Looking Back on June in the D

Rearview Mirror.jpgOn June 1, the Tigers weren’t exactly reeling but they could not have felt good about the way the month ended.

They lost two games to the Mariners in Seattle, then came home to lose three of four to the A’s. After a 14-10 record in April, they stumbled to 12-14 in May.

How would they fare in June? Much better, despite losses to division opponents on the both ends of the month.

Detroit finished June with a 15-12 record and gained three games in the standings; on June 1 they were 4-1/2 back of the Twins, just 1-1/2 on June 30. In between, the Tigers surged thanks to that soft spot in the interleague schedule — Pittsburgh, Washington and Arizona — allowing them to gain ground on the Twins, who were playing much tougher National League opponents.

The Tigers’ abysmal 5-10 road record in June included losing two of three at Kansas City, Chicago and Minnesota. This has got to stop if the Tigers hope to stay relevant — much less in the hunt.

Continue reading “Looking Back on June in the D”

Max is Back; Who’s Going?

ScherzerHead.jpgTwo weeks ago I wrote that the Tigers had few options for the struggling Max Scherzer.

Given their inconsistent rotation, I couldn’t see them sending him to the minors.

Then again, who knew he’d be as abysmally bad as he was in his final start on May 14: five IP, six hits, six earned runs, three homers against the Red Sox. After that performance the club had no choice but to send him to Triple-A.

Scherzer has been lights out in two Toledo starts: 15 innings, one run, four hits, 17 strikeouts and a 0.60 ERA. It certainly will be interesting to see how he fares on Sunday agains the A’s.

Now, the question without an answer at this point is, of course, who gets moved out to make room for Scherzer. There are a few candidates, none of them surprising:

  • Armando Galarraga — He’s been anything but stellar since being recalled and has a minor-league option.

  • Brad Thomas — He’ll likely stick around because he’s a wrong-hander but he’s survived this far, so who knows?

  • Ryan Perry — The kid’s had a miserable week but has been reliable for most of the year. Will his two bad outings this week convince the Tigers he needs a visit to the Glass City?

  • Don Kelly — Jim Leyland loves the guy so that works in Kelly’s favor. He has no remaining options which means he’d have to clear waivers, and that ain’t happening.

Under different circumstances, you could see them sending Alex Avila but there’s no viable option in the minors.

So, I’m guessing that it’s Perry … maybe. Or Galarraga. I’ll be stunned if it’s Kelly.

In less than a few hours we’ll know for sure.

Who do you think gets demoted?

Tigers Today: May 27, 2010

Tigers’ Record: 25-21, 2nd place; 1 GB Minnesota

Today’s Game

Off day

Yesterday’s Results

Mariners 5 – Tigers 4

Tigers History Lesson

Today’s Birthdays

On this Date in Tigers History

Report Card: Tigers at the Quarter Mark

Note: I began writing this report card at the 40-game mark but ran into computer troubles and wasn’t able to post it. Though the Tigers have blown past that milestone I’ll still submit it for your consideration.

HorseRacing.jpg
If you’ve followed the Tigers for any length of time, you’re probably familiar with Sparky Anderson’s old saying about giving a team 40 games before drawing any conclusions. Last Wednesday night Justin Verlander handcrafted the Tigers 5-1 win over the A’s on Wednesday and gave the Tigers a 23-17 record at the 40-game mark. So, is it time to draw conclusions?

Why not?

Continue reading “Report Card: Tigers at the Quarter Mark”

Friday Freehans: Juan Cruz, Bill James and Andres Torres!

BillFreehan.jpg The other night I saw Edwin Jackson pitch for the Diamondbacks against the Cardinals and he looked sharp (eight innings, 0 walks). I sat behind home plate and couldn’t get over how hard he threw — consistently. He still would like nice in the Tigers’ rotation, wouldn’t he?

Bygones. Here are some Tigers morsels for your consideration:

  • Before the 2009 season I had begged and pleaded with the Tigers to sign free-agent reliever Juan Cruz despite his Type-A free-agent status.

    I’d watched him throw bullets for the Diamondbacks over a few seasons and thought he’d be a perfect fit in Detroit. Instead, they signed Brandon Lyon and Cruz signed with the Royals, handing the D-backs a prime draft choice.

    Today the Royals released him.

    [H]e labored through the 2009 season, blowing three straight saves during one stretch on his way to a 5.72 ERA. Cruz wasn’t much better this year, allowing all six inherited runners to score and a .391 batting average against in 5 1-3 innings.

    Just another example of why I write this blog and don’t work in a front office.

    Continue reading “Friday Freehans: Juan Cruz, Bill James and Andres Torres!”