Thames does seem to be holding his own, as long as they can keep him off the field..... What bothers me about Thames is that he doesn't drive in any runs when he doesn't hit a tater. 8 homers and 13 RBI? Still some work to do.
And as for fatass. What is DY doing with his time? I am getting the feeling that he is taking advantage of being a woman beater and playing his 'needing to get his head on straight' crap to the hilt. This clown wants to finish taking the Tigers to the cleaners and hope that next season he can tell people he has his act together now. What an embarrassment.
Maggs is a poor OFer, heck all the Tigers OFers are poor save Granderson. And Curtis still has a weak arm. Maggs covers no ground and almost looks surprised when he chases a ball down and makes the catch. But his bat makes it worthwhile. I would love to see them get a solid defensive OFer who can still hit over .260. Scares the heck out of me watching Monroe/Thames loping after outs and turning them into doubles.
That's exactly the trouble with Rollercoaster Jones. He has a propensity to hang a pitch at the worst times. And his stuff isn't good enough to let him get away with it. My hopes are that he can keep it together enough to make him tradeable to a NL contender looking for a closer.
And what's worse is that Jones has now put a tremendous amount of pressure on Bonderman today. And the one thing Bonderman has yet to show is that he can perform under pressure. Not liking our chances today.
That brings us to Minor. He could have to face the RedSux under way too much pressure: trying to salvage a game in the series instead of trying to sweep or take 2 of 3. Ahhh, the importance of closing out big games.
After watching the Tigers playing the big boys, do you think they are choking a bit?
IMO if the Tigers want to stay legit contenders they may want to consider making a move ASAP. This team has 2 regulars with sub-.300 OBP's (Inge, Monroe) and Polanco is also pushing it AND the team as a whole if I'm not mistaken is somewhere near the very bottom of the league in pitches seen per at bat. Patient players tend to be more consistent while free swingers are much more volatile. Stick another patient bat somewhere near the middle of the lineup who will make pitchers work and get on base and I know this team will see results. There are players rumored to be available out there that fit the profile, the front office only needs to look. Inge or Monroe would then be pushed to the bench.
Obviously that doesn't fill all of the team's needs, but getting the offense more consistent and making opposing pitchers work harder is a start.
mcqfesijiba wrote:Alexis Gomez is back up with the Tigers!!!!!! I'm excited! That .683 OPS in AAA should once again translate well to the majors.
Even better: he's hitting 6th tonight ahead of Thames and batting with the bases loaded in the 1st inning as I type this. (He popped up to the SS to end the inning by the time I hit submit)
I didn't think it'd take long for the Gomez call up got to ya. I really don't know why he would have hit 6th instead of Thames. Mystifying.
He did have a nice game, but his failing in the first........
I think what we're seeing here is that the Tigers just aren't quite ready to compete yet. Now they may learn to execute under pressure by season's end, but their poor play is killing them right now.
How funny is it that all the Tigers needed to do was play solid ball and they would be 5 or more games up on the PaleHosers. Today we have poor ABs by Polanco and Guillen....again. These two are really struggling now that the heat is on. I don't know that this is coincidence or they are chokers. But I do know that they are both hitting and playing poorly by thier standards. Very disappointing. Add that to the continued slumps of Inge and Shelton and you have an IF that would have killed most teams.
Yet they are still competitive becuase the pitching hasn't folded, yet. At least the starters haven't folded. Rodney looked like the pressure was finally getting to him as he followed Nate's theme and got behind every batter he faced. Gives up the game winning homer, but more important is that the baserunners were there via the walk. I bet Leyland was livid.
Encouraging was Z, who showed that he seems oblivious to pressure, rising once again to the situation with HOF style handling of Thome and Konerko. Most impressive. Leyland should have notice the economy of that inning and hade Z come out for the 8th. Man that guy looks special.
What sort of hitters are out there that the Tigers could snooker someone out of? OBP guys aren't being given away.
I still wonder why Polanco still has a hold on the #2 spot in the order. He just hasn't been right all year long. I'm always of the thought that your best hitters should all hit consecutively at the front of the lineup. Throwing a weak hitter in between is like giving your team a handicap. Polanco's career averages suggest he should bounce back, but maybe he should do so in a less important position in the lineup (gee, I haven't suggested this before have I?).
Top 5 guys in the order should be: Granderson, Pudge, Guillen, Ordonez, and Thames (while he's hot), not necessarily in that order. Shelton should "probably" be right behind despite his struggles, because I do think he'll turn it around soon once he makes some adjustments, while Monroe/Inge/AnyBenchGuy I'm not so sure about.
Going into Wednesday, the Tigers were tied for third in the majors in home runs, with 80. They were 16th in the majors in runs scored, with 284.
Numbers like that make managers think about changes, and Leyland was thinking hard Wednesday. He’s been talking for a few weeks about needing a left-handed hitter, but Wednesday he went farther than that.
“We need to change some things,” he said, with the strong suggestion that he wanted to change some of the faces. “We need to cut down on strikeouts. We need to have better at-bats with runners in scoring position when the games are on the line. I guess that sums up the whole thing.”
Polanco is a real problem, one of many cracks that are starting to show themselves. There are players that need to be replaced if this team is going to approach elite status, but I don't think Polanco is one of them. He just need relocated. Players that need to be replaced are:
Monroe-too slow in the OF and not selective enough at the plate (which we cannot afford given there are so many of these types of hitter in our line-up).
Inge-For someone who battles fiercely when he has two strikes, his approach at the plate is awful. When did his swing get so long? If he doesn't start to correct his hitting, I expect we'll start hearing quotes from him about how he wouldn't mind catching "if it will help the team" Translaation:anything I can do to keep my job.
Thames-A liability in the field and poor plate discipline. I would look to trade him right now while his value is it's highest. It was all too predictible last night to watch him come up agaisnt a pitcher nobody has ever heard of, runners on base, and swing at the first pitch.
Bottom line is we have to find some players who can field and know how and when to be patient at the plate. When the core of your team is as free swinging a bunch as we have, you have to have the fillers takes walks, mover runners over and drive that fickin run in from third with less than two outs. It's killing us.
Also, how much longer is it going to be before Leyland puts Z in the closer spot? He flat out has the talent and tempermant to handle they job. And he has the potential to be an elite closer.
I still think Rodney gets first crack at closer before Zumaya. He had a bad game a couple of games ago, but that was the first time he had surrendered any runs for something like 11 games and he still has a sub-2.00 ERA and sub-1.00 WHIP.
Nice game for Polanco last night with 2 extra base hits. If he can start playing like he does in one of his usual seasons, the offense will get a big boost. He's been a liability with the bat most of the year so far in an important lineup position. Getting the top half of the lineup strong without any holes would go a long way.
Still, they absolutely have to add another hitter (more than likely left handed) that plays either outfield or 3B if they want to stay in the race for first. Outfielders are more common since good 3B are hard to come by. (Although Guillen or Polanco probably could slide over if they got a SS or 2B, maybe). They also are highly unlikely to give up Verlander, Zumaya, or Granderson to do so. Since Leyland has been quoted as suggesting they make some changes, I think something will get done at some point, just probably not someone as significant as we would like to see.
The Cubbies are sucking. I could see them wanting to unload some players. I wouldn't mind seeing Jacque Jones in our OF. A career .300 hitter with decent speed. Came from the Twins system, no? So his fundamentals should be solid. Hmmm.
Ouch. Last night's bullpen meltdown was just painful to watch. Zumaya wasn't overly impressive as he usually is, but at least he didn't give up a run. Rodney apparently forgot to bring his command along for the road trip. And Todd Jones = batting practice. If Todd Jones gets the next save opp, I think I'll be sick. Rodney probably no longer deserves to be second in line until he actually shows he has an idea of where his pitches are going. Maybe it really is time for Zumaya to step in, even though I don't think I have total confidence in him yet.
At least Polanco is showing signs of coming around, although he isn't there yet. Hitting for power like he has is a good sign that his back might be improving. He's a key player for the offense. Get him going, and get a solid defensive OF who is also a solid left handed hitter (and hopefully above average speed) and I think I would probably be somewhat happy with the offense.
It was certainly nerve racking to see Jones walk out there the very next night after his implosion for the save opp. He actually recorded some outs that time and even escaped without giving up a run. Of course it was far from dominant since he still allowed two runners to reach base. Zumaya's 3 inning save yesterday was very impressive, however.