OT - I LOVE this season's version of Tiger baseball!
Though I wish we had a ss who could either hit or field. Iglesias was abig part of the plan.
I agree. To a point. The offense should be better at generating 1 run at a time without the long ball, but the bullpen, catcher and SS remain question marks. I don't like the idea of paying multi-millions to Drew at SS. Quite frankly, he's a plus fielder with no stick. Not exactly worth the $16m per season that he and Boras think. More like $4m. I think we'll see one of the young guys get a shot within the next month after AGon is released. As far as catcher, we're stuck. Avila has a below average arm and has shown he is closer to a .200 hitter than a .300 hitter. But who's available? And would we dump Avila when his dad is assistant GM? Not bloody likely.
traded lombardozzi just to get rid of Gonzalez a month later I would go ape shit
Be prepared to do that. And I agree. Dealing Dave has been acting more like a fantasy GM than a real one.
Didn't like the move to begin with... Now fister for krol straight up is what that trade would really be... I'm not sure Gonzalez will be gone but id still rather have lombardozzi
Robbie Ray was the main return in the Fister deal. Lombardozzi was nothing but a throw in.
You're forgetting Robbie Ray.
tigers window to win is right now... Robbie Ray doesn't help that goal...lombardozzi would have been a good piece for the tigers off the bench
They are in a good spot to win now but there is no reason that the "window" to win can't be extended by looking to the future with young pitchers like Robbie Ray (and Porcello and Smyly).
If it were literally only about this year (money be damned) then the Tigers would kept Fielder at 1st and signed Cano to play 2nd base. Yeah they might win the 2014 World Series but in a couple of years they'd be seriously buried under the weight of those salaries.
Gonzalez unconditionally released today and Worth called up.
I seriously doubt Lombardozzi keeps up his pace. It is still a really small sample size. Plus the knock on Lombardozzi is when he plays SS his offense takes a dip.
career .265 hitter in majors--career .300 in minors. Markedly better than the Danny Worths of the world. Lombardozzi was a perfect utility player--and the trade for Gonzalez inexplicable for someone as wise as Dombrowski.
- Austin Jackson has been tremendous hitting in the 5th and 6th spot, he's driving in runs and getting on base at a good clip.
- Obviously Miggy isn't seeing the ball well right now but the Tigers are treading water very well until he heats up. V-Mart ever the professional DH shows that he can still protect Miggy.
- Rajai Davis has been a real nice surprise, not sure how long he sustains this success but it's a good surprise and if Joba can continue to pitch like he has recently than there's your 8th inning guy.
Different isn't always better or worse, it's just different, and this Tigers team is different from past seasons.
Let's not jump the gun on Joba. His last few outings have been solid (today was his best so far), but he still lets too many baserunners on for a set-up guy. Small sample size and everything, but I'll need to see more clean innings before I get excited about him.
they hadn't weakened the starting rotation while also not upgrading the bullpen. Good news is the division is embarrassingly awful and the tigers have elite talent so they will easily win it and from there the playoffs are a crapshoot and they have verlander and scherzer to potentially ride to a ring. But they need to add some bullpen pieces and sign stephen drew after the summer draft or find a ss elsehwere for the whole defense/baserunning upgrade to really show from last season in my opinion.
Smyly will be just fine as a starter.
The premise of this post is a little misleading or ill-informed. Small ball is, by the numbers, bad baseball at the major league level. It's what you resort to when you have crappy hitters (pitchers in the NL, or half of this Tigers lineup).
This isn't really a Jim Leyland vs. Brad Ausmus thing, either. It's a different roster thing. You can bet Jim Leyland would have Rajai Davis swiping bags just as much as Ausmus.
It's not like the Tigers didn't advance on fly-balls under Leyland, or they didn't hit behind the runner on second with less than 2 outs. The roster has more speed on it, overall, and therefore they are more successful at these things.
I wonder what the OP thought of Torii Hunter bunting with runners on first and second and 0 outs the other night. OP?
I'm sure in the ops' eyes last night's ass kicking was some how the fault of Leyland.
How about we see a larger sample size and what the Tigers do if/when they make it to the playoffs before we declare Ausmus our lord and savior (on Easter weekend, no less) of Tigers baseball.
Not to mention that Leyland's team last year wasn't built to play small ball. No speed or defense to speak. Despite no bullpen, no defense, no speed, and an untraditional leadoff hitter, Leyland's teams always did well.
Although it's easy to frame the differances between the 2013 and 2014 Tigers as simply a change of managers, the truth is that with the personnel changes it is clear that the organization as a whole has made an adjustment to strategy.
Whether or not you like/dislike Leyland/Ausmus, to simply assume that the change in manager is the only difference in this year's team is nothing but an indication of a fan's small-mindedness.
It amazes me how much people are willing to bash a coach/manager who consistently made the playoffs and did fairly well once getting there.
Leyland was a career .500 manager who made the playoffs 8 of his 22 seasons. Sounds pretty average to me
Well, this is one of the dumbest posts ever.
Just one point: 8 out of 22 (36%) seasons in the playoffs is very good. The first 6 years of his career, there was no wildcard, meaning only 6 of 26 (23%) teams made the playoffs.
After expansion and the edition of wildcards, 8 of 30 (27%) teams made the playoffs.
Stop bringing facts and stuff to the discussion.
You with all yer fancy book learnin
A .500+ record over 20+ years is pretty damn good and making the playoffs 1 out of every 3 years is more than respectable.
Football, basketball and hockey are completely different standards of excellence.
You realize some of the things that you mentioned happening last year are still happening this year. The offense has still been all or nothing, for the most part. They have been held to 2 or less runs 5 times this season. They are currently 13th in the AL in runs scored.
The bullpen is also a mess, and worse right now than it was at the end of last year. The bottom of lineup with Avila and the SS position is also a black hole, with no offensive production to speak of. Speed is about the only thing better on this year's team. If you really look at it though, this team still only has 3 guys who can steal a base, the majority of the guys in the lineup are still slow baserunners. Davis is still the only true blazer on the team. It is better, but to call it a major strength is a bit of a stretch.
The Leyland comment is also BS. He was given the hand he was dealt, those teams were built around slugging the ball. They didn't run because they couldn't. Jackson is the only guy who could have stole a couple more last year. Leyland would not have prevented Davis from stealing bases if he was on the team last year. To say they didn't ever bunt or hit sac flies under Leyland is also untrue.
This year's team is 8-6 right now, last year's team was two wins away from a spot in the WS. Your post makes no sense, at the moment.
We sure did pretty good last year for only winning about 20% of our games
this year's version of the manager. Hello 44 year old Dartmouth grad hottie! oh wait, that's not what you are talking about.... Go Tigers!
...r u? An SDT pledge?
And no offense if you are :) I don't mean that comment pejoratively...it's just a weird thing to show up on a primarily masculine oriented football blog forum.
Someone just watched their first Tigers game of the year.
I loathe sacrifice flies.
Also, if Jim Leyland would have had players who could steal he would have let them steal. There's no reason to get in a dig at him.
they'd play more than 2 games in a row without a day off for a change.
...no kidding. The early season schedule this year has been bizarre, to say the least. Between the extra off days and the postponements it's been difficult to develop the typical baseball rythym so far. In that context, I'd actually say that they'be been playing pretty well.
I love baseball (especially the Tigers), hot dogs (especially at Michigan tailgate parties), apple pie (especially Mom's) and puppies. There. Let's see how many down votes this gets.
I don't see any reasons to get excited about this team yet. Seems like almost everything has been downgraded except the defense, which is somewhat better. Hitting is worse, starting pitching is worse, bullpen is amazingly enough worse. Even if Ausmus has the greatest strategy in the world, he can't overcome the fact that the team is just worse in almost every single way.
Fans LOVE to talk about "small ball", but the truth is, at the MLB level, if you have to play small ball on a consistent basis to win, it means you aren't a very good team. Good teams (especially in the AL) aren't playing small ball because they can actually hit. There is nothing wrong with playing small ball from time to time, but if you are relying on it consistently, you have issues.
This team can obviously win the division, but the only reason I even see a World Series contender here is because Verlander, Scherzer, Sanchez are probably the best starting 3 anywhere in baseball. The rest of the team is not World Series caliber IMO.
"I don't see any reasons to get excited about this team yet." ... "This team can obviously win the division."
You even go on to say that you could see them being a World Series contender.
Nothing to get excited about?
The Tigers are positioned to win the division and make the playoffs. Factor in a playofff rotation with a heavy dose of Verlander/Schezer/Sanchez and they've got as good of a chance at a title as anybody as of today, April 20th.
And on top of that, if they are now better at manufacting runs/small ball then I simply don't see how that hurts them come October when runs are at even more of a premium.
They been within a hair (or two) of winning the World Series in recent years and if they're not worth getting excited about then, frankly, you probably shouldn't waste your time watching competitive sports.
I completely agree. I love the IDEA of this team (aggressive, speed) but this team isn't winning a W.S. unless they get a little more pop in the line up. Small ball is fine, but not when you have to play 3 guys that are going to bat .200 or lower.
Then again, I've loved the tigers every year since the early 80s so I may be a bit biased.
Well, if you put it THAT way, I certainly love this team compared to the crap fest that was the late 90's and early 00's. But compared to what we have had lately, I think this team has taken a step backwards.
The TIgers just won another one-run ball game by playing small ball effectively.
I'm not saying we should rely totally on OBP, base running and sacrifices. Clearly, we need Miguel to hit more like himself (that is to say an MVP level) rather than how he's doing currently (which is to say very good for anyone else), and to get some more production out of the slots that are currently hitting at or below .200. However, in a tough-tight ball game, being able to score a crucial run without the benefit of an extra base hit is, in my opinion, worth giving up a little power.