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Written by Brian Buckey | 18 June 2012

Max_Scherzer_pictureThe Tigers have been rolling of late. Winners of seven out of the last ten games, Detroit won its third straight series after beating the Colorado Rockies 5-0 in the series finale on Sunday. The lone blemish in the series came in the first game when the Rockies exploded for eight runs in the top of the 10th inning in a 12-4 win.

Aside from the one disastrous inning the Tigers’ pitching was dominant allowing only six other runs during the three-game series. The Tigers are now just two games under .500 with a record of 32-34. They made up ground on both the White Sox and Indians. After both teams lost on Sunday the Tigers trail the division leading White Sox by 3 games and the Indians by 1.5 games.  

Here are some of the top performers from the Rockies series:

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Written by Matt Snyder | 14 June 2012

I had the opportunity on Thursday night to chat with Dave Mitchell of UltimateSportsTalk on his weekly BBA Baseball Talk radio show (hosted by BlogTalkRadio). Our topics included the Prince Fielder signing, Mike Ilitch's desire to field a winner, Jose Valverde, the second base problem, injuries, infield defense, Victor Martinez's prognosis, Jim Leyland's smoking habit, and the Central Division race.

Feel free to check out both of the websites linked above, and listen to the show (embeded below or via download). My segment starts at about the 30:30 mark, and lasts about 15 or 16 minutes.


Listen to internet radio with Ivie League Prod on Blog Talk Radio

Matt Snyder is the editor of The Tigers Den. He can be reached on Twitter @snyder_matthew.

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Written by Matt Snyder | 14 June 2012

JustinVerlanderThe Tigers defeated the Chicago Cubs 5-3 on Thursday afternoon to take the series and lift their record to 30-33. The Tigers were supposed to shred the American League Central en route to their second consecutive division crown, but this series win, after taking the series from the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend, marks only the second time this season that the Tigers have won back-to-back series.

In fact, we have to go all the way back to April 12 to remember this feeling. The Tigers swept the Boston Red Sox to open the year, then took two of three from the Rays, and then pretty much fell off the radar. They’ve won a few series in the mean time, and even swept a couple of them, but they hadn’t put back-to-back wins together in those 17 series.

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Written by Matt Snyder | 14 June 2012

Ryan_RaburnI’ve seen a lot of overreaction by Tigers fans across the net to Ryan Raburn’s recall from the minor leagues. He hadn’t hit well in Detroit, he hadn’t hit well in Toledo, but many feared that the skipper would automatically pencil him back into the lineup the moment he returned to the locker room.

Hopefully Jim Leyland put some of those fear to rest today when he announced to the press that Raburn wouldn’t be taking over at second base. Chris Iott of MLive has the tweet:

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Written by Matt Snyder | 14 June 2012

RyanRaburn2Blisters seem like the silliest injuries for pitchers, where we usually think of elbow or shoulder damage, but they’re incredibly tough to deal with, especially when they’re as large as the one Drew Smyly developed during his last start on Sunday against the Cincinnati Reds.

So Smyly and the Tigers have no choice but to let the finger blister rest and heal over before he can resume throwing. Detroit will make his DL stint retroactive to June 11, so he’ll be eligible to pitch again on June 26. Smyly’s immediate replacement in the rotation hasn’t been announced, but I think the hope is that Doug Fister will be feeling well enough with his side strain to be activated in time to pitch on Saturday.

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Written by Matt Snyder | 07 June 2012

JhonnyPeraltaFirst things first: Jhonny Peralta isn’t an above average fielder at shortstop. He doesn’t have spectacular range and he doesn’t make plays with the flair of Troy Tulowitzki or Asdrubal Cabrera ,* but he does do one thing well, and that’s make the plays that are expected of him.

*Rod Allen raves about Asdrubal Cabrera’s glove, and he certainly makes you say ‘wow’ time and again, but his career UZR/150 is a pretty bad -10.2. Peralta’s career UZR/150 at shortstop is -2.9.

Peralta has always been a bat-first type of player; the type of player who’s bat more than makes up for his defensive shortcomings at one of the lightest-hitting positions in the game. But I don’t necessarily think that this lumps him into the group with Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Brennan Boesch, and Ryan Raburn (at second base). Guys who are truly terrible at their position defensively.

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Written by Matt Snyder | 06 June 2012

NickCastellanosThirdApparently Double-A is no big deal for Nick Castellanos. The Tigers announced on Tuesday that they were moving up their top position player prospect from Advanced-A Lakeland (where he hit .405/.461/.553 in 55 games) to AA Erie.

Castellanos made his first appearance with the Erie SeaWolves last night, and was immediately inserted into the starting lineup as the cleanup hitter. But Nick didn’t allow the bigger stage to bother him. He singled in his first plate appearance of the game, hit a sacrifice fly that drove in a run, and smacked a double (number 18 on the year).

One game is obviously a tiny sample, and we can’t come near to making any conclusions about how he’ll adjust to AA pitching, but instant success is always encouraging. At just 20 years of age, Castellanos is crazy-young for AA (he was young for A+ too), so we shouldn’t be disappointed if he doesn’t continue to put up a 1.000+ OPS against the near-major league caliber pitchers he’ll see.

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