Is this going to get any better anytime soon?

by Kevin in Dallas on August 12, 2010 · 28 comments

in 2010 Season

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A few random notes that I found, and a few questions for the community.

(Saw this in the Journal yesterday.)  Even with all of the injuries this year, Uncle Smokey is not at the top of the list for most lineups used. That goes to Manny Acta who has used 102 lineups in 113 games.  The article did not list every team, but Smokey is somewhere between 68 and 93.  I’m guessing that one of our more resourceful members (Coleman, this is you), knows where to find this info.

Looks like the Tigers came very close to sending Boesch down last weekend.  But Leyland is going to let him work out of it.

I don’t think Perry has looked right all season, but his #’s are worse when he pitches on back to back nights.

Have Fu Te Ni and Enrique Gonzales been the cause of losses, or the effect?

After Tuesday’s loss, the Tigers are 30-22 when they get a quality start.  The first-place Twins are 48-12 when they get a quality start. (Courtesy of John Lowe).  So is this an indication of a bad bullpen, poor run support, or both?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Well, we all know that we are 7-22 since the all-star break.  (Holy cats that is ugly in type.)  And we all know that injuries are a significant part of that.  But our relief pitching has been just as bad as the offense, and has been a huge cause of .300 baseball.

Take a look at our pitching splits before the all star break, and then after.  Baseball Musings makes it hard to see traditional pitching metrics (again, I’m sure that one of our posters will chime in with relevant data), but you can see a few things.  Take a look at the starters OPS allowed (.761 pre/.755 post AS game), versus the relievers (.662 pre / .877 post).  .877 OPS allowed is not good.  By way of comparison, Boston’s offense leads the majors in OPS at .803.  Our starters have been decent over the past month, with a 4.39 ERA and 1.42 WHIP.  But they are 5-14 during that span despite 14 quality starts.  Scherzer and Verlander have combined for an ERA around 3, but only a 3-5 record to show for it.  Here are our bullpen ERAs since the All Star Break:

Valverde: 8.74 (up from .92)
Perry: 2.51 (down from 5.47)
Coke: 3.38 (up almost a full run)
Gonzales: 6.17 (up from 2.25)
Weinhardt: 8.49 (up from 2.25)
Bonine: 6.55 (up from 2.81)
Thomas: 5.91 (up from 4.12)

Offensively, the offense was pretty average pre (.768 OPS), and has been downright terrible post (.652 OPS).  Injuries to Inge, Maggs and Guillen have hurt, but I’m not sure that we are in the race if those guys had stayed healthy.  (Incredibly 4 teams have been worse than us offensively over the past 30 days.)  I’d be curious to see where we are record-wise compared against all of MLB during that time frame.

So anyway, what are your expectations over the final 48 games?  Do we make a run at the Central?  Do we make a run at respectability? Or do we continue to slip further and further away, and perpetuate the 2nd half spiral that has come to define our team of the last few years?

 
 

{ 28 comments }

NoNon August 12, 2010 at 10:13 am

When I need hope, I like to remember how far back the Twins were behind us last year before the implosion…then I remember that we are the Detroit Tigers.

Kevin in Dallas August 12, 2010 at 10:20 am

On Sept 8 of last year, the Twins were 6.5 games back…http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2009/09082009.htm

oucudied August 12, 2010 at 10:19 am

Detroit Tigers in faith, Detroit Mudhens in actuality

kathy August 12, 2010 at 10:41 am

slip, slidin away.

Mark in Chicago August 12, 2010 at 2:18 pm

great song, but now i’m going to have it stuck in my head the rest of the day. thanks kathy! ;-)

stephen August 12, 2010 at 4:15 pm

replace it with paul simon’s kodachrome!

ouchudied August 12, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Yakety Sax is the only appropriate song for this Tigers team…

Vince in MN August 13, 2010 at 12:06 am

I was thinking “Another One Bites The Dust”, but that was the Lion’s theme song some years a go before they……… never mind.

Steve August 12, 2010 at 12:24 pm

I think we have to play them all. After a horrid stretch maybe we can climb back in.

We need a few guys healthy and everyone to get back to “their” normal and we will be competitive. I like the Tigers and hope they can get it together. While some have been calling for DD and Leylands head, I think DD is fine and who else would you want here that is open.
Showalter is gone so its a retread or a real new guy. Maybe Gibson or Trammel back now that we have a team. Under Trammels first watch we had jack… Anyway I digress.

Bottom line, lets see what happens as there is a ton of ball left.

And remember this from a famous movie “was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor” … “No” so I guess its not over.

Steve

Angus August 12, 2010 at 1:23 pm

I am hoping for .500 which maybe a stretch for this team. They have some tough series ahead of them and it would just be nice to see them take one from either White Sox of Yanks. I do not see a run out of this team. While I am not a Leyland fan, I am not sure he is totally to blame for the performance of this team. It was an average lineup at best to start the season. Injuries, slumps, average pitching took it to some lower levels.

I am looking forward to see what DD can assemble for next year. Mr. Illitch is no spring chicken and hopefully we can spend some money wisely this year and field an improved team in 2011. GO TIGERS.

Vince in MN August 12, 2010 at 8:35 pm

No.

I am already looking forward to 2012. That is not a misprint, I do mean 2012.

My first inclination this morning was to write a long rant explaining in great detail why I don’t think they will be bonafide contenders in 2011, but after working outside all day in 95 degree heat I have re-thought that and decided just to post the summary (or a shorter rant if you like):

1. Despite all the money coming off the books at the end of 2010, there is no way the can buy enough quality FA material to be realistically competitive next year: a starter or two, a couple of bullpen arms, C, 3B, SS, 2B, 1 OF, AND some bench depth – Ramon Santiago and 4 Don Kellys is NOT bench strength. Injuries happen (duh!) and you need at least half-a$$ed subs to fill in. Anyway the “add a bunch of free agents and stir” philosophy is a poor way to build a team – been there, done that -BAD IDEA. You need to bring players up from within the system too. 2010 could have been a re-building year, but they drank the “win it now” koolaid which effectively put a real rebuild on hold, meaning next year because I don’t think they can adequately evaluate the “talent” in the games remaining. And, if that wasn’t bad enough,
2. Jim WORST. MANAGER. EVER. Leyland is going to be back, and with that hack bsing his way through another 162 games this team is going nowhere no matter how many FA they sign or how much of the future Illitch mortgages.

I am really worried that they may put the same “vision” into play again for next year, with the roughly the same results as this year. They need to throw the old blueprints away and start thinking outside of the box.

kathy August 13, 2010 at 12:01 am

agree.

Tom in Minneapolis August 13, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Why did you have to sugar-coat it?

Coleman August 12, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Leyland has used 86 different lineups (not counting the pitcher’s spot in interleague play as a.separate lineup spot).

Here is the list of every lineup; interesting to browse through it. What I think is remarkable isn’t the total number, but the fact that his most frequently used lineup was used a mere 8 times.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/DET/2010-batting-orders.shtml

Vince in MN August 12, 2010 at 10:34 pm

While we are at it, check out the production by lineup spot (located about half way down the page). One could say B.O.O.B.s will be boobs – ugly.

http://www.baseballmusings.com/cgi-bin/TeamBatterSplits.py?StartDate=04%2F01%2F2010&EndDate=08%2F11%2F2010&GameType=all&PlayedVs=0&Park=0&PlayerID=6&BatterType=1

Coleman August 12, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Our #6 hitter–and he doesn’t even qualify as a B.O.O.B–has an OPS of .633.

To put that in perspective, Adam Everett’s career OPS is .642.

So yes, we’ve basically been batting Adam Everett 6th all season.

Vince in MN August 12, 2010 at 11:52 pm

#7 hitter OPS .645
#8 hitter OPS .633
#9 hitter OPS .560

This must mean that Everett has been htiing 6-9 every game all season long. He’s not even on the team anymore. How does he do it?

Also note that our #4 hitter has gotten more IBB than the rest of the lineup combined!

Coleman August 12, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Since the Leyland/Dombrowski era began, the overall team batting splits are:

.272 .336 .436 (.772)

Since the Leyland/Dombrowski era began, the overall team DH splits are:

.248 .330 .422 (.752)

Leyland/Dombrowski do/do not understand the concept of the DH? Discuss amongst yourselves…

Vince in MN August 13, 2010 at 12:00 am

Well, you have to cut them a little slack there I think, because for years the Tigers had 6 or 7 DH-types on the 25-man roster at any given time, and to be fair I think they were probably just kind of confused as how to get them all in their comfortable spot in the lineup while ensuring that they all got a reasonable amount of time to play.

Coleman August 13, 2010 at 2:16 am

I’ve always thought, and sometimes even argued, that DH is, and has been, the weak part of our lineup. I think that DD/Leyland have a NL mentality; while other teams have DHs that mash the ball, and pursue this type of player for the DH role, they view the DH spot as a “free” spot in the lineup and a great place to “rest” creaky old players (Guillen) or even to play sort-of-but-not-DL-bad-injured players (hint: guys to beat up/worn out to play the field often don’t perform up to expectations at the plate either).

Although paradoxically–OK, maybe that’s too fancy…maybe just stupidly–they never put Kneeless Inge at DH last season. Sure he had a crappy year at the plate, but it would have helped his knees. Oh, by the way, 2009 DH OPS: .704. 2009 Inge OPS: .720. Yes, Inge outhit our DH last season.

Twins DH OPS in 2009: .829. Although maybe they could have done better if they had a decent size payroll. Not that the difference between a .704 DH and a .829 DH is enough to win you 1 extra game over a season or anything…

jud August 13, 2010 at 2:15 am

with DD and Leyland coming back the following is almost assured: (I’m not judging good or bad but these things will happen!)
1. Inge will be re-signed with a raise
2. Laird will be re-signed at the same money maybe a little less but if Leyland is back so is Laird.
3. Avila will not be sent down to the minors.
4. Guillen will start at 2b and will miss 1/3 of the season with injuries
5. Peralta will be signed as the SS
6. Zuymaya will come out of this ok but will not make it to July 1st next year
7. Raburn will be on the 25 man roster
8. 2011 business as usual .The Brass will blame all of this season on the injuries and feel as though if healthy this same group can contend in 2011
9. Maybe one or two average free agents will sign but nothing will change 1-7
10. Bondo will be signed for 1 year

you read it here first!!!!!!!!!!!!

Coleman August 13, 2010 at 2:53 am

DH OPS Rank Avg, from 2006-2010 (from 1.0-14.0)

AL Central Winners: 6.4
AL West Winners: 6.4
AL East Winners: 4.4
Detroit: 9.4

In general you aren’t going to win in the AL with a below avg DH. From 2006-2010 Detroit has had below avg DHs. (Although we are actually average this year, 7th, and it doesn’t seem to be helping…)

Vince in MN August 13, 2010 at 10:11 am

Having a decent DH would also help in the important Runs Scored category, yes?

As of today the Tigers are 6th in the league OBA, 7th in SLG, but 9th in Runs. Something is amiss there. Is it the horrible black hole 6-9, poor baserunning fundamentals/ability (taking an extra base on a hit thing), RISP fear or what?

Not to put al the blame on the position players, because the pitching has, relatively speaking in comparison to thte rest of the league, fallen into the basement. ERA now 11th, OBA 11th, and BB 13th(!). I thought Rick Knapp was going to show these guys how to throw strikes.

Jeff H August 13, 2010 at 10:02 am

So, looking back to spring, after Granderson was traded, the question was, “Is this a salary move to get someone younger and cheaper, or do the Tigers feel Grandy peaked and moved him to the unsuspecting Yankees?”.

It sure looks like the latter. Grandy is in the midst of the 3rd straight year of decline after his seminal 2007 season, and at age 29 his performance should be at or near peak. I loved Grandy when he was here, but I have to give credit to DD for this one.

Vince in MN August 13, 2010 at 10:33 am

Henning said it was because of his off-field antics, like doing charity work and such.

Actually, it looks like Grandy won’t ever be able to hit LH pitching, which makes him a liability as a full-time player. That was a good move by DD. At the time it looked like they were making a move towards rebuilding, with an eye on 2011, which I thought was the appropriate course to take. Then all of a sudden Valverde and Damon show up and its “we’re going for it”. The additions weren’t bad in themselves, they have performed well, but 2 players couldn’t possibly make up for all the weaknesses on the club. They flip-flopped mid winter I think, based on I am not sure what criteria.

Mark in Chicago August 13, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I think you’re right about the flip-flop Vince, and the only guess I can come up with is that Ilitch loosened the purse strings a bit and said, “go field a winner”. I think it’s clear there were/are some holes on this team, but the pendulum swung to the ‘pitching and defense’ approach to winning games, only the pitching has been just so-so and the offense somewhat better (until all the injuries).

You’re right that Damon andValverde weren’t enough to plug all the holes, but can you imagine where they’d be without those guys?

Vince in MN August 13, 2010 at 4:09 pm

3rd place in the Central?

But yes, I agree with you Mark that the W/L record would be worse without them.

G Wallace August 18, 2010 at 5:41 pm

First Boshch SHOULD have been sent down ! Mantle was and looked how he turned out ! second with the injuries or NOT they needed to trade for 2 major hitters befor the deadline and a pitcher to make a serious run and give up some of the maybes in The minors ! That is if they were serious about making a run they needed 3 rent a players . Good ol Mikey didn’t loosen no purse strings if he had DD would a done somthing IMO !

The way the team sets now cabrea is gona lose a shot at a triple crown because the team didn’t get someone to hit behind and in front of him when the injuries hit and boush puked. I don’t blame Boush he is a rookie and was to be expected IMO And they should of saw it coming . they will be lucky to play 500 ball the rst of the yr . Cabrea and Paralta are friends so he stays Avias dad is in the front office he stays ! Laird maybe not if they can get a bat behind the plate Avia will be the back up IMO . They will sign a FA or 2 maybe 3 one bigger name 2 nobodys and call it a day and play 2011 make a short run and puke again UNLESS they BUY some real hitting to go with Cabrea and @ good pitchers and 1 more closer Coke is better than most think he is IMO . Pitchers will pitch better when they get some runs scored FOR them and right now thats NOT gona hapen IMO .

so look for 2 or 3 FA in 2011 a pitcher and what you see is what you got this is NOT the NYY never will be .

Its all about the benjamins NOT winning IMHO.

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