News and Links and Such

Stuff of note from the last couple days:

  • The Daily Fungo did an interview with Lynn Henning. It is available as a podcast.
  • There’s a new Tiger blog called Tigers Thoughts. It is written by a couple of very guys who are very knowledgable about the Tigers system (and occasional commentors here) and their early posts focus on Colby Lewis, Humberto Sanchez, and the lack of position players. Bookmark this site.
  • The Tigers continue to add to their research and development team. They’ve been infusing the scouting ranks over the last 18 months. Earlier they let long time Latin America coordinator Ramon Pena go. Now they have hired Ramon Perez to head the efforts in the Dominican Republic. He’s done similar work for the Astros and Dodgers since 1985.

    Where Ramon Pena was pretty much responsible for all of Latin America, the Tigers now have specific people assigned to DR and Venezuela along with a director of International scouting.

  • Humberto Sanchez and Cameron Maybin will be participating in the Future’s Game on All Star Sunday. This will be a great chance for Tiger fans to see two of the top (and really probably the top two) prospects in the Tigers system.

Game 71: Tigers at Brewers

PREGAME: Fresh off the heels of a beat-down at Wrigley, the Tigers look to extend their winning streak to 5. Quite frankly, I’ll be a little disappointed if the Tigers don’t spot Jeremy Bonderman some runs in the first inning after what transpired the last 3 games.

Bonderman’s last 2 turns in the rotation were the Tigers last two losses – not that either was Bonderman’s fault. His bullpen collapsed and blew a 3 run lead in Toronto and the offense spoiled an 8 inning, 1 run, 12 strikeout performance against the D-Rays.

The Tigers face another lefty in Doug Davis. Davis has struggled with his control this year walking 5 per nine innings. However, he’s walked only 5 in his last 3 starts.

POSTGAME: It takes a special team to turn 2 bunts into a run. Once again it’s stuff like that that make you think this team has something special going.

An outstanding effort of course by Jeremy Bonderman and it really would have been a shame had he not picked up the win.

Jim Leyland made a great move to order the intentional walk forcing Doug Davis out of the game.

Kudos also go to Todd Jones who has thrown 4 1-2-3 innings in the last 8 days. (he also allowed 4 runs in an inning, but he’s really done okay lately).

Game 63: Tigers at Blue Jays

PREGAME: Nate Robertson will take the mound for the Tigers as they try to win their first series since Cleveland – or since the beginning of this tough stretch. Robertson has pitched well during this string, with nothing to show for it. He’s been a victim of bad bullpen support and a lack of run support. It won’t be easy for Robertson as Toronto has posted a 345/398/517 line against left handed pitching this year.

The Tigers will take on Ty Taubenheim who is making his 4th start, and hasn’t been particularly effective. As a starter opponents are hitting .314 against him. The Tigers will be without Magglio Ordonez and Placido Polanco who are getting days off.

The Tigers Draft

As time permits, I’ll update the Tigers draft picks throughout the day. I will caution though that this isn’t my area of expertise. Any opinions or thoughts expressed are those I’ve gleaned from others.

UPDATE: Darn work kept me away from this all day. I’ll get caught up on the picks for the sake of completeness, but for more player detail check out the excellent work compiled by Kurt on Andrew Miller and the rest.

  1. Andrew Miller – LHP 6′ 6″ 210 lbs – North Carolina
    Miller is the highest rate player on Baseball America’s list. He fell to the Tigers due mostly to signability issues. His pitching repertoire is outlined by BA:

    At 6-foot-7 and 210 pounds, Miller has an ideal frame with a clean delivery and easy arm action. His fastball registers consistently in the 93-95 mph range and can touch the upper 90s. Miller also has a major league offering with a mid-80s slider with a sharp bite.

    BA also projects him to be in a major league rotation by 2007.

    It’s nice once again to see the Tigers not scared off by a player’s bonus demands. They are thinking and acting like a big market team. Here’s hoping they sign him quickly, or at let’s hope there are shorter negotiations than Cameron Maybin and Justin Verlanders.

  2. Ronnie Bourquin 3B 6-3 210 L/R 21 Ohio State U. Canton, OH
    Bourquin wasn’t on BA’s top 200 list, so it might seem like a reach. Yet the BA guys liked the pick of the Big Ten Player of the Year

    Tigers Steal Another One
    2:59 p.m.: The Tigers found a nice value when Andrew Miller dropped to them in the first round, and might have landed another gem in the second in Ohio State third baseman Ronnie Bourquin. He led the Big 10 with a .416 average, .612 slugging percentage, .492 on-base percentage and 66 RBIs. He’s the highest-drafted Buckeye since the A’s grabbed Nick Swisher in the first round (16th overall) in 2002.

  3. Brennan Boesch CF 6-6 210 L/L 21 UC-Berkeley Santa Monica, CA
    Two consecutive left handed sluggers for the Tigers. He ranked #125 on BA’s list.
  4. Ryan Strieby 1B 6-5 235 R/R 20 U. of Kentucky Seattle, WA
  5. Scott Sizemore SS 6-0 185 R/R 21 Virginia Commonwealth Chesepeake, VA
  6. Jordan Newton C 5-10 195 R/R 20 Western Kentucky U. Elizabethtown, KY
  7. Jonah Nickerson RHP 6-1 200 R/R 21 Oregon State U. Casper, WY
  8. Chris Cody LHP 6-1 195 L/L 22 Manhattan College Brewster, NY
  9. Zach Piccola LHP 6-4 240 R/L 21 U. of South Alabama Nashua, NH
  10. Lauren Gagnier RHP 6-2 215 R/R 22 Cal St. Fullerton Santa Cruz, CA
  11. Russell Parrott 2B 6-1 195 R/R 18 Desert Mountain HS West Bloomfield, MI
  12. Joseph Bowen C 6-1 190 S/R 18 Vanguard HS Ocala, FL
  13. Angel Castro RHP 5-11 200 R/R 23 Western Oklahoma St. Dominican Republic
  14. Brett Jensen RHP 6-7 190 R/R 22 U. of Nebraska Eagle Grove, IA
  15. Franco Valdes C 5-10 200 S/R 17 Monsignor Edward Pace HS Miami, FL
  16. Jeffrey Gerbe RHP 6-3 200 R/R 21 Michigan State U. Detroit, MI
  17. Ben Petralli C 6-2 175 S/R 20 Sacramento CC Weatherford, TX
    You may remember that the Tigers drafted Petralli in the 15ht round last year.
  18. Deik Scram CF 6-0 170 L/R 20 Oklahoma State U. Arkansas City, KS

Game 51: Yankees at Tigers

PREGAME: A Memorial Day afternoon tilt against the Yankees in front of a sell out crowd? Good times indeed. The pitching match-up is a dandy as well with Jeremy Bonderman taking on Randy Johnson. The last time these two hooked up, it was a 10-2 thrashing by Detroit. It was also the only game the Tigers won against the Yankees last year.

Today also happens to be me and Mrs. Billfer’s anniversary. As such, this will probably the sum total of today’s postings.

POSTGAME
: Jeremy Bonderman pitched much better than the box score will indicate. The Yankees weren’t hitting him particularly hard. The rallies consisted of some missed opportunities on double plays, and weakly hit ground balls that found a way. I remember exactly 3 line drives that Bonderman allowed – two were to Jason Giambi and one to Alex Rodriguez. Bonderman’s final numbers look uninspiring, but he deserved a better fate.

But the game was unwinnable as the Tigers failed to muster any offense for the second straight day.

Site Update

I’ve moved the site to a new web host. I did this last night, and I realize parts of the site were unreachable for a spell. I think it is all working now (I hope). Also, if you happened to leave a comment last night during the switch, chances are it didn’t make it over. For this I apologize.

Hopefully I can get this whole transition straightened out, and get back to worrying about baseball rather than the technical stuff.

Game 38: Twins at Tigers

PREGAME: Wow. The Tigers are playing the Twins again. That almost never happens. After this series, out of the Tigers last 19 games, 9 will have been against the Twins.

The Tigers will be facing Kyle Lohse who must feel like every game is against the Tigers. And for Lohse this year, that hasn’t been a good feeling.

Nate Robertson will take the ball for Detroit, looking to replicate his last outing against the Twins in which he allowed no runs on 5 hits in 7 innings.

Dmitri Young will return to the lineup.

Game time 7:05pm

POSTGAME:
With the White Sox loss, your Detroit Tigers are now tied for the best record in all of baseball. I realize that this doesn’t mean nearly as much in May as it does in October, but for Detroit fans this is as good as it gets.

Nate Robertson was quite shaky, but his offense picked him up the very next inning with a 5 spot. Without the game on TV, I don’t have a lot to add. As Eddie and Kyle pointed out, the Tigers got into a Twins bullpen that was already worn down. Now chances are Johan Santana will give them a break tomorrow night, but who knows.

While the Tigers bullpen has had plenty of rest this season, I think Jim Leyland had to go deeper into his pen than he anticipated. At this point it is picking nits, but I was surprised to see Colon only go one inning. Of course, Leyland probably thought that Bobby Seay could pitch an uneventful inning instead of turning it into a closing situation.

Site Downtime

I apologize for the protracted time this site was down last night and this morning. I think the total outage was about 14 hours. It was a problem with one of the servers at my webhosting company.

I am currently in the market for a new webhost, and will be transitioning the site sometime this week. I don’t anticipate any downtime during this move. The worst that would probably happen is that you might miss out on a new post for a day or so while the nameserver change propagates.

Again, I’m sorry.

On the Radio

I’ll be a guest on Sports Bloggers Live at approximately 12:10ET on Thursday. We’ll be talking about the Tigers as one of MLB’s surprise 20 win teams. You can listen via the link, and the show will be available for download later in the day.

UPDATE: The show is now available for down load at the above link.
UPDATE 2: Here is the link to the segment I’m featured in. They talk Reds with JD Arney, Tigers with me, and Rockies with Mark Donahue.

Series Wrap: Royals at Tigers

A quick series will get a quick wrap up. The Tigers didn’t dominate the Royals, only outscoring them 7-3, but it was enough for a tidy two game sweep. This series easily could have lent itself to being a let down. The Tigers had just spanked the Twins, and the Royals came to town looking for their first road win. Instead of a let down though, the pitchers kept on dominating the opposition while the offense did just enough.

Royals Tigers
Wins 0 2
Offense
Runs 3 7
BA .194 .237
OBP .217 .274
SLG .269 .458
HR 0 4
SB/CS 2/0 0/1
Pitching
BB/9 1.7 1.0
K/9 3.9 6.5
ERA 3.94 1.5

Continue reading Series Wrap: Royals at Tigers

Tigers Minor League Wrap – April 27th

Toledo 3, Indianapolis 0
Zach Miner, last week’s International League Pitcher of the Week, is trying to win the award back-to-back. He shutout the Indians for 8 innings and only 2 hits. He struck out 8 and lowered his ERA to 1.33. With Roman Colon still laid up, it is nice to see the organization getting some value from the Kyle Farnsworth trade. David Espinsoa doubled, singled and walked while Brian Peterson walked twice and tripled. The struggling Josh Phelps hit his second homer.
Erie – DNP

Sarasota 2, Lakeland 0
Reds prospect Homer Bailey allowed no hits in six innings while striking out 9. Lakeland’s only hit Gil Mejia single in the 9th. Dallas Trahern pitched 7 innings of shutout ball himself.

West Michigan 8, Kane County 4
Dusty Ryan had two hits and two singles. Cameron Maybin and Michael Hollimon each added a hit and two walks. Burke Badenhop allowed ten hits in 7 innings but only 3 runs scored.

Bowl for a cure

The Big Show on 1270 WXYT is currently in the midst of their second annual Big Show for the Big Cure Bowlathon. In case you’re not familiar, Art Regner and Doug Karsch will be on the air for 28 hours straight (except during tonight’s Red Wings game) from Lucky Strike Lanes in Novi. They are raising money to support the Vattikuti Urology Institute at Henry Ford Health System. The money raised will be used for prostate cancer research.

It is a wonderful cause, and there are a number of ways to contribute. Of course cash contributions are always welcome. In addition there are auctions running throughout the 28 hours. Finally, you can actually go bowl. For $12.70 you receive a T-shirt and an hour of bowling.

I bring up this last part because I’ll be heading out early tomorrow morning to bowl. I’ll be there at 5:00am tomorrow morning. I did it last year also, and while the hour is ridiculous, it was a lot of fun. It’s not everyday you get to bowl before the sun comes up, and do it for charity at the same time. I hope to see you there!