Wednesday Walewanders: Pre-Opening Day Tidbits

HotDogPopTicketDave Schoenfield, the new voice of ESPN.com’s SweetSpot Network today listed some of the worst Opening Day starters from 2001 to 2010.

Of particular note:

5. Mike Maroth, Tigers, 2003

As a rookie in 2002, Maroth had posted a 4.48 ERA in 21 starts and struck out an uninspiring 58 hitters in 128.2 innings. Among pitchers with at least 75 innings, that was the second-lowest strikeout rate in the American League. However, considering the ’02 Tigers had lost 106 games, that was good enough to draw the opener. The Tigers lost that game 3-1 on their way to a 1-17 start and 119 losses — 21 of them by Maroth.

I don’t know, on Opening Day 1996 Tigers fans were treated to the stylings of Felipe Lira. Against the Twins in Minneapolis, he lasted only three innings, surrendered eight hits and six earned runs. The Tigers lost 8-6 in Buddy Bell’s managerial debut. Lira finished that awful season at 6-14 with a 5.22 ERA.

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The past couple of years the Tigers swung some last-minute trades.

On March 30, 1991 the Tigers acquired catcher Andy Allanson from the Royals for catcher Jim Baxter. In 2009, they picked up outfielder Josh Anderson from the Braves for righty Rudy Darrow. And last year they dealt Nate Robertson to the Marlins for lefty Jay Voss — who hasn’t been heard of since.

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Happy 55th Birthday to Jack Lazorko, who appeared in three games for the 1986 Tigers.

Tigers Catcher of the Future to Wear Number of Catching Star of the Past

If you’re still scratching your head about the Tigers’ roster moves on Tuesday, here’s at least one answer for you: Alex Avila will wear number 13.

I didn’t like Josh Anderson wearing Lance Parrish‘s old number but feel a smidge better that a catcher will wear it this time.

What do you think of the recent surge of roster moves? Cast your vote in the latest Fungo Pulse Check –>

The Monday Report: Week 2

MondayReport.jpg
The Skinny:

  • 7-5, Tied for 1st Place in A.L. Central with Chicago and Kansas City
  • Streak: W2
  • Home Record: 4-1
  • Road Record: 3-4

Streaks:

  • Last 10 Games: 7-3
  • Last 5 Games: 3-2

Who’s Hot from the Past Week:

  • Josh Anderson: .545 avg., .615 OBP, .818 SLG, 4 RBI, 2 SB
  • Miguel Cabrera: .455 avg., .478 OBP, .591 SLG, 10 H, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Gerald Laird: .400 avg., .500 OBP, .400 SLG
  • Magglio Ordonez: .353 avg., .522 OBP, .353 SLG

Who’s Not:

  • Carlos Guillen: .190 avg., .261 OBP, .190 SLG
  • Placido Polanco: .182 avg., .250 OBP, .364 SLG
  • Curtis Granderson: .174 avg., .240 OBP, .174 SLG

Up Next: Angels

  • Today: Off Day
  • Tuesday: Armando Galarraga (2-0, 0.68) vs. RHP Jered Weaver (1-1, 3.09)
  • Wednesday: Justin Verlander (0-2, 7.88) vs. LHP Joe Saunders (2-1, 2.18)
  • Thursday: Edwin Jackson (1-0, 2.14) vs RHP Dustin Moseley (1-0, 4.30)

Tigers vs. Angels

  • All-Time Record: 297-275
  • All-Time at Los Angeles: 137-150
  • All-Time at Detroit: 160-125
  • All-time at Comerica Park: 14-23

The Non Sequiturs: Final Four Edition

basketball hoop.jpgWatching countless commercial breaks and a little Final Four hoops, I thought I’d finger-roll some non sequiturs:

  • There’s no place to put him, unfortunately, but I wish the Tigers could right and old wrong and bring back the now-available Frank Catalanotto.

  • In case you were wondering, with the Opening Day roster set, the Tigers have assigned official uniform numbers to: Ryan Perry, 74; Rick Porcello, 48; Juan Rincon, 59; and Josh Anderson, 13.

  • Speaking of Rincon, talk about a guy who flew under the radar all spring. I’ve got a feeling he could be the most important reliever leading up to late innings.

  • And while we’re talking numbers, my post-Sheff release commentary the other day had a misleading headline. I intended to go off on his wearing of Alan Trammell’s number 3 but got, as you saw, sidetracked. I was never happy about him wearing Tram’s number and I think the Tigers need to be more protective of stars’ numbers.

    No one should be able to wear #3 again, or Lou Whitaker‘s #1, Jack Morris‘s #47, or (sorry, Josh Anderson), Lance Parrish‘s #13. Years ago I read somewhere that clubhouse guy Jim Schmakel is very protective of those 1984 stars’ numbers. I think they should make it a policy, plain and simple. What do you think?

Finally, it wouldn’t be Opening Day — or the baseball season for that matter — without more doggerel from the guys at Bardball.com. Chances are you’ve never seen baseball predictions in haiku, so you’re in for a treat.

Go State.

One Sentence on Josh Anderson, Your New Tigers Outfielder

Thanks to a timely ping from Ian Casselberry, we heard about the Tigers curious trade with the Braves this afternoon.

Here’s how Baseball Prospectus 2009 summed up Josh Anderson:

Now 26, he’s still nothing more than a fifth outfielder.

Nice.

Atlanta gets pitching prospect Rudy Darrow.

More to come, but three things come to mind:

  1. Does this mean it’s the end of the line for Marcus Thames?
  2. Why would the Tigers give up pitching for a fifth outfielder?
  3. Is he insurance for the recuperating Clete Thomas?

What do you think of this move?