument goes: who do we replace him with? At this point you’re counting on a “new and improved” D-Train and Galarraga in rotation instead. However, I completely agree with your original point of trading Nate over Bondo. Without question that’s the better move if you have to make the trade.

I would suggest that in 2010 the rotation is Verlander-Bonderman-Willis-Robertson-Porcello if we are lucky and everything goes to plan. You can win with that rotation.

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 4:44 pm

Let’s go with the Golden Girls. I’ll be Sophia. lol. Anyway I’d prefer not to see Robertson go elsewhere at this point. Like billfer has pointed out all of the time, he never gives up more than 4 runs (although seldom less than 4 runs, but still). This offense was supposed to score 4 runs every inning. So yeah, Nate will give them a chance to win every 5 days if they can find a cure for head-in-arse syndrome in the batters box. Now if they’re still 9 games under in mid-July I reserve the right to change my opinion.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 4:48 pm

“Verlander-Bonderman-Willis-Robertson-Porcello”

All right, Tootie. That’s a good rotation (we hope). 2010 seems like a long time to wait for Porcello (from a fan’s point of view), but you’re right. And I can’t offer a single solid baseball reason that Robertson “must go.” I don’t even know if I would let go of any of those guys as part of a deal for a position player we (note the “we,” BA) really needed. Maybe.

What about Galaragga? Does anyone think he might turn out to be really good, not just OK and lucky? I wonder if someone could name another pitcher who came up the way Galaragga did, started out the way he did, made people skeptical the way he does, and turned out more than OK long term.

That Cruceta, I’d trade him for a bag of baseballs. Or some pine tar for Kenny. He must really be going through it lately.

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Keep in mind that trading Nate means filling two holes in the rotation next year, since there’s little chance Kenny is coming back. If Robertson is dealt and Kenny leaves, D-Train suddenly becomes your #3.

The obvious exception would be to trade Nate as part of a package deal to a team that’s out of it that brings over, say Roy Oswalt (just an example) or some other significant upgrade for the rotation.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 4:57 pm

“Neifi Perez was an awesome baseball player, especially at the plate.”

OK, not bad, Greg. But you totally misunderstand Neifi’s role with a team. He’s a facilitator. A catalyst, if you will. He provided the spark that took the Tigers to the World Series in 2006, and if he hadn’t been set up and framed by some jealous teammate, like probably Sheffield, it would have happened again in 2007. You can’t judge a guy like that in terms of numbers or VONP. Even if he was the only guy with a negative VONP.

I need to go to cbs.sports.online and post some of this stuff in earnest. It could be fun.

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 5:02 pm

2010 is a year and a half away, so having Porcello in the rotation probaly implies that he gets a few starts in the second half next year. He’d only be 20 years old opening day 2010, so it will come up quick. It does seem long though, because we’re anxious to see the new Josh Beckett get up here and dominate a World Series.

I love what Galarraga has done so far, he pretty much rescued the rotation (if that’s possible for a team 9 games under .500) in May. However for some reason I’m just not sold on him yet. I hope I’m wrong, but I just need to see it for more than 8 starts (just like I’m pretty sure Cliff Lee isn’t the next Sandy Koufax). Galarraga’s BABIP is .194, by the way. I can’t think of someone that consistently overacheived, but maybe Brian Bannister is worth keeping an eye on. He’s about a year ahead of Armando in MLB service and has similar stuff and approach (throw all pitches for strikes, nothing overpowering).

I think Cruceta will ultimately be fine, if Leyland would stop putting him in crucial situations or would pull the plug when he gets in trouble. For the time being, he could probably get through waivers, so maybe he’s the guy that Fossum will replace.

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 5:02 pm

“The obvious exception would be to trade Nate as part of a package deal to a team that’s out of it that brings over, say Roy Oswalt (just an example) or some other significant upgrade for the rotation.”

I agree with that.

I complain about Nate Robertson like I complain about the weather. I just can’t be satisfied. I want him to be better. I want the Tigers to win and go to the World Series and win. I don’t see why that’s so much to ask. Just can’t see why it pleases the Forces Of Evil so to deny me this.

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 5:09 pm

Sean,

Are the Forces of Evil at all related to the Legion of Doom? Is one a splinter group of the other? Maybe our show should be ‘Superfriends’.

Also, I lucked into the Cruceta-for-Fossum move (see billfer’s updated post). Totally out of my arse, but the timing was pretty perfect. Dumb luck.

Now I hope Cruceta makes it. They guy has had a ridiculous schedule, no spring training, then pitching at Toledo for like 45 minutes before getting the call to be used improperly by Leyland. It probably wasn’t fair to expect a 0.60 WHIP, 14.5 K/9 and .083 BAA

Sean C. in Illinois June 3, 2008 at 5:09 pm

Yes, Cruceta is the guy to hate now, but I can see reason here. He’s been tested and failed, but it’s not over. He could have a role to play. As I recall, he looked quite good at first. I don’t think they would have gone to all the trouble they went to to get him on the team just to abandon him after a brief trial. As someone suggested, maybe they just wanted to make sure he would clear waivers (i.e., set him up to apparently fail). Devious strategy!

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 5:17 pm

“As someone suggested, maybe they just wanted to make sure he would clear waivers (i.e., set him up to apparently fail). Devious strategy!”

Wow, Sean. That is giving a lot of credit to two individuals that gave up replacement players to acquire Neifi Perez (thus creating negative value for the team. Or, if you prefer, trading two tens for a quarter) and then subsequently let him log major league innings in games that count, sometimes in a STARTING ROLE. I would call this a dubious strategy.

However, letting him fail so he clears waivers would be pretty shrewd. I’d like to think the GM of my favorite team is that smart.

He’s been DFA’d, so he’s on irrevocable waivers, right? i.e., they can’t pull him back if someone claims him.

Chris in Dallas June 3, 2008 at 5:24 pm

I know it was just a hypothetical, but Oswalt looks to me like he’s cooked. Maybe that’s just the Dallas vs. Houston bias talking. Anyway by and large I think the rotation as is will be OK for the long run. Galarraga kind of reminds me of Zach Miner in ’06. A solid run of starts, but I kinda see him petering out sometime in the near future. But Verlander and Bonderman are still have plenty of years ahead of them, Robertson can be a serviceable 4/5 for another few years and Porcello is waiting in the wings. Lambert has been faring well in Toledo for the most part, and there’s still a chance Vasquez or Tata or someone like that could be a LAIM in the future. By the way, that acronym is for League Average Innings Muncher. The $100 million offense needs to kick it into gear, really.

Eric Cioe June 3, 2008 at 8:15 pm

Oswalt isn’t cooked.

And no way do you get him for Nate Robertson + someone like Thames or whoever. Oswalt is one of the 10 best pitchers in his league for sure (Webb, Peavy, Lincecum, and Santana are the only guys that jump to mind as immediately better than Oswalt; I’d put Oswalt in with guys like Zambrano, Sheets, and Haren). Imagine trading Verlander for Jake Westbrook and Casey Blake, and that’s what you’re suggesting.

That’s seriously one of the most absurd trade ideas I’ve read on this site. It would take, at the very least, Carlos Guillen plus Nate Robertson, and probably quite a bit more than that.

Mark in Chicago June 3, 2008 at 9:45 pm

Eric,

Easy, man. It wasn’t a trade recommendation, it was simply an illustration that the only way trading Nate makes sense is if you package him with prospects to get somebody better than Nate. I realize that Oswalt is a top pitcher and I never suggested that he was obtainable in any package including Robertson. That was just a name that came to mind.

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