Game 2017.109: Tigers at Orioles

Justin Upton hit his 3rd grand slam of the season, and has taken an insurmountable lead in the WAR category. He has first nailed down. He is overpaid, but worth every dollar.

The MudHen boys are not to be overlooked though: a home run for the Mysterious Jim Adduci, and 3 great plays by Mikie, including a home-run robbing catch.

The Tigers continue to steamroll the AL East. We’ll see how that goes with Drew VerHagen subbing for Michael Fulmer.

Today’s Lineup:

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
  2. Nick Castellanos, 3B
  3. Justin Upton, LF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Mikie Mahtook, CF
  6. Victor Martinez, DH
  7. James McCann, C
  8. Jim Adduci, RF
  9. Jose Iglesias, SS

Pitching:  Drew VerHagen vs Wade Miley

First time in Tigers history, back-to-back starts by a pitcher whose last name starts with “Ver.”

43 thoughts on “Game 2017.109: Tigers at Orioles”

  1. Your campaign of disinformation has become quite shocking, Mr. Coleman.

    On September 29, 2013, Justin VERlander was the starting pitcher for Detroit. This same VERlander started the very next regular season game for the Tigers.

  2. Here is another pitcher I like… VerHagen The Tigers have messed with him, like they do with a lot of young pitchers, and he may not ever get good. Tigers are great at the bus back and forth to Toledo ruining many a young player.

    1. Not quite the history on VerHagen, Jud. There was no bus back and forth. He was injured as well, quite seriously, career-threatening. Also, no amazing minor league success. He wouldn’t have gotten even a cup of coffee with many organizations.

      1. Not this year.. The past two years (2015-2016. I bet he has gone back and forth 6/7 times. This year he was hurt, yes

        1. Not sure about all the call-ups, but there was never any real back and forth as far as on the staff, off the staff. Last season was the one ended by injury.

          2014 Got a spot start
          2015 Called up late, did OK (mediocre) in the bullpen but nothing like the 2.05 ERA would indicate
          2016 On the team to begin with (bullpen), sucked, season ended early with injury
          2017 Regular starter with Toledo, not that great, called up to reinforce bullpen, now getting a couple spot starts, not seeing anything amazing, don’t see him cracking this staff full-time now or ever

  3. While JUp remains red hit.. Great start… MILEY Leads the MBL in BB /9…no way will the Tigers allow that…. They Will swing?

            1. The Tigers might see 200 pitches before this is over. Hope some runs result from all that.

        1. Regarding going to the plate without a bat, Victor is the one who should be testing that theory against all pitchers. It’s worth a try. It might psych the pitcher out.

          I don’t know why it is so hard find cumulative LOB stats. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place. But Victor is doing worse with men on than bases empty, so maybe that tells me everything I need to know.

    1. According to the folks who analyze this more deeply, it is not. It is somewhat less worse than last season.

        1. I agree. All in all, for my money, the Tigers could have kept Miggy at 3B. Range no, arm yes, glove sometimes.

  4. Time for our bottom feeders to start a rally. We really missed a chance to pile on the starter.

  5. Oh Jesus. Another bomb off Jimenez right out of the gate. You’re supposed to be a pitcher, dude. Young schmung. Get some outs already.

  6. Poor Nick, can’t fight poor umpiring. None of those pitches were strikes but he is forced to swing at the 4th ball.

  7. 10 Ks.. Not sure if any of the 3rd strikes were strikes, but swing batter continues. Ump definitely helping the O pitchers

  8. Well, that is sad. Apparently, Mujica is determined to finish his career in AAA. Aside from Greene, I don’t see how they can bring back any of this gas can ensemble in 2018.

  9. No problem.. If you are gonna finish under. 500 can’t keep winning. Wiley another crappy pitcher to beat the swing happy Tigers.. TOMORROW Jiminez will do the same thing to split the series. Congrats to VMart for going 0 for Baltimore and Miggy going 1 for Baltimore and Casty… And so on……

      1. Let’s make a deal with the Tigers. They can have their sub-.500 season if they will agree to give us 80 wins.

  10. WAR gets all the press, but WAA (Wins Above Average) is better and also harsher. By measure of WAA, the strong and strongest contributors to LOSING have been:

    Victor Martinez

    We all like Romine, but honestly, his bat sucks and his defense might be just a tad overrated, eh? To put it bluntly, I think the super-utility position the Tigers have been running with for so long is a waste of a roster spot. However, the present zero-position DH is even more a waste of a roster spot.

    The strong and strongest positive contributors (left on the team, that is) have been:


    All of a sudden, Upton is standing head and shoulders above the rest of the offense. He is the offense. We have to hope he doesn’t opt out now.

    When will the Tigers have a bullpen? When did they ever have a bullpen? Would we recognize them as the Detroit Tigers if they did?

  11. Loon you know whats the worst part of that list of WAA..the first 5 arent going anywhere next yeasr and will play a lot. Rondon doesnt belong on that list..He doesnt play enough to affect wins and losses.Kinsler would be on my list instead of him. Kinsler plays good but home runs , runs scored and RBI are at least half of what the should be. Rondon accoarding to Stats has been scored on in 6 of 19 games which isnt good but wouldnt rank you as the 6th worst Tiger player.

  12. It’s comical for me to watch all the hand ringing you guys do over WAR and WAA and other stats. Yes, the stats show how players have performed but none can predict what they will do in the future. Also, as Jud pointed out, if the players with “bad numbers” are locked in with contracts, you can’t do much about it. I remember when Sandy Koufax came up in the 50’s. For his first 5 or 6 years Sandy was pretty ordinary. In 1960 he was 8 and 13. After that he was pretty spectacular. By WAR or WAA perhaps they should have cut him loose.

    Miggy and Victor have been pretty bad this year but that shouldn’t be a big surprised based on their age. I still think the Tiger management should force Miggy into a complete medical evaluation. This year is pretty much lost and we are going to have Miggy for a lot of years in the future. We might as well see if we can turn him around so he can be the DH. As much as Rondon has frustrated me, I agree with Jud. He has too many skills to cut him loose yet. Lettuce is not here because of his bat. He has a sub .240 BA lifetime playing part time. Casty on the other hand has a lifetime .259 BA playing full time. We won’t talk about their fielding skills. Of course Lettuce plays acceptable defense at every position. That is why he should stay. One utility player that has filled in at 8 positions: that has immense value to the club.

    Having a winning club starts at the top. GM and manager. A manager has to be able to mix and match what he has to get the best results in spite of how good the players he has are. You are all free to comment on how you evaluate Brad’s tenure as manager. On the GM level, I’m not sure about Big Al since it was DD (with Mr. I’s money) that built the existing team. Even if he is a genius, he is between the rock and the hard place DD left. Jim Leyland had the most brains of all, he retired just before it all turned to you know what!

    1. Absolutely, Tony. Stats have very limited predictive power. No one’s wringing their hands over them, I don’t think. Stats can confirm the obvious, contradict the supposedly obvious, and offer surprising insights. They’re cool. They’re not everything. The games are the thing, each and every one of them.

      Koufax? Well, no one in baseball is cutting anyone loose based on stats alone. That sort of thing is for fans and writers. Two things about Koufax, though. One, he’s an outlier. For every Koufax there are 9 or 99 guys given up on for good reason or not given up on in error. Two, he was never quite ordinary – based on stats alone – even before he was phenomenal. In a different age maybe the Dodgers would have traded him (think Max Scherzer & Arizona) – but would anyone have given up on him? You tell me. You and Jud might very well have seen him pitch. I never did.

      Miggy and Victor, age? I don’t think so. Blue-chip guys like this don’t drop off a cliff at those ages, least of all Miggy. Bad years. Very likely a different story in 2018, although I still would prefer that V-Mart have his good year elsewhere. Need more legs and gloves here.

      I would agree with you guys on Rondon except that WAA indicates something that can easily be verified: When he’s bad, he’s really really bad, lose the winnable game bad. You can’t do that in one-third of your appearances and have it be invisible. Rondon almost never comes in with runners on – look at his ERA. Great K/BB, fantastic FIP – but look at the WHIP. He is so hittable. Does he win or lose for the team? He loses.

      Detroit finds ways to use Romine, great, but can you name an instance where his super-utility was vital? My perception is that he gets crucial hits when you least expect it, great, but the stats don’t suffer from such bias. His below average hitting costs more runs than his glove can make up for. Any number of players who were either versatile infielders or versatile outfielders who could also hit a lick… would be better for the team. You can find some of these guys on the many teams with better records than Detroit. 8 or 9 positions is a novelty, and it is cool, but I don’t see that it has been of immense value to the team.

      GM Avila has done some pretty shrewd things (under the radar stuff like Mahtook and Adduci, etc.) and some maybe not so shrewd. Maybe the jury is still out, and yes the die was cast with a number of things before he took over. Fans were anything but fond of Leyland before he retired. I guess he was a genius in 2006 and a bum after that, and then suddenly an icon. If anything, I would say that Ausmus is much better at mixing and matching. If Leyland were the manager now, F-Rod would still be closing, Sanchez would have been in the rotation from the start and stayed there, and Castellanos would be playing SS.

      2014 wasn’t exactly “you know what,” by the way.

    2. A lot of the WAR talk here is tongue-in-cheek, which happens when you have a non-contending team.

      I agree both that it starts at the top, and that it’s impossible to judge Avila right now. His hands are tied by the contracts he had inherited.

  13. Two good examples of that stats might not tell the story are Jason Grilli and [Rodney] Capt Crooked Hat. Neither were really young when the Tigers cut them lose, like Robbie Ray, but both left and had many many solid years. Crooked hat is still pretty solid!

    1. Also you can’t judge the value of a guy like Romine with WAR stats. The Tigers were carrying one fewer position players for a good portion of the year because they had a guy who could fill in anywhere. That is worth a lot! He saves them a roster spot.

    2. Yes, stats don’t predict what will happen specifically, but they do tell a great deal of the story in terms of what *has* happened, what *did* happen. Rodney was fun, but he wasn’t that great with Detroit overall, and it’s not like anyone is going to hang on to a 32 year old reliever with the expectation that he will temporarily blossom in 4 years. Grilli was also no great shakes with Detroit, and his run of success came in the NL. I would not say that either had many many solid years, certainly not in a row. Good careers, though? Sure.

      It’s very common for mediocre pitchers to have a burst of success as relievers in their mid-30s. There’s always a winner and a loser, and I think this plays to your point. Winner is the team that takes a chance and gets lucky because stats aren’t everything, and the loser is the team that buys in late on the success because “look at those stats” and finds the magic is gone.

      1. You *can* judge the value of a player like Romine – or anyone – with WA* stats. They don’t show everything – no stat does. But he takes up a roster spot and cannot play two positions at once, so he can’t be saving them a roster spot. Detroit has guys in Toledo that can fill in where needed, when needed, and I don’t see that the Tigers have really been hurting for subs at most of the positions Romine has played. Romine makes things simpler, for sure. On top of his positional versatility, he’s also a good pinch-runner on a team that needs it. He has value.

        But there are light hitters and then there are bad hitters. Bad hitters played frequently are not good for winning. The three worst hitting Tigers by a combination of measures are Romine, Iglesias, and V-Mart. Iglesias gets a pass for his stellar defense; V-Mart gets no pass at all. Romine? Debatable. I say no.

        There are other ways to use the roster spot. Some utility with more offense. A younger player getting MLB experience. It is hard not to be a fan of guys like Don Kelly and Andrew Romine, but I’ve come to the conclusion that super-utility is overrated.

        1. But why pick on any of the position players? Replace them all with any other team’s and see how that goes with a pitching staff that is on pace to give up 826 runs, most since 2008. Detroit’s problem, in a word: Pitching.

Comments are closed.