2013 - Detroit Tigers Report

Discussion in 'Team News' started by Sharkman37, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. Sharkman37

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    2013 – Tiger Beat
    by Bob N. Frapples

    Early Summer Edition:
    It’s been an interesting last six months for the Tigers. After the successive bombshells that happened over the winter meetings sending the likes of Alex Avila, Prince Fielder, Brennan Boesch, and Miguel Cabrera packing, the teams fan interest took a 20 point nose dive. Not even the trades for the likes of Cliff Lee or the free agency signing of Anibel Sanchez could shake the Tiger faithful from their doldrums.

    What the fans saw was a team that was 20 games under .500 trade almost all their best players. It’s now June and a funny thing happened along the way. The Tigers have pitched and defended their way into a ½ game lead in the AL Central and are currently sitting at 8 games over .500. With it, the Tigers have uncovered a few diamonds in the rough and have layed the foundation for future success.

    The Expected:
    #1 – The Defense. The Tigers were dead last in all defensive stats last year including a whopping -29 in zone rating, a full 15 points away from the next closest team. The Tigers looked for defensive minded players in free agency and in trades, non more epitomized then in the likes of 1B – Daric Barton. Barton’s sports a 10 range and a nice OBP which makes the his pitchers happy. All the slow, unathletic sorts populated on the roster are now DHing or play for someone else. In 2013 – Defense Rules.


    #2 – The Four Horseman. The other big piece of the off-season plan was to front the rotation with great starting pitching which, in theory, protects the bullpen and keeps the team in games. With Cliff Lee coming over from the Phillies in trade and Anibel Sanchez coming in Free Agency, they joined the mainstays of Justin Verlander and Doug Fister to create the ‘Four Horseman’. Each starter has an ERA of 3.20 or lower and at the time of this press clipping, they help lead the Tiger staff to an overall ERA of 2.99, good for 1st in the Majors.

    #3 – The Draft. Much has been made of the Tigers desire for draft picks and lots of them to help seed the farm system with cheap, young talent to drive future success in Detroit. GM Ledford has not disappointed by bringing in the likes of 2B – Drake Hollow and SS – Tilly Boomers in last years draft to the cornacopia of riches in this past draft bringing top end talent of SP – Glenn Simard, and Of’ers Vic Olson and Randy Welbourn to Detroit. The trick now for the Tigers is to mold that talent into quality future Major Leaguers.

    The Unexpected:
    #1 – The Black Hole. The fifth starter has been a merry-go round this year, running from the likes of Rich Vandenhurk to converted RP – Dylan Axelrod, and now to Tyson Ross. Vandenhurk was a flier who lost his wings and the other two have been adequate to underwhelming. I am curious how much longer GM Ledford will deal with this or will he go after a quality arm as the Tigers make their playoff push?

    #2 – Waiver Wire Deals. You would think after two years, that the Tigers would have learned their lesson and stopped throwing money at waiver wire guys to see if they can stick. Sure the occasional guy has worked out , such as former Atheletic – Michael Taylor, but most end up of irritated in AAA chewing up at least 500k a piece. Shenanigans like this forced the Tigers to sell 2 picks just to be able to sign all their picks. An oversite to say the least.

    #3 – The Curious Case of Andy Dirks. Maybe all 1-star players need is the threat to be sold to the Mexican League to get their act together and become a viable piece in the overall plans of an organization? This is the only explanation for Dirks, who went from a struggling AAA – 1 star to beastly 4-star and 3-hole hitter on the ML squad. Whatever it is, the Tigers are not complaining.


    The Unknown.
    #1 – The ‘So Far’ MVP. As easy as it would be to single out Dirks or V-Mart, who is having a career reinassance, this writers vote goes to the ‘Four Horseman’. They stir the Tigers drink and it is their continued health that will either lead the Tigers to the playoffs or drop them out of the picture as summer heats up. With no real options in the minors, this is what drives their season.

    #2 – The ‘Pinto’ Award. The biggest lemon so far is either the 7.5 mil the Tigers have to pay for Travis Hafner next year after his abysmal start to the year or to CF – Jordan Schaeffer who can’t even hit the mendoza line and has been DFA’d. From a money standpoint, I vote for Pronk and the hopeful hail mary reading of his contract for some kind of vesting option to get rid of that contract.

    #3 – The Plaque for Best Minor League System wins you Jack Squat. Sometimes I think that GM Ledford cares more for the Minor Leagues then he does the parent squad. I mean, he goes all out to accumulate all these picks and then populates his ML squad with the likes of Josh Bard, Adron Chambers, and John Gaub. I mean, do you need to have 10 former ML 1 star OF’ers running around AA and AAA? Why don’t you use that money to upgrade the big squad? Just saying….

    #4 – I’m a catcher, you’re a catcher, he’s a catcher, she’s a catcher. I mean, I know you had a lot of picks and all Detroit and Rob Brantly doesn’t inspire confidence as your one and only future backstop in the organization but drafting four catchers in the draft? Seriously? Four in the top four rounds? I mean, I heard the old saying “two is one and one is none.” I would add to that and say “four is overkill”. What are you going to do? Timeshare the dish? I don’t know. How about taking more then two pitchers and a converted outfielder to throw the ball? I mean, you got 16 picks…. Goodness….


    The Top Five Prospects:
    1 – Drake Hollow – 2B. Batting a stealy .307 in AAA, this fast-comer will hold the #1 spot until some of the more bally-hoo’d prospects actually start hitting and pitching.

    2 – Cody Buckel – SP. 7 wins, a 4-1 K/W and a 1.09 WHIP at AA - Erie earned him a promotion to AAA and a potential inheritor of the 5th starting spot in the Majors. The scouts might be discounting him but they don’t like Doug Fister either and all he has done over the past 1 ½ years is win 25 games and lose only 8.

    3 – Glenn Simard – SP. One of the top prospects in the game will start his career and take his 100 MPH fastball to A-Ball - West Michigan. Surf’s up Glenn.

    4 – Vic Olson – OF. The 8th overall pick in this past draft will start his career in A-Ball – Lakeland. A great mix of power, speed, and contact, the Tigers hope he comes fast.

    5 – Lance McQueen – SP. 18 year old will try to work out the kinks out in Rookie ball. Last year was a learning opportunity for the rigors of pro ball.

    Honorable MentionRandy Walbourne- OF; Vladimir Banovic – C; Tilly Boomers – SS; Rhett Wiseman - OF
     
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