2012 Archives http://tigersdenblog.com/table/2012-articles/july/ Wed, 24 May 2017 10:01:44 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Tigers Avoid Sweep Against Blue Jays http://tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/tigers-avoid-sweep-against-blue-jays.html http://tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/tigers-avoid-sweep-against-blue-jays.html Jhonny_PeraltaJhonny Peralta and Doug Fister did their best to make sure the Tigers weren’t swept at the hands of Toronto. Peralta homered twice and Fister allowed just one earned run in his eight innings pitched. The Tigers managed four runs on a Peralta three run homer and another solo shot by Jhonny. The four runs were the most Detroit scored all series as they combined for just four runs in losing the first two games of the series.

The win at least put a positive spin on what has been a relatively rough road trip. After sweeping the White Sox at home, the Tigers rolled into Cleveland with a 1.5 game lead over Chicago. But Detroit stumbled against the Indians losing two out of three games. In the two losses, the Tigers’ offense combined for just five runs. Justin Verlander and Fister both lost their starts. Max Scherzer pitched well in the middle game to earn a 5-3 win.

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bbuckey11@gmail.com (Brian Buckey) July Sun, 29 Jul 2012 23:32:46 +0000
Detroit Tigers should hope Ryan Raburn accepts minor league option when Andy Dirks returns http://tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/detroit-tigers-should-hope-ryan-raburn-accepts-minor-league-option-when-andy-dirks-returns.html http://tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/detroit-tigers-should-hope-ryan-raburn-accepts-minor-league-option-when-andy-dirks-returns.html RyanRaburnAndy Dirks was a late scratch in the Toledo Mud Hen’s lineup last night due to some soreness, but the decision seemed to be a precautionary move to allow the recovering outfielder some rest.

Jim Leyland has been quoted as saying that Dirks will stay on rehab assignment a little bit longer than is usual because he needs the at-bats after missing so much time, but rehab assignments are capped at 20 days (unless there’s special circumstances, and that doesn’t appear to be the case here) so we’ll certainly see Dirks back in Detroit in less than two weeks, and probably a lot sooner than that.

This brings us to the move that everyone’s been talking about recently (“Raburn, Kelly, Raburn, Rayburn, Raburn, Raburn, yadda, yadda, yadda”). When Dirks returns to the big club someone else has to go, and we really only have two candidates: Don Kelly and Ryan Raburn. Neither player are hitting very well this year -- Kelly has actually been slightly better at the plate, but let’s not go through the statistical hair-splitting exercise of trying to justify the value of having a 43 OPS+ bat on your bench instead of a 31 OPS+ bat. Let’s leave it at this: both have been very terrible at the plate this season.

The defensive versatility that either player brings is rendered a non-factor by the acquisition of Omar Infante and the presence of Quintin Berry. Don Kelly won’t be needed to play either third base or center field in a pinch as there are currently better options available (or at least reasonably similar replacements). Berry would get first dibs at any center field duties should something happen to Jackson (that’s why he was brought up in the first place), and Ramon Santiago (or Infante) could handle the hot corner for a spell if the need suddenly arose. So Don Kelly is now the third option in center field and the third (or fourth) option at third base, and Ryan Raburn is third in line for second base duties.

That leaves corner outfield defensive replacement as the only real defensive “need” that either player would fill, a position where both players have rated as “above average”. UZR rates Kelly as having plus range and an average arm, and rates Raburn as having average range and a plus arm (the magnitudes of each are quite meaningless given sample size constraints and the amount of playing time each would be likely to receive).

So here’s the conclusion on their abilities: both players have been relatively equally terrible hitters this season, and both players bring relatively equally good defense as corner outfielders.

So who should go? Here are four answers in order of how ideal each one would be for the team.

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mtsnyder2@gmail.com (Matt Snyder) July Thu, 26 Jul 2012 17:18:57 +0000
Detroit Tigers send Danny Worth back to Toledo, Al Alburquerque to begin rehab assignment http://tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/detroit-tigers-send-danny-worth-back-to-toledo.html http://tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/detroit-tigers-send-danny-worth-back-to-toledo.html DannyWorthNo surprises here. The trade for Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez from the Miami Marlins meant that the Tigers’ active roster would sit at 26 players (only Jacob Turner was on the major league roster going the other way), so a move had to be made before tonight’s game.

Likely candidates to get shoved off the roster included Danny Worth, Ryan Raburn, and Don Kelly, but  of the group, only Worth could be cleanly sent down to the minor leagues. Ryan Raburn recently earned veteran player status (five years of MLB service time), so even though this year counts as his final option year, he would have to agree to the demotion for it to be allowed. Don Kelly is out of minor league options, so he would have to be designated for assignment to be removed from the roster.

None of those moves would be bad (none of the three players are hitting well on the year), but Worth becomes the most redundant after yesterday’s trade.

The Tigers will need to make another roster move once Andy Dirks completes his rehab assignment (he’s currently playing in AAA Toledo). Either Raburn or Kelly will likely be gone then.

The club also announced that Al Alburquerque will begin his rehab assignment today in Lakeland. He could potentially be a key addition to the bullpen later in the season.

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

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mtsnyder2@gmail.com (Matt Snyder) July Tue, 24 Jul 2012 16:32:06 +0000
Detroit Tigers gave up a lot for Infante and Sanchez, but team fills key needs http://tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/detroit-tigers-gave-up-a-lot-for-infante-and-sanchez-but-team-fills-key-needs.html http://tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/detroit-tigers-gave-up-a-lot-for-infante-and-sanchez-but-team-fills-key-needs.html

OmarInfanteMarlinsDave Dombrowski has a knack for turning left when everyone’s looking right. This move wasn’t as out-of-left-field as the Miguel Cabrera trade, the Doug Fister trade, or the Prince Fielder signing, not even close, but Dombrowski again picked up a name that nobody had been talking about.

The Tigers grabbed (former Tiger) second baseman Omar Infante – one of the hottest trade targets among fans, to be sure – and starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez for highly rated prospects Jacob Turner and catcher Rob Brantly along with left handed pitcher Brian Flynn. The two teams will also swap the competitive balance picks they obtained in last week’s lottery.

Here’s a look at the pieces in the trade:

Omar Infante: Omar should be a familiar name in Detroit. He was once a prospecty type middle infielder for the Tigers that was rushed to the big league level in 2002 and 2003 due to the complete lack of talent in the organization. He floundered around as an everyday player for a few years before moving to a super-utility role once payroll was expanded and players like Carlos Guillen and Placido Polanco joined the club.

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mtsnyder2@gmail.com (Matt Snyder) July Tue, 24 Jul 2012 14:30:42 +0000
Rick Porcello’s Gem Lifts Detroit Tigers to First Place http://tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/rick-porcellos-gem-lifts-detroit-tigers-to-first-place.html http://tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/rick-porcellos-gem-lifts-detroit-tigers-to-first-place.html RickPorcelloThe Tigers have been mentioned in pretty much every trade rumor involving a starting pitcher for the better part of a month and a half, but their rotation has taken a big step forward over the past few weeks.

Rick Porcello has tended to be the whipping boy of the rotation amongst Tigers fans. He doesn’t strike out a lot of batters, and it seems like when he’s off, he’s way off. But Porcello has been quite good since the calendar moved to June. In a stretch that’s covered nine starts, Rick has posted a 3.54 ERA (with a FIP around 2.96). His strikeout rate has continued to be a bit low, at 5.23 per nine innings, but he’s really limited the walks (2.03 per nine innings), and has kept the ball from leaving the yard (just one home run allowed). And, most importantly, the Tigers have won seven of the nine games (not that he directly controls this or anything).

On Saturday, Rick Porcello was at his best against the Chicago White Sox. With four strikeouts in eight innings he didn’t miss a ton of bats, but he did command all of his pitches, induced more ground balls than fly balls, didn’t walk anyone, and benefited from a couple of double-plays turned behind him. The White Sox could only muster one run on five hits (all singles) against him.

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mtsnyder2@gmail.com (Matt Snyder) July Sun, 22 Jul 2012 01:46:31 +0000
After Series Win Over Angels, Tigers Host White Sox In Key AL Central Matchup http://tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/after-series-win-over-angels-tigers-host-white-sox-in-key-al-central-matchup.html http://tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/after-series-win-over-angels-tigers-host-white-sox-in-key-al-central-matchup.html Comerica_PictureThese are the Tigers that most experts said would win the AL Central. After taking three out of four games against the Los Angeles Angels, the Tigers now sit just 1.5 games behind the first place White Sox. Detroit hosts Chicago for a three game series over the weekend. If the Tigers take two out of three they will be just 0.5 games back and with a sweep they can take over the division lead. The Tigers, winners of 10 of their last 12 games, won five straight games prior to the All Star break and continued their strong play with five wins in seven games after the break.

Against the Angels, the Tigers offense was good, with the exception of the 13-0 loss in the second game. They scored at least five runs in all three of their wins. Prince Fielder had a good series, with six hits and three RBI. Brennan Boesch added four RBI on three extra-base hits. The Tigers are starting to get contributions from the bottom part of their lineup with Delmon Young, Boesch, Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila all hitting much better than earlier in the year. The top of the lineup has been pretty consistent for most of the year.

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bbuckey11@gmail.com (Brian Buckey) July Fri, 20 Jul 2012 17:28:26 +0000
The Home Run Derby Apparently Didn’t Mess With Prince Fielder’s Swing http://tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/the-home-run-derby-apparently-didnt-mess-with-prince-fielders-swing.html http://tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/the-home-run-derby-apparently-didnt-mess-with-prince-fielders-swing.html PrinceFielderHRDHe hasn’t hit a home run since the All-Star break, but we’re six games into the season’s second-half and Prince Fielder shows no ill-effects of participating in (and winning) the Home Run Derby. So far he’s hitting for a slash line of .391/.500/.435 in the second half. It’s a small sample size, surely, but if it was the Derby that was going to be the culprit for a post-break numbers downturn, it would show up in the stat line right away, wouldn’t it?

It’s pretty much been shown that the derby doesn’t affect a players second-half production, but we’re still burdened with writers pointing to anecdotes of players seeing a second-half numbers dip.

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mtsnyder2@gmail.com (Matt Snyder) July Thu, 19 Jul 2012 12:52:07 +0000
Tigers Stay Hot With Win Over Angels http://tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/tigers-stay-hot-with-win-over-angels.html http://tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/tigers-stay-hot-with-win-over-angels.html Brennan_Boesch_photoThe Tigers opened a crucial home stand with a thrilling 8-6 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. The win, coupled with a White Sox loss, moves the Tigers 2.5 games behind in the AL Central. Detroit has three games remaining with the Angels before they host the White Sox for three games over the weekend.

Brennan Boesch provided a dramatic go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh inning giving the Tigers a 7-5 lead. Angels’ outfielder Mark Trumbo crushed a solo home run off Joaquin Benoit to cut the Detroit lead in half. But Quentin Berry knocked in Alex Avila with a single into center field and the Tigers led 8-6 going into the ninth.

Jose Valverde came in the game for the top of the ninth inning. After retiring the first two batters, Torii Hunter dropped down a surprising bunt single. That brought Albert Pujols to the plate as the tying run. Valverde forced a fly out to center field to earn his 17th save of the year.

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bbuckey11@gmail.com (Brian Buckey) July Tue, 17 Jul 2012 03:00:38 +0000
The Detroit Tigers are not on Justin Upton’s No-Trade List http://tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/the-detroit-tigers-are-not-on-justin-uptons-no-trade-list.html http://tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/the-detroit-tigers-are-not-on-justin-uptons-no-trade-list.html JustinUptonDetroit Tigers trade rumors have recently been centering around Justin Upton of the Arizona Diamondbacks, but the thought was that he would be able to veto a move to Detroit if the clubs were able to agree on a trade. Detroit, along with Cleveland, Kansas City and Oakland, was on his no-trade list when he signed his current deal before the 2010 season.

There had been talk that the list had since changed, with ESPN’s Buster Olney reporting last week that the New York Yankees were on the new list. The other three teams remained unknown.

But now Fox Sports is reporting the full list:

Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton can block trades to four teams, major league sources told FOXSports.com: the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs.
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mtsnyder2@gmail.com (Matt Snyder) July Mon, 16 Jul 2012 17:51:24 +0000
Detroit Tigers in Midst of Tight American League Playoff Chase http://tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/detroit-tigers-in-midst-of-tight-american-league-playoff-chase.html http://tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/detroit-tigers-in-midst-of-tight-american-league-playoff-chase.html ComericaParkNightThe Detroit Tigers find themselves only a half game out of the playoff picture after completing the series win over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday. The Tigers have been playing excellent baseball for over a month now, they’ve won 20 of their last 31 games going back to June 9, but the stretch has only served to dig them out of the hole, not separate them from the rest of the league.

Here’s the current American League playoff picture:

AL East: New York (54-34)

AL Central: Chicago White Sox (49-39)

AL West: Texas (54-35)

AL Wildcard: Los Angeles Angels (49-40)

AL Wildcard: Baltimore (46-42)

The Yankees have a firm grasp on the East with an eight game lead over second place Baltimore, and Texas has been sitting comfortably for most of the year in the West, although the Angels have been playing very well lately (Texas is currently five games up). The AL Central is the closest division with the Tigers just 3.5 games behind the White Sox.

I think it’s fairly safe to say that both the Yankees and Rangers will be playing in the postseason, but beyond that there’s a lot still up in the air, especially when it comes down to the (new) second Wild Card spot.

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mtsnyder2@gmail.com (Matt Snyder) July Mon, 16 Jul 2012 15:59:04 +0000