It's been a while since we've had a Tigers game thread. Today is a fairly big game. Win and its a 3-1 road series win. Lose and its a 2-2 series tie. The Tigers have been dominant in the central and I think it's important to keep that going.
A couple things for discussion; today's lineup:
|A. Jackson CF||0-1|
|B. Boesch LF||1-1|
|M. Ordonez DH||0-1|
|M. Cabrera 1B||0-0|
|V. Martinez C||0-0|
|J. Peralta SS||0-0|
|R. Raburn RF||0-0|
|W. Betemit 3B||0-0|
|R. Santiago 2B||0-0|
Leyland always catches slack for his lineups and who he rests and when. Today he's resting two: Avila and Guillen. I actually like this lineup. We know Avila was going to rest for a day game after a night game. SOP. With Ordonez back it gives the flexibility of giving Avila the full day off instead of DH'ing. This lets Raburn stay in the lineup - we know of his second half streaks and after a homer two days ago, I like getting him in the lineup. Santiago for Guillen is a fairly seemless move. We lose the big bat, but Santiago may be able to play some small ball in the nine hole and will be a defensive upgrade.
In short: I thought it was worth commending Leyland's lineup today, since most people bash it routinely.
Anyway, Porcello needs a good start. Tigers get a couple on in the first, but nothing doing.
Tiger's acquire Wilson Betemit from the Royals for prospects Antonio Cruz and Julio Rodriquez. Looks as though Mr. Inge's time could be coming to an end. Solid deal, nothing too special, they still need a pitcher but on paper this looks like a solid rental.
So with the MLB trade deadline just 13 days away and holes to fill on the Tigers' roster, who do you think they will/should pursue, and who do you think they will/should give up in return? According to Dombrowski, the top priority right now is SP and maybe 3B. Some of the names I've heard circulating around for SP have been Ubaldo Jimenez, Hiroki Kuroda, Wandy Rodriguez, Derek Lowe, and Jeremy Guthrie. I've also heard David Wright's name mentioned for 3B a few times, but I don't think he is a realistic (or wise) move at this point. Another rumor I've heard about is a possible package deal for Rodriguez and IF Jeff Keppinger.
Overall, the trade market seems pretty thin right now, but out of the pitchers mentioned above, I'd rank them in this order: Jimenez, Rodriguez, Kuroda (only for 1 year), Guthrie, Lowe (please no). I think Kuroda would probably be the best short-term solution, but at 36 I don't think it really makes sense to try to sign him to anything more than 1 year. I think Rodriguez or Jimenez would probably be the best options for more than 1 year, but it's likely that neither one will come easily, or inexpensively. Also, there have been mixed reports about Houston's willingness to deal, so I don't know how feasible that would be in the first place.
As far as who we should give up in return, that is hard to say. It doesn't really make any sense to give up anybody in our current rotation, but I would hate to see any of our promising young arms go. Apparently though, the Mud Hens pitched Furbush in relief last night because, as coach Phil Nevin put it, the Tigers told him to play him for one inning. Also, Furbush's scheduled start for tomorrow has been nixed and Fu Te Ni will be pitching in his place. That could mean nothing, but it also could have been a chance for the scouts in attendance to get another look at him.
It's tough to say, but I think we definitely need to make some move to bolster our rotation if we want to finish the second half above .500 for the first time in a decade. And it would be nice to do something to improve the black hole of production that is third base for us.
There is a kid in my area that I think is a very real D1 baseball propect. Unfortunately, we're in the middle of nowhere so no scouts come here. He's attended one showcase camp and has interest from some smaller schools and has heard that a few others such as Boston College want to see him at another showcase towards fall.
In the meantime, I'm trying to help get the word out about him any way I can. Right now he's up for an Athlete of the Week award at the local paper. He's won it once or twice already for baseball and football, but everytime he wins it looks good on his "resume".
Please go here and vote for Steven Bender.
This is so dumb. But I'm watching it. And drinking. Drinking game rules?
OT: Goodbye Rick Knapp hello Jeff Jones.
I guess giving up nearly 60 runs in 6 games vs the Mets and Giants will make the pitching coach go bye-bye...