Thomas odd man out

It’s a bum deal. You hit your first big league homer and get sent to the minors. Clete Thomas was the outfielder optioned to Toledo to make room for Magglio Ordonez. So Matt Joyce will stick around and try to defend his AL Player of the Week honors.

52 thoughts on “Thomas odd man out”

  1. Makes sense I suppose. Raburn can back-up in CF and in the infield. Joyce should get any and all non-Thames/Granderson/Magglio/Shefield at bats in the outfield or at DH anyways.

  2. Well, bummer for Clete and the Tigers. This is “prudent” only to the extent that the SheffieldWatch and RenteriaWatch “must” continue, the search for any glimmer of consistent production, the nagging fear of admitting error and blowing a ton of money in the process. Otherwise, it just blows.

  3. Cletus has done a nice job. I’m thinking Magglio Ordonez is likely to be more productive than Clete Thomas over the balance of the season, though. Call me crazy.

  4. That’s a controversial stance, Chris. Are you sure Ordonez is ready to make the leap from low A to the bigs? I know Granderson pulled it off, but Magglio is no Curtis.

  5. When oh When are they going to finally realize what the rest of the world already knows, Sheffield has NOTHING left in the Tank!


  6. That’s how billfer should have put the headline: “Top Prospect Ordonez Called Up From West Michigan” or something like that…

  7. “When oh When are they going to finally realize what the rest of the world already knows, Sheffield has NOTHING left in the Tank!”

    Hmmm…seems like the tide is turning on “Mr. Me First” since the last thread discussing him. Say, with his history of complaining that he’s “underpaid,” has he approached the Tigers about giving back any of the $41 million he hasn’t earned?

  8. Sheffield won’t go anytime soon. Hope is “springing eternal” for DD in this case. Otherwise he would have admit he wasted a lot of the boss’s money to begin with, and that just ain’t gonna happen.

    Leyland will keep plugging him into the lineup to make easy outs just like he has done in the past with the other pets from his own personal “glory days” (think Neifi Perez, Jose Mesa, etc.).

  9. Meh. Sheffield’s not worth the bandwith to talk about him. He’s not hurting the club as much as, say, the pitching staff. The bullpen will kill this club’s chances, not Gary Sheffield or even Edgar Renteria. With a 1-5 of Granderson, Polanco, Guillen, Ordonez and Cabrera you are going to score. With a rotation of Verlander-Rogers-Robertson-Galarraga-Bonine, you aren’t going to prevent enough runs though. And then you have a guy pitching the 9th who belongs in a semi pro beer league being set up by guys who couldn’t find the strike zone with GPS. Not good times. Bad times.

  10. Succinct and piquant, Chris. With a hint of oaken wood. All true.

    “Top Prospect Ordonez Called Up From West Michigan”

    I can actually see Billfer doing something like this. Over time, under the subversive and corrupting influence of many DTW posters, there has been a slow but perceptible warping of his sense of humor, I think.

  11. “larish should have gone down.’

    Good point. I forgot Larish was even on the team. That makes the Clete move even stranger to me. Unless it’s all about getting regular AB for him until the September (or next injury) callup.

  12. I think that the truth of the matter (IMHO) is that management (from Leyland on up) is very confused. Quite a few of the roster decisions made in the last year (off-season and in-season) have make little or no sense. I fully expect this trend to continue. I can see the strategic reasons for demoting Thomas (options), but from a merit perspective (production) it is less convincing – there are other players less deserving still on the team.

  13. Vince, your truth is too frightening for me. Also, since it conflicts with what I read in the Detroit Free Press and on the Tigers’ MLB website, it must be a lie.

  14. Sean, perhaps I have over-reacted and allowed my mistrust of MSM to adversely color my opinion. Maybe I should reconsider my disregard for J.P. Morosi’s A-minus grade for Leyland in the first half. I have heard that repentance is good for the soul. Gimme some of that Koolaid. Allelujia.

  15. I’m pleased to hear that you’ve recanted, heretic, I mean Vince. We’ll still burn you at the stake, but at least we won’t pull your fingernails out first.

    I can’t believe Morosi faulted Leyland for anything. That’s so unfair. Maybe it was just the unhealthy lifestyle?

  16. What do you (whoever you are) think about Clete Thomas’s future with the Tigers?

  17. Sean, as far as Thomas goes, I have the sneaking suspision that he will eventually be traded for a 95th round draft pick pitcher (of course; and more than likely left-handed) with a 5/9 K/W ratio currently spending his third year in low class A ball, but ready to make the jump to high class A ball and projected as a potential closer/setup man type unless they decide to stretch him out with the idea of turning him into a potential #3, #4, or #5 starter type who they could eventually include in a package deal with a couple of other pitching prospects for a worn-out 40-year old DH type out machine with an inflated salary.

  18. Oops! There I go again. I have recanted my decanted (decanted my recanted?). Time for another attitude adjustment session. More Koolaid, please.

  19. Vince, I like your posts, but you need to loosen up and show your real feelings, not be so bookish, literal, and earnest all the time. It’s OK to criticize and seem a bit cynical at times, don’t worry.

    At random: I think Thomas makes a good complement to Thames in LF – Marcus won’t earn the starting job until he buckles down (changes that lazy attitude) and hits 50 HR in 300 PA. Thomas = what J. Jones could have been (bat-wise). He makes a very good OF reserve. Don’t know if the Tigers could afford to carry both him and Joyce as reserves in 2009, doesn’t seem likely. I don’t know if I’d take Thomas over Joyce if the choice had to be made. Too bad Clete doesn’t play 2B, kinda reminds me of the guy there now. Thomas came out of nowhere in spring training – JL saw something. Score one for Jim.

  20. Another way of describing Clete Thomas: He’s a Minnesota Twin. You look at his stats and say, ha ha ha ha ha, no way that guy beats me. Then he does.

  21. Someone from the three headed hydra of Raburn-Thomas-Joyce will get moved either before the deadline or in the offseason. At least that’s how it looks from here. I’d advise that they should start getting fitted for Marlins uniforms now to save time.

  22. Well, the Tigers aren’t going to let a left-handed bopper like Joyce go. Raburn’s too versatile to let go, but maybe he fetches more than Thomas. If they let Thomas go, he’ll end up in Minnesota, even if it’s by way of Florida.

  23. “Larish will be sent down after Sunday’s game, when the Tigers bring up their #5 starter.”

    That’s preposterous, sending down their #4 1B for a #5 SP. The numbers just don’t match.

  24. Can someone explain to me why Jeff Larish is on the roster still? Where’s he playing?

    DH? Nope, sheff’s there.

    First base? Nope, Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Guillen, or Marcus Thames play there.

    Anywhere else? Nope, he’s a 1st baseman.

    Why on earth do we send down someone who can play 3 positions to leave up one kid who can play 1-2 (if DH is a position…) and both players are a LH bat?

    I’m really running thin on patience with this front office.

    Edit: I missed that he’ll go down when a 5th starter comes up (Zach Miner, I’d bet) but still. Send him down now and let Joyce/Thomas get a few more AB’s to battle it out.


    Hey, maybe there is something to this primal scream stuff. Now I just need to get a big hug and get in touch with my real feelings (my girlfriend knows what these are, but even with couples therapy it hasn’t sunk in with me yet…old dog, new tricks, I guess).

  26. I would guess Larish is a more valuable pinch hitter than Clete. That may be why they left him here for the ~3 games until they need a starter.

  27. What has Jeff Larish shown in his time in Detroit that would make him a more valuable pinch hitter? His K’s in 1/4th of his AB’s? His 3 XBH’s?

    Larish has a lot more power than Clete and Larish is a big K, big BB, good power guy in the minors but he hasn’t exactly extrapolated that over to the majors. Right now, I’d much prefer Clete, Joyce, and Santiago up to pinch hit over Larish.

  28. Mike R:
    No. Personel management has been atrocious for quite some time. Having Larish up here polishing the pine of course makes no sense. Last winter leaving an injured Giarrratano on the 40-man roster when he would easily have cleared waivers made no sense either (then a couple of months later after the Rule-5 draft! they cut him anyway) when the spot could have been used to protect another player. These examples abound. You will go prematurely grey or bald trying to figure it out.

  29. I agree that going with Larish over Thomas for even a few days is mysterious. I’ve been so preoccupied with the idea of losing you-know-who and you-know who-else that I forgot all about Larish. I don’t even really understand why he was called up again in the first place, which is not meant as a knock on him. But he’s a one-position guy, and if it’s for another LH power bat, well, the Tigers really don’t need more power potential – they need more power delivery.


    Actually, Vince, that is just another way of saying “argue.” Evidently, you cannot stop making sense. You really need help.

  31. freep just reported that the marlins asked about trading for pudge and the tigers said he’s unnavailable

  32. “trading for pudge and the tigers said he’s unnavailable”

    Ther Marlins were misinformed, if you ask me. Freep has it backwards, maybe. The Tigers might have asked the Marlins if they would accept Pudge, but the Tigers didn’t offer enough in exchange.

  33. “Ivan Rodriguez to Florida for Mike Rabelo and Eulogio de la Cruz. I like it.”

    Bring back FuneralOnAShip!!!

    With JV starting on Sunday, the 5th starter isn’t needed until next Friday, correct? And probably wouldn’t even be needed then since Verlander will be on four days rest at that point…

  34. any chance that the tigers are trying to package some of their young outfielders for a 5th starter ?

  35. Zach Miner seems to be doing well in Toledo. 15 K/2 BB, good WHIP and ERA. I have to assume he gets the call, unles he’s part of some trade that brings a more established starter to the Tigers. Well, I suppose he could make a coiuple starts and then be traded, too.

    It’ll be interesting to see what Miner can do.

  36. “any chance that the tigers are trying to package some of their young outfielders for a 5th starter ?”

    I think they should package FuneralOnATeam (dynamic SS-DH combo) for a #3 starter.

  37. Pudge

    He would have nailed at lest 2 maybe 3 of the guys who stole bases last night. His defense is equal to any that we saw last night. His average has come around and I expect hime to have a very good rest of the season.

    Rotation…….Maybe Larish can pitch.

    Carlos did the English D prod last night.

  38. I think Pudge is the least of our problems.

    After this past offseason, I think the best thing that could happen is that DD’s phone would be rigged so that he could not longer make calls to or take calls from, the Marlins and the Braves.

  39. I think Maggs should bat 3rd the rest of the way with Cabrera clean up. Is this a possibility? The No. 3 spot has pretty much been a black hole this season and Maggs lacks the power for clean up, especially with Cabrera around.

  40. I agree with cib: Pudge is the least of our problems. He currently ranks 8th in OPS out of 15 major league catches with 250+ PA. And he’s played superb defense all year.

  41. I agree Larish should have gone down.

    Shef doesn’t have enough in the tank anymore. Thomas should be the every day left fielder and Thames should be the DH.

    Thomas hits for average, he gets on base a lot, and this Tigers team needs base runners right now.

  42. I actually see very little issue with Larish versus Thomas. Yeah, Thomas has hit better, but this isn’t a long term decision. It’s 4 games until a 5th starter is called up. And while there probably isn’t a big need for another first baseman, how much need was there for a 6th outfielder?

    Clete will be back at some point.

  43. Because Clete would actually get into the game defensively for Thames. Larish may get a pinch hit AB, other than that he’s not seeing the field.

  44. Pudge at C is a lot like Inge at 3B would be. A lineup problem I could live with, a trade-off. But Rodriguez can fetch something in a trade, whereas Inge… not so much. Do the Tigers need Pudge down the stretch, if there is a stretch, that badly? More than something they could get for him as part of a trade? I’m not sure. If this were 2007, I wouldn’t even think about it (even if the Tigers were 47-47). But I can’t really believe they’ll bring Pudge back for 2009. Can you?

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