Well, we asked for it, and now we got it. Rick Knapp is out as the Tigers pitching coach, Jeff Jones is in. The Tigers’ pitching staff has been awful over the last two years, and really hasn’t been good as a whole since 2006. But is Knapp the culprit? Or the scapegoat for Dombrowski’s under performing roster and/or Leyland’s mismanagement? Drew Sharp thinks it’s a sign of panic…and Knapp says he’s already getting calls, but those could be orders for ham sandwiches for all we know.
Before we get to tonight’s game, does Hiroki Kuroda do anything for you? Rumor is that the Tigers are “interested”, but I’m guessing that they are interested in plenty of starters these days. Kuroda gets run support like Ryan Raburn gets hits, so you’ve gotta ignore his 6-9 record, and focus on his 2.90 ERA, and his career 3.48 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. I love Kuroda, but he has a VERY SHORT shelf-life, and I don’t think the Tigers are in a position to play for this season only. The Kuroda reward doesn’t justify the Jair Jurrjens risk. On the other hand, if a cash strapped Dodgers team is willing to shed salary, then we can easily find a spot for Kuroda.
On to the Angels…who are 13-5 over their last 18…
Charlie Furbush gets his first big league start today, in an audition to take Phil Coke’s spot in the roster. Furbush put up great numbers at Toledo, limiting hitters to 29 hits in 46 1/3 innings for a 2.91 ERA and .95 WHIP over 8 starts. Predictably, he’s allowed more hits in the bigs (1.29 WHIP), but he’s still been pretty good out of the pen thus far. He’s only going to get 75-80 pitches tonight, let’s hope those are in the 7th, not 2nd.
Angels hurler Joel Pineiro sports an impressive 7-3, 3.33 ERA career record against the Tigers, though he was lit up for 9 runs last time he met the Tigers in April 2010. He’s better on the road than at home, posting a 4.97 ERA in six starts at home this year. He hasn’t pitched out of the 7th since May 15th, and he’s allowed 4 or more runs in 1/2 of this starts this year. But pitchers like Pineiro seem to give the Tigers fits.
In other news:
– JV has started a Twitter campaign to help Martinez get voted in by the fans. #votevictor
– David Ortiz did not pick Cabrera to be on his home run derby team. I know what that feels like.
– Magglio Ordonez did get picked to one team…but teammates like Dunn and Uggla are not what he was hoping for. (need Insider)
– While we’re not the only ones wondering why Raburn continues to start everyday, I don’t think this offense needs any help. The Tigers are batting an AL leading .296 over the past 30 games an are averaging just over 5 runs per game. Boesch is hitting .404 during that stretch.
Today’s pick to click is Maggs, who is a career .393 hitter against Pineiro and is showing signs of hitting again.
Tonight’s Can’t Don Kelly Play 2B AND 3B Lineup?
1. Jackson, CF
2. Boesch, LF
3. Ordonez, RF
4. Cabrera, 1B
5. Martinez, DH
6. Peralta, SS
7. Avila, C
8. Raburn, 2B
9. Inge, 3B