2012 Archives http://www.tigersdenblog.com/table/2012-articles/ Mon, 22 May 2017 21:27:27 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Jim Leyland is wrong with his implication that Detroit Tigers wouldn’t trade Miguel Cabrera for Mike Trout http://www.tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/september/jim-leyland-is-wrong-with-his-implication-that-detroit-tigers-wouldnt-trade-miguel-cabrera-for-mike-trout.html http://www.tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/september/jim-leyland-is-wrong-with-his-implication-that-detroit-tigers-wouldnt-trade-miguel-cabrera-for-mike-trout.html MikeTroutThere’s obviously this AL MVP debate going on around baseball centered on Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout. The Tigers and their fans are obviously going to support their guy, and you can’t really fault them for that, but in an MLive piece by Chris Iott, Leyland was quoted implying that the team wouldn’t consider a Cabrera-for-Trout swap.

Leyland’s quote:

"I will not use the player's name, but according to the sabermetrics there is a player that is better than Miguel Cabrera. So when the guy that gave me the sabermetrics told me that, I said, 'Well, should we trade Miguel Cabrera for the player you're talking about?' He said, 'Oh, no, you can't do that.'

"And I said, 'Well, then you don't believe in sabermetrics. And neither do I.' "

There’s actually three separate questions at play here that we should separate out first. (1) Who’s the better player, (2) who’s having the better season, and (3) who would you rather have on your team.

mtsnyder2@gmail.com (Matt Snyder) September Thu, 20 Sep 2012 17:53:30 +0000
Tigers designate Jeff Baker for assignment, call up Avisail Garcia http://www.tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/august/tigers-designate-jeff-baker-for-assignment-call-up-avisail-garcia.html http://www.tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/august/tigers-designate-jeff-baker-for-assignment-call-up-avisail-garcia.html JeffBakerCubsLet’s all hope the two players-to-be-named-later that the Tigers sent to the Chicago Cubs end up being a bunch of nobodies because the Tigers have decided to part ways with recently-acquired platoon man Jeff Baker after just 15 games and 37 (abysmal) plate appearances. Baker was brought in to hit against left-handed pitching, but he managed a terrible .185/.231/.416 line in that capacity as a member of the Tigers.

It’s an incredibly small sample size of course, and he most certainly would hit better than that going forward, but the club has apparently decided to “shake things up a bit” with a move. Replacing Baker on the active roster will be top outfield prospect (unless you consider Nick Castellanos to now be an outfield prospect) Avisail Garcia.

mtsnyder2@gmail.com (Matt Snyder) August Fri, 31 Aug 2012 20:58:34 +0000
Tigers Avoid Sweep Against Blue Jays http://www.tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/tigers-avoid-sweep-against-blue-jays.html http://www.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.

bbuckey11@gmail.com (Brian Buckey) July Sun, 29 Jul 2012 23:32:46 +0000
The Not All-Detroit Tigers Team of the Last 20 Years: Hitters http://www.tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/may/the-not-all-detroit-tigers-team-of-the-last-20-years-hitters.html http://www.tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/may/the-not-all-detroit-tigers-team-of-the-last-20-years-hitters.html

ChrisTrubyIt struck me today that this 2012 baseball season marks the 20th year in which I have been “baseball conscious”*. Usually such milestones would cause one to wax nostalgically about the greatest players they saw play, but I’ll 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, it’s probably year 21 (or 20 and a half), but that would ruin my even number upon which I’m basing this post.

I know I’m likely in the minority, but I count all the horrible years filled with horrible players among the things I’ve been blessed with as a Tigers fan. It gives me great perspective on the “horribleness” of this year’s currently “failed expectations”. 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. I’m taking the player with the lowest single-season OPS at each spot.


mtsnyder2@gmail.com (Matt Snyder) May Wed, 23 May 2012 21:16:32 +0000
Andy Dirks Could Be A Great Hitter, If He Learns To Walk http://www.tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/april/andy-dirks-could-be-a-great-hitter-if-he-learns-to-walk.html http://www.tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/april/andy-dirks-could-be-a-great-hitter-if-he-learns-to-walk.html AndyDirksAndy Dirks has jumped out to a pretty good start with the bat this season. He’s collected nine hits in 32 at-bats for a rather good .281 batting average. His contact ability and low strikeout rate (just 9.1% this year) appear to make him a prime candidate to hit at the top of the lineup (perhaps number two behind Austin Jackson), but Dirks’ inability to draw a walk would be a hindrance to the club in that position.

Dirks has drawn a walk in only 4.1% of his plate appearances in his major league career (none yet this season). That rate is about half that of what a league average hitter would draw. If he continues his career with that type of a walk rate, then he would need to be a .290-.300 hitter in order to maintain an on-base percentage in the .330-.340 range that’s considered to be league average.

But in order to maintain that type of batting average, even with his fairly low 14.6% career strikeout rate, Dirks would have to maintain a BABIP in the .335-.340 range. That’s not impossibly high, but only 47 players have maintained a career BABIP at or above .335 since 1990. That’s only 4.6% of all batters that have played in that timeframe.


mtsnyder2@gmail.com (Matt Snyder) April Tue, 01 May 2012 03:27:17 +0000
And Then There Were Two – Tigers Option Andy Oliver to Toledo http://www.tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/march/and-then-there-were-two-tigers-option-andy-oliver-to-toledo.html http://www.tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/march/and-then-there-were-two-tigers-option-andy-oliver-to-toledo.html DuaneBelowThe internal battle for the final spot in the Tigers’ starting rotation appears to be down to the final two players as the Tigers have announced that Andy Oliver has been optioned to AAA Toledo. He follows Casey Crosby, Adam Wilk, and Jacob Turner as fifth starter candidates to be relegated to the minor leagues. Only Duane Below and Drew Smyly remain from the initial group of six pitchers in contention for the spot.

If we are going ‘by the numbers’ then Smyly maintains a fairly significant advantage over Below, but the spring performance gap isn’t quite as extreme as the surface numbers indicate.














mtsnyder2@gmail.com (Matt Snyder) March Thu, 29 Mar 2012 19:01:09 +0000
Tigers Playoff Odds Take A Big Jump http://www.tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/september/tigers-playoff-odds-take-a-big-jump.html http://www.tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/september/tigers-playoff-odds-take-a-big-jump.html JimLeylandLineupCardDetroit’s win coupled with Chicago’s loss on Wednesday night meant a sizeable uptick in the Tigers’ chances to earn a spot in the postseason festivities. Two games back with 14 games to play is still a large gap, but it’s one that isn’t impossible to bridge. We could all feel that the goal of a Division Crown was more attainable after last night, but Cool Standings and Baseball Prospectus put numbers on it.

According to Cool Standings, the Tigers have a 30.7% chance of making the playoffs (broken down that’s a 27.2% chance of winning the division and a 3.6% chance of a Wild Card berth). That’s up nearly ten full percentage points from a day ago. So pretty much this: flip a coin twice. Did you get two heads? If so, the Tigers are going to win the division. Didn’t get two heads? Well there’s still about a 5% chance they get in anyway.

Baseball Prospectus is slightly more bullish on the Tigers’ chances for October. According to their playoff odds report, Detroit has a 34.9% chance of playing postseason baseball (29.4% to win the division and 5.5% for a Wild Card spot). Yesterday’s results meant a boost of just over 11% to the Tigers’ overall playoff odds. Roll a die. Did you get a one or a two? Then the Tigers are playing extra baseball. Did you get a three or higher? Well then, hopefully 2013 is a good year.

mtsnyder2@gmail.com (Matt Snyder) September Thu, 20 Sep 2012 14:16:42 +0000
Trading Jhonny Peralta in the offseason would be a bad move http://www.tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/august/trading-jhonny-peralta-in-the-offseason-would-be-a-bad-move.html http://www.tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/august/trading-jhonny-peralta-in-the-offseason-would-be-a-bad-move.html JhonnyPeraltaLynn Henning had a column up on The Detroit News yesterday about the likely roster turnover we can expect between this year and next. It’s actually a good piece in its simplicity – just a list of players with a short blurb on each – but it does a nice job of showing just how different next year’s squad may be.

I suggest reading the full piece if you haven’t already, but here’s the list of guys he’s says won’t be back:

Jose Valverde, RP

Jhonny Peralta, SS

Jeff Baker, IF/OF

Ryan Raburn, IF/OF

Brennan Boesch, OF

Quintin Berry, OF

Delmon Young, OF/DH

Anibal Sanchez, SP

Phil Coke, RP

Ramon Santiago, IF

I think the list is sound in a general sense, although we could nitpick about the roles of Santiago, Boesch, and Berry, but I do have one major gripe and it’s about Peralta being included on this list. In fairness to Henning, he’s not suggesting that the Tigers walk away from Peralta, but he advocates that trading him might help to plug holes elsewhere (namely defensive holes). Here’s what he says about him:

mtsnyder2@gmail.com (Matt Snyder) August Fri, 31 Aug 2012 17:00:59 +0000
Detroit Tigers should hope Ryan Raburn accepts minor league option when Andy Dirks returns http://www.tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/july/detroit-tigers-should-hope-ryan-raburn-accepts-minor-league-option-when-andy-dirks-returns.html http://www.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.

mtsnyder2@gmail.com (Matt Snyder) July Thu, 26 Jul 2012 17:18:57 +0000
Tigers Take Series From Rays, Climb Back To Within One Game Of .500 Mark http://www.tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/june/detroit-tigers-take-series-from-rays-climb-back-to-within-one-game-of-500-mark.html http://www.tigersdenblog.com/2012-articles/june/detroit-tigers-take-series-from-rays-climb-back-to-within-one-game-of-500-mark.html DrewSmyly2As Brian pointed out the other day, the Tigers haven’t found success this year when they’ve found themselves face-to-face with the .500 plateau. But they once again find themselves in that very position after finishing off the series victory with a 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.

Drew Smyly got the start for Detroit and helped out the team’s cause while breaking his personal streak of disappointing outings. The ERA number for the game wasn’t great, he still allowed three earned runs in five innings, but his peripheral numbers were more than just OK. Smyly fanned four hitters, walked just one, gave up only three hits, and didn’t allow a home run – something he had been struggling with lately.

The bullpen then went four innings and shut down the opposition without hardly a threat. Brayan Villarreal, Phil Coke, Joaquin Benoit, and Jose Valverde each threw an inning and combined for six strikeouts, two hits, and no walks.

mtsnyder2@gmail.com (Matt Snyder) June Sun, 01 Jul 2012 21:59:16 +0000