Game 2017.81: Indians at Tigers

Yesterday’s second game ended disappointedly after 5 great innings pitched by Zimmermann.

Still, the Tigers have the opportunity to take another series, and have Justin on the mound.

The Tigers could really use Justin Upton back in the lineup. Victor has been nonexistent.

Today’s Lineup:

  1. Jose Iglesias, SS
  2. Alex Avila, C
  3. JD Martinez, RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Nick Castellanos, 3B
  6. Victor Martinez, DH
  7. Mikie Mahtook, CF
  8. Andrew Romine, LF
  9. Dixon Machado, 2B

Pitching: Justin Verlander vs Mike Clevinger

Brad gives Ian a day off, and gives Iggy a whirl in the leadoff spot. They try this every once in a while with Iglesias, moving him to the top of the lineup. It seems like it should work, but never really does.


  1. Tony de Florida

    July 2, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    JV should have a decent outing. He could be auditioning for the LA Dodgers and living closer to Kate. That’s a place he may object bibg traded to.

  2. Jud

    July 2, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Good chance of a 0 today. Kins off, hasn’t done much lately.. He, Victor, Miggy went about 3/24 yesterday.. Maybe Mikie can do enough to score a couple..oh thats right hottest bat.. Not in the lineup.. Thanks, again Brad… Hey JD… Better pitch a shutout! Go Tigers

  3. Coleman

    July 2, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    I’m sorry I missed the 9th, where everyone not named Miggy and Victor made a run at it.

    • Smoking Loon

      July 2, 2017 at 5:51 pm

      Oddly enough, that was the only part of the game I (sort of) caught. I saw it was 11-2, went off to write something about how horrible the Tigers offense still was in the late game, had another look… 11-8. I blame myself for not checking in and giving up earlier.

  4. Smoking Loon

    July 2, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Dodgers interest in Verlander keeps getting mentioned at MLB Trade Rumors. Can’t see why. The only sorta kinda match I can see for a midseason trade with a contender, for Verlander, is… Houston. The Astros may run away with the AL West and their pitching is good, but the rotation rarely seems to be at full strength, and Verlander in the postseason can be a good thing to have, and is nothing if not durable. Meanwhile, Houston looks like they are going to contend for the foreseeable future, so while it’s not L.A. or New York, perhaps Justin wouldn’t say no. Not that I am advocating such a trade myself.

    I think the Colorado Rockies should be interested in JD (for LF). Interested enough to trade SS Brendan Rogers and CF Raimel Tapia.

    Boston* should be VERY interested in Nicholas Castellanos, don’t you think? Interested enough to send LHRP Robby Scott and one more pitcher, maybe lefty starter Brian Johnson or RHRP Austin Maddox. Why do I remain so anxious to send off Castellanos? Because he can’t play 3B and will never play 1B for the Tigers, that’s why.

    Is Mikie Mahtook the everyday CF now, maybe?

    *The team that bought in on Kung Fu Panda would surely find Nick to be a breath of fresh air.

    • Coleman

      July 2, 2017 at 10:04 pm

      Zero chance of Verlander to the Dodgers, if you understand the new salary tax rules.

  5. Jud

    July 2, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    A good weekend for us “let’s sell”, guys.. In some cases let’s “give away” comes into play… The youngsters all came thru in that ninth inning today, should tell you something….

    • Smoking Loon

      July 2, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      Yes. Detroit isn’t giving us much to think about besides who to trade or give away, nor much to look forward to in 2017 besides scratch and scrape to get close to .500 before it’s over. Or closer.

      If Detroit is boxed in by contract, I don’t see how the team looks that different in 2018. No JD, perhaps, and certainly no Anibal Sanchez (right?), but what else? Same infield, same catchers, same pitching staff, same DH, same utility guy. Can’t spend on the outfield or anywhere. Would a new manager and coaches make any difference?

      I thought that signing V-Mart to 4 more years was a pretty bad idea, but that pales next to the disaster of the Upton and Zimmermann contracts. Those Al Avila signings are what has really nailed this team to the wall, much more so than those career reward deals with Verlander and Cabrera from Dombrowksi/Illitch. Very misguided “win now” when win now was much less of a reasonable proposition. Upton is solid but was not worth tying the teams hands on JD, not even at the time. Zimmermann for 5 years – with Sanchez already in tow – was just crazy.

      • Coleman

        July 2, 2017 at 10:07 pm

        Upton, at least this year (if you believe WAR) is worth his salary, Victor is worth Mudhen call-up salary.

        • Smoking Loon

          July 3, 2017 at 2:48 am

          Yes, no complaints about a career-average year from Upton. The quarrel *about* him (rather than with him) is that signing him for up to 6 years seems to have pushed JD off the team. But maybe things will work out differently. And I’ve also considered that Upton through 2022 vs. JD through 2022 might be a wash. JD is the offensive dynamo like no one since Cabrera, but there are certain downsides.

          • Smoking Loon

            July 3, 2017 at 4:08 am

            I don’t know what can be done about Victor. He’s having another 2015 (many statistical similarities). Maybe they should just shut him down for the season. His ISO is .107. That is Iglesias-level power.

            The 2015 comparison is a bit uncanny, actually. That season, there was a month of “good Victor” just after he’d been sidelined for a while. The same month of good Victor in 2017 – very similar to 2015 – has already come and gone.

  6. Smoking Loon

    July 2, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    The Behind When 7th Inning Begins standings:

    Kansas City 7-30
    Cleveland 5-31
    Minnesota 2-33
    Chicago 3-43
    Detroit 0-32

    Team is Behind OPS:
    V-Mart .665 (but most of his production, 4 HR & 17 RBI, ???)
    Castellanos: .614
    Iglesias .556
    Romine .533

    The Blown Lead standings:

    Cleveland 14
    Minnesota 18
    Kansas City 18
    Chicago 20
    Detroit 23

    I guess it’s hard to keep a lead when you give up 5+ runs a game. I don’t know if the bullpen is any more to blame than the starters here. But among relievers, I’m sure that F-Rod and AWillie made more than the average contribution to blowing it. Alex Wilson has allowed 44% IRS and basically tanked outside the apparent 7th inning comfort zone.

    If there is one pitcher the Tigers could feasibly trade soon for a good return, it would be Shane Greene.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      July 2, 2017 at 9:04 pm

      This is fascinating. There’s gotta be a way to measure heart, right? Not saying this is it, but it definitely has me thinking.

      I get so frustrated by JV. We paid him about $100k per out today.

      • Smoking Loon

        July 2, 2017 at 9:50 pm

        Did you mean to include a link there, Kevin? Or were you referring to my stats?

      • Tony de Florida

        July 3, 2017 at 12:53 pm

        As Jud would say: “Not a bad gig”.

  7. Tony de Florida

    July 2, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    LA is interested in a top tier starter. I also don’t believe JV is of the caliber they seek anymore. If they took a chance on him, we can not expect much return although taking his contract would not hurt. JV would nix a trade to most other places anyway. JD must be traded to whoever gives the best deal. With Iggy going to arbitration I see no reason to shop for a SS. Can not imagine DD being interested in Casty with his 14 errors and .240 BA. Outlook for our selling almost as dismal as for the rest of the season.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      July 2, 2017 at 9:14 pm

      It only takes a few prospects to turn things around. With Fulmer, Norris and Boyd, we have a 1, 3 and 4/5. You can find a 2 in FA. Actually, that kid we picked up in the draft could be ready very, very soon.

      I wouldn’t mind seeing a very young lineup next year. Look at what the Yankees are doing.

      • Tony de Florida

        July 3, 2017 at 12:56 pm


    • Smoking Loon

      July 2, 2017 at 9:15 pm

      Tony, Boston needs a 3B tout suite and Dombrowski gave us Castellanos in the first place. Despite his defense at 3B, which I am certain the Red Sox can live with. I think he is the best deal going for them for 2017. He’s better than Todd Frazier and can be had for less all-around than Mike Moustakas.

      Why is LA interested in a top-tier starter, I wonder, when they have the best pitching in the NL already? Pitching is certainly not their problem.

      I see no reason to shop for a SS, but I do see the need to trade for top SS and other infield prospects. Iglesias is good (forever good?), but you have to have more lined up behind him than Machado.

      Where do you see the best deal for JD coming from? The only clear need for a slugging corner outfielder I see on contenders is with Colorado and the Chicago Cubs. There could be interest within the AL Central, but I wouldn’t want to go there.

      • Smoking Loon

        July 2, 2017 at 9:31 pm

        Kevin, I would not mind seeing young next season, either, but I’m not sure how they get there. Maybe it will have to wait until the offseason. I agree that Fulmer, Norris, and Boyd are all building blocks. The Tigers had to trade for all that, and seemingly will have to do the same for more. There is not much in the pipeline. Joe Jimenez, maybe? For position players, well, Christian Stewart is talked up but I have my doubts. Other than that, just guys who might look good relative to the organization they’re in but who are never – NEVER – mentioned as on their way to MLB for sure for sure. It is very dismal. JaCoby Jones is a good example of how dismal it is, and Castellanos and Steven Moya and Bruce Rondon are a few other examples of “this is as good as it gets.”

    • Coleman

      July 2, 2017 at 10:10 pm

      The Dodgers and Tigers are the two teams over the new salary threshold levels. There is almost no chance there will be a trade between the two teams.

      • Smoking Loon

        July 3, 2017 at 3:41 am

        I believe you. So why are actual baseball journalists such as Jon Morosi spreading such rumors?

        • Tony de Florida

          July 3, 2017 at 11:02 am

          They pay him to?

          • Tony de Florida

            July 3, 2017 at 12:50 pm

            In the playoffs the Dodgers have been forced to use Kershaw too much and on short rest. It does make sense they are looking for a very good starter to take some of that pressure off their most valued pitcher. I do agree with Coleman that because of the money a trade with the Tigers for JV is unlikely especially with the year JV is putting together. I do reserve the right to come up with other “fantasy” trades for the Tigers.

            • Smoking Loon

              July 3, 2017 at 3:05 pm

              Please do, Tony. I’ve run out of ideas. For instance, would you trade Shane Greene (or Justin Wilson?), and what could that trade be?

              • Tony de Florida

                July 3, 2017 at 4:26 pm

                For me, these two are keepers. Would not let them go and certainly not for hitting. They are bright spots in an otherwise disappointing bunch.

        • Coleman

          July 3, 2017 at 4:33 pm

          Because we click on it anyway.

          • Smoking Loon

            July 4, 2017 at 11:31 pm

            True. The rumor-mongers continue to defy you, Coleman. And I continue to fail to see why the Dodgers should be in on Verlander.

            • Smoking Loon

              July 4, 2017 at 11:50 pm

              Yes, Greene and J. Wilson are keepers, but that’s the idea. Keepers are what’s in highest demand, and for prospects, often what you have to give in trade. I wouldn’t trade pitching for hitting (per se) in most cases, of course, and certainly not in Detroit’s situation. The only thing that makes dealing either of your top relievers conceivable at this time of year is the idea that contending for a playoff spot is out of the question. So it’s conceivable to me, though not necessarily advisable.

              Besides pitching, all sorts of pitching, the greatest positional needs for serious prospects would seem to be:

              True center fielders, not just “outfielders”

              If Greene or Wilson could land a couple of these, it would be worth considering. I wouldn’t let JD go for less than three such players, and I would sooner hold on to him and risk getting nothing later than settle for less now. There is something to be said for another half season of J.D. Martinez.

  8. Tony de Florida

    July 2, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    With some of our starters becoming questionable, our “normal” ball pen excellence and Alex Avila our only .300 hitter (after JD goes) we stand the chance of building a really good AA or AAA team the rest of this year. If so, J-Up may also opt out at end of the year depending on market and his performance the rest of the year. Brad will almost certainly finish the season but a new owner or GM would not be a surprise.

    • Smoking Loon

      July 2, 2017 at 9:47 pm

      The bullpen really isn’t all that bad. Statistically, at least, a lot of the badness is from implosions earlier by F-Rod, Sanchez, and a handful of guys who didn’t last. The bullpen they are running with now seems… well, at least OK. The starting pitching is more disappointing, I think. Overall, allowing 5+ runs per game just can’t win. It seems like the Tigers should be able to slug their way past this more often… but that is living in the past. It is more true than ever that pitching wins.

  9. Jud

    July 3, 2017 at 1:12 am

    Cleveland has 9 pitchers under 3.50 Era… Tigers have 6 pitchers over 5.00…. Who would want any of them not named Fullmer or JWilson….
    … Reading about all these NBA guys signing for $25,28,30,… 35,000,000..
    ..insane..Owners who very seldom, now days, have made all their money… rather than getting it from daddy have no clue about the value/dollar they are getting.. They just have sooooo much money a billion or two means nothing to them… Curry just signed for $400,000 per frickin GAME!!!!! So baseball contracts are kind of a bargain to these ultra rice people. All I know is it’s way beyond me…..

    • Smoking Loon

      July 3, 2017 at 3:32 am

      I don’t know if all baseball contracts are such a bargain. Verlander stands to make $823,000 per game. Of course, there’s more work that goes into the job besides appearing in a game, but it is fun to break the salaries down in ways that highlight their extravagance. For instance, you could also say that Verlander charges $42,000-$46,000 per out. Perversely, the less outs he gets, the more each of them cost.

      Perhaps pay could be incentivized. Team wins, everyone gets time and a half. Team loses, all work for half pay. This could have the drawback of inciting violence between teams and even among players on the same team. An unfortunate accident might have befallen Francisco Rodriguez earlier this season in Oakland.

  10. Smoking Loon

    July 3, 2017 at 4:35 am

    Castellanos, as far as I can tell, is the active career leader in triples hit as a Tiger. Maybe he’s not too young to be a DH. Maybe Brad could find occasion to “rest” Victor and give Castellanos a “break” from 3B every second game or so.