To whom it may concern; I don't know if anybody will ever read this, but I am very happy with the start the Tigers have gotten off to. They are in first and show signs of a pitching staff that can compete. I know it's early and distrust all pitchers not named Verlander...hey, I don't even trust him that much. But maybe he and Jackson under what may be some good coaching from Knapp(?) can lead this team to a strong showing this year. Alarming to see Maggs and Guillen look like they have lost all their bat speed. Steroids? One can only wonder. And one wonders how long before Leyland moves Maggs permanantly down to 6th, He doesn't offer Miggy any support hitting before or after him. I would love to see Granderson hit 3rd and....man where have the bats gone? Other moves I'd like to see: Ryan Rayburn, go back to Toledo. He serves no purpose here. I would rather see either Anderson or even Santiago playing LF. I think a 2:1 ratio of Everett to Santiago may be a nice SS combo. I don't see Everett being able to hit or field if he has to play full time. Love to see if Larish could see some consistant PT. We need to find out if he can hit or not and jacking him around like Leyland does isn't going to help. Man, where are the bats? That's all I have for now. Go Tigers, and......
Yeah I am pleasantly surprised. I didn’t have the highest of hopes (honestly I can see any team finishing in any order of that division…I still can), I was thinking maybe 3rd pace. Again, definitely happy with their play. As long as they can stay competitive into September I will be happy
Definitely have my concerns about the pitching Verlander – hopefully he finally has his head on straight…if not, we know what he looks like at his worst Jackson – looking good, still young so maybe he is for real Galraga – not looking so good as of late, may be regressing to what he really is Porcello – how long can you trust this kid? Willis/Bondo – can one of them be an effective #4/#5 (especially if Porcello falters) Rodney – arm troubles behind him, or is a classic meltdown on the horizon Zumaya – just not sold on this kid anymore Rest of the pen – meh…could be worse I guess
I think most of our guys will hit, although Maggs and Guillen are a concern, and Minge is finally settling back down to his career norm.
As far as Santiago, I’d prefer to see him play everyday, I don’t think you lose much if anything defensively, the kid can lay down a bunt and just do a lot of things fundamentally well. I’ll settle for a L/R platoon though
Totally agree on Raburn…I cant believe they dont send him down for a RH bat at this point.
Rayburn reminds me of everything that Leyland was in '06 and all he has not been since. In '06 he would play the guy who was performing, since it seems he's fallen in love with names. Guillen in LF? Please, he is a DH and only if he can hit again. Rayburn was a Leyland fav last season and he cannot see the dude is totally overmatched. I'd rather see Anderson vs Lefties than Rugburn. Heck, anyone can hit .076. This is a big series coming up. The Twinks and their baggie dome have been a gargabe dump of horrors for us. We need to win one, at least.
They seem to be doing ok right now. Even Rayburn has had a few good games with the bat recently. Dontrelle? Where the heck did that come from? Well I'll take it and hope he has more left in the tank. I am off the Guillen bandwagon, but hold a small glimmer of hope he'll do something...anything after getting off the DL. I don't want to see him in the field outside of an emergency anymore though. Maggs is puzzling a bit with the HUGE dropoff. Hopefully just a (very) prolonged slump. I never expected a repeat of '06 and probably not even last year, but I expected more than this from him. Moving him down in the lineup until (if) he finds his stroke is a must. Larish? I've always been a slight fan. LH bat good power, draws walks, but K's a lot and isn't much in the field (not that Thames and Rayburn are either). Time to see what he can do. I'd rather see him or even Wilken more than Rayburn or Thames. I think given a full season of AB's, Larish would outproduce Thames, who is pretty much a one dimensional hitter.
The Tigers aren't perfect, but I am overall happy with their performance so far. The AL Central is very weak. They can win this, but the key is the pitching by far as it was in '06.
I, too, am puzzled by the drop-off in production by Maggs, mcq. Strange how our Latin players are all having a terrible time driving the ball, save Miggy-who isn't exactly mashing either. Maggs, Guillen, and Polanco have turned very pedestrian overnight. Maggs and Guillen have nothing else to offer other than their hitting. I think the season hinges on how Leyland and the Tiges mangage those two in the coming months. Maggs in particular is a dicey situation. He has clauses in his contract that will pay him ludacris cash the next two seasons if he plays in 135 games or something. If he doesn't find his power stroke they may be better off releasing him. But if they do that how will the rest of the players react to a salary dump? Or will Maggs be okay with being spelled a lot and missing those clauses? Stay tuned.
aside from dropping 2 to the Rockies i was very happy with the homestand, and yesterdays drubbing of KC. hopefully we can get out to a big lead since all of the other central teams are wallowing in medocrity or worse. i'm sure we'll still get caught by the Twins late in the season though
They're not exactly playing well right now, save for Verlander and Jackson still being lights out. Yet they are still in first place. Let's hope Bonderman has something, even if he's only about an average SP. Hard to trust him coming off of injury, but I don't think we can rely on or Galarraga or Willis (though I do think Galarraga will bounce back to be at least an effective back end guy, Willis is a mess). Who know how Porcello will do as he puts up more and more innings on his young arm. We're going to need Magglio to be at least a little better. Maybe stop hitting him in a run producing spot in the order. He's hitting more like a #2. Still good at getting on base and making contact, but little power. They are not releasing him, so we should utilize him however we can. He's at least outproducing Polanco... I'm sure we'd all love to see Granderson in a more run producing spot, but no one else can set the table like he can. Clete Thomas was the hero with his grand slam, but overall he is not the answer (though I don't mind him as a fourth OF). I doubt the Tigers have any hidden gems in the minors to help this year. We might see Sizemore or Strieby at some point who have decent bats, though the latter is pretty much a 1B/DH type.
This is a winnable division, though that is not saying much. I'm not high on the White Sox, but I have a feeling the Twins and/or Indians (once they get some players back) are going to get hot at some point. I don't think the Tigers hold on standing pat, so lets see what they do (or don't do).
Bonderman looked better than I thought he would, but I have little hope for him. Without his killer slider and the desire to use it alot, Bonderman has no big league pitch, and lacks the guile to get by on weak junk. Willis is such an enigma. His stuff is very good, but he is so out of control that he can't possibly be consistant enough to be a major league pitcher. I don't know what the deal is with Garralaga, but I agree that he is a servicable #5 starter. It is troubling to see Porcello starting to struggle. If we are to have any hope of winning this sad-sack division we need Porcello to be a #4-5 type guy.
As for Maggs, and the rest of our Latin players, I can't help but wonder if they were steroid users. I don't know how else to explain the remarkable coincidence of Guillen hurt, Polanco and Maggs with no power and poorer averages. Even the big fella, Miggy, isn't exactly mashing the ball like he should be. But the alarming drop in production from the first trio makes me wonder....and that also makes me curious that they will return to their former selfs. Maggs is making it very hard to not cut since a .300 singles hitter with no speed isn't worth nearly what he is paid. What may save him is the abundance of minor league talent on the club. I can't believe we have done as well as we have with Anderson, Rayburn, Clete Thomas, and Larish getting so many ABs. With Miggy slumping now and the lack of production from Polanco, Maggs, Granderson it is no wonder that we get one-hit by Contereas. There could be too many games like that which will eat away at the extraordinary performances we are getting by V and Jackson.
I'm not giving up on Bonderman yet, but not putting too much faith in him either. He needs more work before I can judge him. He should have spent more time in the minors. He hasn't pitched much at all after such a long layoff and it shows. No telling if he'll get back close to where he was as he gets more innings, but I'm not surprised he was how he was.
The team is just getting really desperate beyond Jackson and Verlander. I think it's too early to say Porcello's fading yet since he has only had two subpar starts in a row (one against a good Boston team), but they shouldn't have to rely on him as their 3rd best this season and that's what they are doing with Galarraga struggling and the hole being filled by Bonderman/Willis. I haven't even mentioned the bullpen because we all know what we've got with Fernando Rodney. I am more worried about the pitching than the offense right now. They aren't going anywhere if the pitching depth doesn't get better.
Beyond Verlander and Jackson, I just don't know what we're going to get later this year. Even Jackson doesn't have the track record, but at the very least his numbers and stuff actually both indicate legit improvement this year. His ratios in the past always spelled disaster. Not so, thus far. That's at least a good sign that he may not be a total mirage.