It must be winter caravan time …

when you’re hitting the road thinking about jersey numbers that go with the temperature readings outside, and the jersey numbers are either infielders or catchers. It’s either Lance Parrish or Vance Wilson cold as I leave home this morning. But at least you’re thinking baseball. Off we go.

6 Comments

I think the signings yesterday were very positive. I think Omar is ready for a surprising break-out this year. As much as I like Santiago’s defensive and small ball ability, I think we are going to see Perez on the roster unless someone is desperate for an aging middle infielder.
BTW, Chris Shelton (even with all his much publicized struggles at the plate), saw only 4 regulars hit for a higher average than he did. He out hit Granderson, C-Mo, Inge, Casey and Thames.

Whatever happens, this year will at least be very interesting, if not exciting, for Tiger fans.

Here it is, the first lineup projection for ’08:

Starting Lineup (in order):

Granderson

Polanco

Guillen

Sheffield

Ordonez

Casey

Pudge

Monroe

Inge

Bench:

Thames

Infante

Santiago (defense too good to send down)

Wilson

Starters:

Bonderman

Rogers

Verlander

Robertson

Maroth

Bullpen:

Jones

Zumaya

Rodney

Mesa

Grilli

Ledezma

Campusano (wild card)

Miner

Out:

Shelton- Minors until Casey gets hurt

Clevlen- Minors until Maggs/Sheffield is hurt

Seay- Minors unless Ledezma/Campusano struggles

Perez- anywhere but Detroit is fine by me.

Miller: Minors for the year (start dreaming of 08)

De La Cruz- Ditto

Tata: Ditto

whoops– that is for ’07

Looks like it is pretty close to me Brent. I don’t think Ledezma is gonna make it. He just does not seem team oriented enough. Kind of “disconnected” with his teammates from what I can see. Plus, he is really struggling in Winter Ball. If that happens Miller may be in.

I like Vance Wilson but he is not gonna get a lot of time with Pudge in such good physical shape. I can almost see the brass wishing they could make Shelton a backup there to have his bat around. I think you’re right though about him going to the minors until the injury bug bites.

But you never know–he has a good spring and turns the corner mentally he could stick.

Clevlen is Toledo bound with Sheffield in the fold.

If Grilli fails to make the cut I for one, will not upset.

As far as the order goes, well I expect we will debating what JL is thinking in Ley”Land” all year long. He is stubborn and will present some combinations that the “Beck-ola”s here will not all be happy with.

We don’t have the ultimate leadoff guy and maybe this year Granderson will find the pressure easing off a bit in that demanding role. He seemed to get comfortable at times- even in the post season. That’s encouraging. I think he will cut his strikeouts down by about 20%. But he needs to learn how to intimidate the defense with his speed and baserunning. He has to become the team leader in steals.

I’d rather see something like this:

Granderson

Polanco

Ordonez

Sheffield

Guillen

Monroe

Casey

Pudge

Inge

I don’t think Pudge will hit .280 this year.

I think Casey will and maybe close to .300

C-Mo will need to hit .270 with 30 HR and 100 RBI in order to please himself and get himself to the next level of recognition in the league.

Inge will be an attribute if hits anywhere near where he did last year because he will be Gold Gover this year.

Al in all- this is a very formidable lineup. A little more experienced, a little more confident and a little more intimidating with Sheffield around. He changes the dynamics of middle of the lineup immeasurably. If Ordonez bats 3rd he is gonna see some fat pitches coming his way. Guillen hitting 5th is a good idea because he doesn’t need to have a big gun batting behind him–he’ll hit anyway.

The interesting development will be in the bullpen. I don’t expect Jones will be THE closer. Someone else may overtake that role, at least for some of the season. The neat thing is it could be anyone of 3 other guys.

Verlander will benefit from being a little more coachable. And I think he is smart enough to let that happen this year. He did have a really sweet rookie season.

The sleeper this year might be Zach Miner. He complements the infield well. Has good stuff and is a determined character.

The forgotten men will find their destiny this year. Infante will shine. Thames, a quality guy, will again, not be given a real chance to play.

And let’s hope that the team doesn’t forget how to hit the ball when Nate takes the mound!

Dan,
Robertson was in the top 5 in the league, for “tough losses”(source: Bill James Handbook 2007). He was also in the top 5 for “easy wins”…………..we tend to forget about those times when Nate actually HAD support.

Also, I didn’t know that Verlander had the second best run support of the season, at 6.8 runs per game.

Who had the most quality starts for the Tigers? Nate, with 20.

Interestingly enough, Grilli had the best average on the Tigers, for opponenets BA, first batter faced/relief pitcher(.216, 7th in the league). I wouldn’t have guessed that.

Another category of interest(who keeps these stats?), is “Pitches 100+ velocity.

1st is Zumaya(of course), with 233(pitches over 100 mph in ’06). Second, is Farnsworth of the NYY, with 26. WOW.

Joel was also second in the league, for BA against left-handers, at .183. Kinda makes signing in lefty a lot less important, huh?

If y’all haven’t picked this book up, it is a fun read, with a lot of info. Some of the theories are a little far fetched, but the stats from ’06 are invaluable.

As far as lineup goes…….someone PLEASE tell me Carlos will be hitting third. Once again, PLEASE!

Lastly, I cannot fathom being called a “Beck-ola”……….lol.

We gotta do better’n that.

Beckmeister?

Beckncall?

Beckanators?

Beckalicious?

Someone, somewhere, come up with something better, so “Beck-ola” doesn’t catch on.

Dan, ya know I luv ya!

I was just thinking of an old Jeff beck album. My bad!

Rich has the winner–Beckaneers. That’s good.

Better than Beck’s Brigade or the Becksters or BeckBackers or , please forgive me, Beckons.

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