Blisters seem like the silliest injuries for pitchers, where we usually think of elbow or shoulder damage, but theyâre incredibly tough to deal with, especially when theyâre 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 heâll be eligible to pitch again on June 26. Smylyâs immediate replacement in the rotation hasnât 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.no comments
First things first: Jhonny Peralta isnât an above average fielder at shortstop. He doesnât have spectacular range and he doesnât make plays with the flair of Troy Tulowitzki or Asdrubal Cabrera ,* but he does do one thing well, and thatâs make the plays that are expected of him.
*Rod Allen raves about Asdrubal Cabreraâs glove, and he certainly makes you say âwowâ time and again, but his career UZR/150 is a pretty bad -10.2. Peraltaâs career UZR/150 at shortstop is -2.9.
Peralta has always been a bat-first type of player; the type of player whoâs bat more than makes up for his defensive shortcomings at one of the lightest-hitting positions in the game. But I donât 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.no comments
Apparently 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 didnât 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 canât come near to making any conclusions about how heâll 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 shouldnât be disappointed if he doesnât continue to put up a 1.000+ OPS against the near-major league caliber pitchers heâll see.no comments
Pat Caputo of the Oakland Press published a blog post on Monday calling the Tigersâ 2007 offseason trade of Omar Infante â the worst trade made by Dave Dombrowski that nobody talks aboutâ. Itâs true that Jaque Jones was terrible as a Tiger (heâs the guy the Tigers got in return for Infante), but Caputoâs point wasnât that Jones himself returned poor value for Infante, instead he argues the Tigers were wrong to choose Ramon Santiago over Infante. Hereâs the crux of his argument:
But the biggest mistake, in retrospect, the Tigers made regarding their infield was choosing Santiago over Omar Infante following the 2006 American League pennant-winning season.
Infante has gone to make an All-Star team as a utility infielder when he was with the Braves, and has since moved onto the Marlins where, playing second base, he is currently 10th in the National League with a .319 batting average and tied with Prince Fielder in OPS (on base and slugging percentage combined) at .880. His OPS has been .750 or better every season but one since leaving the Tigers. He is easily a stronger, faster, more productive player than any of the Tigers' current second base candidates.
Caputo wishes that Infante was around to handle the second base duties for the Tigers, which is fair (I think weâd all take him right now), but itâs not fair to blame his absence on a trade that took place five offseasons ago.no comments
Detroit is Quintin Berry City, USA right now, but you can hardly blame the fans for going nuts over the guy. Heâs touched home plate seven times in eight games, and has seemed to give the offense a shot in the arm with his speed. Since Berryâs call up, the Tigersâ offense has averaged 5.4 runs per game, a full run more than their season average to date.
But, while Berry has been pretty good at the plate (with a slash line of .294/.368/.412), thereâs no way heâs going to keep those numbers up for very long.
Berry has very little home run power, only hitting 20 career homers in parts of seven minor league seasons. He may hit one or two if he was to stay in the lineup all year, but his power really comes from putting the ball in play and using his legs to take an extra base or two. Thatâs all well and good, plenty of players have made long and useful careers out of doing just that, but Berryâs future problem will be getting those balls in play to continue falling for hits.no comments
It struck me today that this 2012 baseball season marks the 20th year in which I have been âbaseball consciousâ*. Usually such milestones would cause one to wax nostalgically about the greatest players they saw play, but Iâll take the opposite approach. I caught the tail end of Lou Whitaker, Alan Trammel, and Kirk Gibson, which was cool, and I clearly remember Cecil Fielder blasting 30 home runs every year as a youngster, but the Tigers slugged through mediocrity in my youth, and then fell into the abyss when I turned into a teenager. (Remember that long gap between winning seasons in 1993 and 2006? That was ages seven and twenty for me.)
*Now that I think back and count the years, itâs probably year 21 (or 20 and a half), but that would ruin my even number upon which Iâm basing this post.
I know Iâm likely in the minority, but I count all the horrible years filled with horrible players among the things Iâve been blessed with as a Tigers fan. It gives me great perspective on the âhorriblenessâ of this yearâs currently âfailed expectationsâ. With that in mind, I present to you the bottom of the barrel: the most forgettable player seasons of the last two decades**.
**To qualify for my list, a player must have played more games at his position than any other player on the roster that year. Iâm taking the player with the lowest single-season OPS at each spot.
Austin Jackson appeared all set to return to the team after the initial lineup had him penciled in prior to Tuesday nightâs game, but he ended up being scratched from the lineup. Following the game, the Tigers designated pitcher Colin Balester for assignment, and purchased the contract of Quintin Berry from Toledo.
You may remember Berry as the center fielder who caught fans by surprise in spring training, hitting .333/.441/.556 in 30 plate appearances and remaining in camp until the final roster cuts. But hot spring aside, Berry has been a career minor leaguer with very little power, a mild batting average, and some decent on-base skill.no comments