links for 2010-03-30


  1. Andrew

    March 30, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    The number of local Tigers is back to one. Robertson and cash moved to Miami for LHP Jay Voss.

  2. kathy

    March 30, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    I take a nap and wake up to this.

  3. Kevin in Dallas

    March 30, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Willis’ line through 3 today: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 3 K. Could he be the 5th?


    • Mark in Chicago

      March 30, 2010 at 1:12 pm

      he is now…

      God help us all (but especially Dontrelle)

      • Kevin in Dallas

        March 30, 2010 at 1:18 pm

        Looks like Willis let it go to his head.

        Update: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K, 4 ER (was 0 before).

  4. Mark in Chicago

    March 30, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Man, risky move counting on Dontrelle to deliver every 5 days. Ideally you’d like to run him out there for 25 starts or so, but I just don’t see how that’s going to happen.

  5. Brenden

    March 30, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Yeah…. I love how on the day Robertson is traded and Willis is guaranteed as spot, Willis manages to walk 4 and give up 5 runs in 4.1 innings. Great move… That guy will be gone in a week. What a stupid stupid trade…

    • Dr. Detroit

      March 30, 2010 at 3:05 pm

      We are talking about the 5th spot in the rotation, without googling it can anyone name any other 5th hole starter on any other team? Nope and nope. Sure, he is shaky, but DD made the right move for a couple of reasons: (1) Robertson from what I have read has made it known he is not a bullpen guy, so he needed to go somewhere (and “bullpen arm” and “walks alot of guys” is not something you ever want to hear in the same sentence–never good to hear it period, but one can live with some wildness from the starter in the early innings); (2) he has more value than Willis. No one is going to take Willis off of our hands, and it may be difficult to put him back on the DL with “performance anxiety” again, so trot him out there and see what we get–a corollary with that is if he does fall on his face from time to time, Bonine and Coke if need be are both guys who can provide solid long-relief; (3) Willis if indeed is on can be a force. Robertson’s best days are clearly behind him, and he is just a mop-up guy on his best day. Willis on his best day, albeit few and far between, can produce shut-out stuff from time to time. Certainly not the best scenario, but the best move considering.

      • Andre in Chi

        March 30, 2010 at 3:09 pm

        “We are talking about the 5th spot in the rotation, without googling it can anyone name any other 5th hole starter on any other team?”

        Phil Hughes, Yankees.

        Besides, you missed the obvious point that most of us would take an unknown 5th starter from any other team over Willis.

        • Dr. Detroit

          March 30, 2010 at 3:19 pm

          Then you would have take Robertson, then. He is going to be the 5th, if not higher, starter on another team. Of course Willis is not a great choice, but we had to take him to get Cabrera, he can’t be shipped to the minors (I think) and does have pretty good stuff if he is on. If he isn’t, then Bonine or Coke can go long. Not an ideal situation, obviously, but one that DD had to deal with.

          And as for Phil Hughes, he’s easy because he pitches for the champs. I’ll throw in Wakefield/Dice-K as another 5th starter easy to name, the other favorite in the AL. Nice spot to be in when we are getting cranky over the 5th starter.

          • Andre in Chi

            March 30, 2010 at 3:26 pm

            Freddy Garcia, White Sox. Should I keep going?

            And yes, I would have taken Robertson over Willis. Robertson does this weird thing where, below average as he might be, he strikes out more people than he walks. Yeah, he’s an “innings eater” at best, but at least he’s not a time bomb and he tends to throw in the general vicinity of the catcher…two things which can’t convincingly (or consistently) be said about Willis. I’ll be happy to eat crow on this though, really I will.

            • Dr. Detroit

              March 30, 2010 at 3:34 pm

              C’mon dude in the day of delayed blog responses and google, flashing out the goods to compare like that is weak (though my little “nope and nope” was weak, too)

              Okay then where are you going to put Willis? In the pen? Not a good place for a guy who tends to walk a lot of guys. In the minors? I don’t think he can go there. On the DL with anxiety issues? I don’t know how DD pulled that off. Cut him with absolutely no compensation? That’s it because no one is going to take him. Robertson as a 5th starter would be fine if we did not have to deal with Willis. But the reality is that DD has to deal with him, and so why not get something for him. Plus, again, if Willis does not do well, which I am betting he will have more than one meltdown, than Bonine/Coke can slide right in. But on the flipside, he may also have those days like when he nearly shut-out the Rangers last year. A kamikaze ride to be sure, but giving the circumstances, it’s the best move.

              • Andre in Chi

                March 30, 2010 at 4:13 pm

                Actually Sweaty Freddy was the last 5th starter I knew, so you would have had me if you told me to keep going. Your initial 5th-starters-are-anonymous-so-lets-not-worry-about-it point is still not a very good one. In a tight division losing an extra couple of games do to a continuation of the Dontrelle experiment could make all the difference.

                Could this be the year he rebounds? Maybe. But if given the choice between a consistent 6 inning / 4 run performance and Willis, I’ll take the former. Like, everytime.

                “Okay then where are you going to put Willis?”

                On the free agent list after cutting him.

                “Robertson as a 5th starter would be fine if we did not have to deal with Willis.”

                Why doesn’t that logic apply to keeping Robertson and essentially eating Willis’ contract? Neither are great, but they were in pretty similar situations in terms of options. I just think they choose to cut the least bad of the two. How Willis’ spring training put him above Robertson (who had a better spring) in DD’s estimation, I don’t know.

                “Plus, again, if Willis does not do well, which I am betting he will have more than one meltdown, than Bonine/Coke can slide right in.”

                1) How encouraging. 2) You can’t just assume that Bonine or Coke slot in and automatically give you 5th-reliever type production, either in terms of ability or stamina.

              • Dr. Detroit

                March 30, 2010 at 4:19 pm

                “Neither are great, but they were in pretty similar situations in terms of options.”

                Again, going back to my main point, if neither is a great option, why not get something in return? Really, since they are both “fighting” for the 5th spot, and are both suspect to say the least, why not pick the best of this frankly sad choice and go with the guy with the higher ceiling? And the reason I bring up Bonine and Coke is because if neither was there, then one of those two would have gotten the 5th spot. So, yes, if Willis falters, then one of them can slide in. That they will be lights out is irrelevant to the situation.

              • Andre in Chi

                March 30, 2010 at 4:28 pm


                You’re right, I totally forgot about the $400k in salary relief we got. Oh, and the LOOGy that we may or may not ever see in the bigs. Totally worth painting ourselves into a corner and starting Willis.



                For a guy concerned about “delayed blog responses”, you’re strangely ok with revising comments post-post without any indication.

  6. Kevin in Dallas

    March 30, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    He recorded one more out, but not before 2 more hits and 2 more walks. Tough day.

  7. Mat

    March 30, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    I like Willis and am glad to see him get a shot but….shipping out Robertson (and paying nearly his entire salary) equates to giving him away. I’m not sure what the benefit of that is other than perhaps

    a) showing faith in Willis (and Bonderman).
    b) moving Robertson because he’s a jaded vet you don’t want around the clubhouse

    Most would say Willis hasn’t earned the faith. It certainly seems like a gamble, although you could argue Bonine (or whoever replaces Willis if he falters) can be just as effective at Robertson.

    Regardless, at this point its unclear why the Tigers wanted to rid themselves of Robertson.

    Seems like another case where the Tigers SHOULD have gotten more in return. This probably indicates they couldn’t…which is disappointing.

    • Andre in Chi

      March 30, 2010 at 2:33 pm

      FYI re: Bonine replacing a faltering Willis…didn’t appear to work out today.

      Detroit IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
      Willis 4.1 7 5 5 4 3 0 3.26
      Zumaya 0.2 0 0 0 0 1 0 5.63
      Bonine 0.2 3 2 2 0 0 0 5.23
      Ni 0.1 0 0 0 0 1 0 6.10
      Perry 1.0 2 2 2 0 1 1 6.35

      • Dr. Detroit

        March 30, 2010 at 4:07 pm

        Am I in the minority here (and I don’t know if you are, just using Zumaya’s name here as point of reference), but isn’t it just about the right time to trade Zoom? He is hitting 100 on the gun again, the ESPN talking heads bring him up constantly and the cameras follow him everywhere. He is never going to be more valuable. I mean, he can’t throw his second pitch consistently, and like Leyland said, and is conventional wisdom, even 100 mph is not enough for major league hitters belt high. Is Perry ready to be the right-hander power arm in the pen?

        • Mark in Chicago

          March 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm

          Wait, I’m confused. You said, “he can’t throw his second pitch consistently, and like Leyland said, and is conventional wisdom, even 100 mph is not enough for major league hitters belt high.”, which is a true statement. So how exactly is his value high? Because cameras are following him around? How does that increase the value of a guy that’s coming off 2 injury-plagued seasons, has had a pretty terrible spring, and by your own recognition, can’t pitch at a major-league level right now? To whom are these traits valuable?

          • Dr. Detroit

            March 30, 2010 at 9:58 pm

            Made my point for me. You forgot to include the key part of that entire post–more. His value is high because he is a household name because of the exposure he got in 2006. Perception is not the reality at this point with him, and because he cannot throw the second pitch consistently, he may be never MORE valuable than he is right now. So, as you agree with my post re: his value actually being less than advertised, why not explore options. I mean, if we could steal away the players we got for essentially a platoon player from the Yankees, other teams may bite on Zoom, too.

            And as far as Perry is concerned, maybe Perry is not ready. Though looking at the ERAs over the spring, both don’t look great at the moment. I hope I am wrong about Zoom. Zoom was a big part of that 2006 run.

            As far as Willis vs. Robertson, both options sucked. I just don’t think it was a big deal since he is the 5th starter.

            • Mark in Chicago

              March 31, 2010 at 8:18 am

              Respectfully, I disagree. Front office people don’t look at headlines, or the number of TV cameras that follow a guy, or whether someone is a household name when deciding how much to give up in a trade. They look at results, ability, health, potential for improvement, things like that. Right now, Zumaya does not boast good results, his ability is below what it once was, and his health is a question mark. There is the chance that he could improve as he pitches more, or if further tweaks to his delivery are made.

              But I promise you, even Omar Minaya isn’t sitting thinking he should trade for Zumaya because he’s a household name.

              • Dr. Detroit

                March 31, 2010 at 10:21 am

                Agree up to a point, Mark. There are countless examples of someone being traded that is not what he used to be/is advertised and the team acquiring him gets excited at the possibilities, revs up the PR machine, etc. I hope this is not the case, but Damon is a perfect example of that. If the Yankees REALLY wanted him, he would still be a Yankee. Same here with Zoom. Sure, the scouting reports are going to read that he has no consistent second pitch, keeps his fastball belt high and his eye too much on the radar gun, but he is one of the more known Tigers. We know in this blog that he must develop that second pitch to be effective, and have seen too many times that he is not quite there yet (that bomb he gave up against the Cubs–a “changeup” that was really just a 90 mph fastball. I would like to see him develop a splitter, or maybe go to two-seams, for an “off-speed” pitch–only to have Raburn bail him out with his walkoff. Zoom went on the DL right after that). After the 2006 run, he has been on/off the DL so much that teams may not have a bead on him, and may think, “heck, if he could just develop that second pitch…” and maybe pull the trigger. Hopefully I am wrong about him. Sure we won’t get an all-star in return. However, since Perry is shaky, probably best to keep Zoom (besides, I think he is a steal at his current K too.) Just a thought.

              • TSE

                March 31, 2010 at 10:29 am

                Hmm I have to disagree with that, I think GMs look at all of those things, any good ones would at least. If they don’t consider all of those factors, then they have a very warped and inaccurate way of understanding who a player is and what he’s worth. You have to have a feel for all the dynamics in play, and they all intertwine and interrelate to other aspects. If you are the GM, you don’t have to like the headlines, but the headlines are what they are, and YOUR fans accept that as part of the baseball experience, and thus you can gain or lose extra if you aren’t sensitive to how certain players will be received in the headlines. Going in with no preparation and complete ignorance on all those fronts would just spell inevitable doom for any GM when something falls apart or blows up or takes him or her off guard. You have to know all that stuff, it’s all important to some degree.

        • Andre in Chi

          March 30, 2010 at 5:36 pm


          “Is Perry ready to be the right-hander power arm in the pen?”

          Its funny that you ask this on a day where Zumaya strands all 3 of the runners he inherited cleaning up Willis’ mess, while Perry gives up 2 runs, including another HR and blows the save in the process.

  8. Andre in Chi

    March 30, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    So, what’s the over under on the number of comments for the eventual Robertson trade post? I’ll take the over @ 100.

  9. jcm

    March 30, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Robertson is the older,
    Bonderman was the jewel of the crown, he wasnt allowed to lose the 20 th game in 2003
    Willis was a real start. A comeback from Willis mean a Cy Young. For R a comeback is 14- 13. He didnt have run support but he lost to the two guys with less run support

  10. jcm

    March 30, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    There is a curious thing about how to pitch Cabrera. According to the post,you need to use against him the same pattern used with Galarraga( Andres…) , Bo Diaz, Abreu, and Antonio Armas. They all learned to bat with El Loco( Mad) Torres . The played with the Lions (of Caracas). But Miguel played with the Tigers( of Aragua) and is to young to ever met Torres. So he saw them on tv, playing and bat like them.
    You wanted to s.o. the most powerful batter in 1983. Fast ball inside and up. And then low ,outside slider and he ends looking bad. If the ball is not enough inside , you will end looking bad. Or you hit him and that is even worst, they are no Binge

    • Dr. Detroit

      March 30, 2010 at 3:44 pm

      Is that Miggy’s hole, high and tight? The Red Sox/Francona said that they were not trying to hit him last year (which Leyland called rubbish, and probably right) but in the highlights they hit him high and in. As dirty as the Sox are, I don’t think they would throw at his head.

    • Mark in Chicago

      March 30, 2010 at 4:00 pm

      A lot of hitters are pitched that way, particularly power hitters. Keep them from getting their arms extended if they decide to swing and then change their eye level. I don’t think it has much to do with who instructed them on hitting or where they played as teenagers.

      • Dr. Detroit

        March 30, 2010 at 10:14 pm

        Of course, throwing high and tight and then a deuce away is baseball 101. It’s interesting to see though how players from certain countries receive their hitting instruction and how that may play into an opposing team’s scouting report. I am sure everyone in this blog has noticed how most Japanese hitters, for example, like to touch their elbows together before they swing. It minimizes their power but maximizes contact.

  11. Brenden

    March 30, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    I’m not even convinced Bonderman is ready for the bigs again, let alone Willis…This season could be yet another nightmare for the pitching rotation…

  12. Keith (Mr. X)

    April 3, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    More than a few baseball experts are high on our rookies.

    At ESPN, Austin Jackson and Scott Sizemore each got 7 votes for ROY. Alex Avila got 1 vote too.

    Here’s a link for player award predictions at ESPN:

    • TSE

      April 3, 2010 at 3:45 pm

      Somebody picked Andre Eithier for NL MVP? Talk about going out on a limb.