Leyland: "We have some work to do"

A day after the Tigers’ first blown save of the season, Jim Leyland wasn’t regretting the move to stick with Brandon Lyon in the ninth inning. However, he indicated they have some work to do to sort out their bullpen and define some roles.

“We have to get the tail end of our bullpen going,” Leyland said, “and we’ve got to mess with it a little bit until things fall into place. … But we’ll get our roles straightened around and we’ll be fine. I hope we have those issues where we’ve got 3-0 leads late.

“We’ve got some work to do. That’s obvious.”

Asked when he’d like to have his bullpen sorted out, Leyland said, “Now. Now’s the time.”

From this view, it’s hard to see how much sorting they can do until Joel Zumaya comes back, unless he ends up missing a lot more time than expected — which doesn’t seem likely. Because right now, other than maybe determining a role for using experienced setup man Juan Rincon or using Bobby Seay in general setup rather than specialist work, they don’t seem to have much flexbility.

And that’s why it’s hard to fault Leyland for going with Lyon, though that bases-loaded, one-out situation in the ninth might have called for more of a strikeout pitcher like Fernando Rodney. That said, the rule of thumb in extra-inning games on the road is to save the closer for if and when you get the lead.

As for Lyon, Leyland said, “We were asking a guy that was a closer last year for Arizona and, when we got him, some people thought may be our closer this year, to get one out in the eighth inning. I don’t think that’s unreasonable.”

Two roles that are set for sure Wednesday are that Rodney and Ryan Perry are going to pitch. Leyland wants to get them both their first appearances of the season, since they haven’t pitched since last weekend.

Lineups …

TIGERS

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Ordonez, DH
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Guillen, LF
  6. Laird, C
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Santiago, SS
  9. Anderson, RF

PITCHER: Miner

BLUE JAYS

  1. Marco Scutaro, SS
  2. Aaron Hill, 2B
  3. Alex Rios, RF
  4. Vernon Wells, CF
  5. Adam Lind, DH
  6. Scott Rolen, 3B
  7. Lyle Overbay, 1B
  8. Rod Barajas, C
  9. Travis Snider, LF

PITCHER: Jesse Litsch

20 Comments

Don’t get me wrong, I like Jim Leyland. I’d love to have him as a next door neighbor. He just drives me nuts as a manager.
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The rule of thumb shouldn’t apply if the guy you have on the mound is obviously struggling. On opening night, Bobby Cox’s Braves had a 4-0 lead in the 9th and he sent in his closer. He also had two guys warming up in the bullpen in case of trouble. It’s not that hard, being prepared for circumstances.
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The roles should have been defined in spring training, but JL gets a pass on this, since no one claimed the right to any role. Other than Perry. Ol’ Jim will earn his pay this year.
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Anyway, let’s get ‘em tonight.
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–Rich

It’s not hard to fault Leyland for going with Lyon. This is a guy who, just days ago, lost out to the worst closer in the history of mankind. Either Leyland was a fool for giving Rodney the job (which he is) or he was a fool for giving a lesser pitcher an important role last night.
It’s not hard to fault a manager for taking out an effective pitcher, in Bobby Seay. And it’s not hard to fault him for coming back with a pitcher in the ninth inning that the entire unbiased world can see just didn’t have it. We saw it in the eighth, and long before the sac fly ended the game in the ninth. How about this- if a guy is effective, leave him alone. If not, get him the hell outta there and go back to your formula again the next day.
I also fault Dombrowski for giving Leyland a bullpen without one single pitcher that was effective last season.

It’s not hard to fault Leyland for going with Lyon. This is a guy who, just days ago, lost out to the worst closer in the history of mankind. Either Leyland was a fool for giving Rodney the job (which he is) or he was a fool for giving a lesser pitcher an important role last night.
It’s not hard to fault a manager for taking out an effective pitcher, in Bobby Seay. And it’s not hard to fault him for coming back with a pitcher in the ninth inning that the entire unbiased world can see just didn’t have it. We saw it in the eighth, and long before the sac fly ended the game in the ninth. How about this- if a guy is effective, leave him alone. If not, get him the hell outta there and go back to your formula again the next day.
I also fault Dombrowski for giving Leyland a bullpen without one single pitcher that was effective last season.

It’s not hard to fault Leyland for going with Lyon. This is a guy who, just days ago, lost out to the worst closer in the history of mankind. Either Leyland was a fool for giving Rodney the job (which he is) or he was a fool for giving a lesser pitcher an important role last night.
It’s not hard to fault a manager for taking out an effective pitcher, in Bobby Seay. And it’s not hard to fault him for coming back with a pitcher in the ninth inning that the entire unbiased world can see just didn’t have it. We saw it in the eighth, and long before the sac fly ended the game in the ninth. How about this- if a guy is effective, leave him alone. If not, get him the hell outta there and go back to your formula again the next day.
I also fault Dombrowski for giving Leyland a bullpen without one single pitcher that was effective last season.

With all the talk about pulling Jackson early, not using Seay for at least one more batter, overusing Lyon, etc., etc., I think both Dan and Rich made a valid point that no one else mentioned, that being not lifting Ordonez for a pinch runner, namely Anderson in the eighth inning. Jason, was JL asked about it after the game? Seems like it was exactly the situation we got him for.

–Ed

Both Rich and Dan made a good point about Ordonez not being lifted for a pinch runner in the eighth inning. Jason, did JL answer why he didn’t pull Magglio then ? It really did seem like the perfect time.

–Ed

Both Rich and Dan made a good point about Ordonez not being lifted for a pinch runner in the eighth inning. Jason, did JL answer why he didn’t pull Magglio then ? It really did seem like the perfect time.

–Ed

Completely unrelated, since I haven’t gotten to listen to the first 2 games (stupid lack of archives in Gameday Audio).
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Just heard something in the pregame interview with BInge that rankled a bit. If you’ve just earned $16.5 million over 8 years, do you really have to worry about “taking care of your family” anymore? I mean, I’m all for maximizing your income when you can, but that’s way more money than I’ll ever make and I’m not currently worrying about taking care of my family.
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-Brian

Whoops, forgot the most important part. :)
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Go get ‘em Tigers!
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We probably don’t want Porcello to have the pressure of trying to get the first win for the team tomorrow.
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-Brian

You either have what it takes to be a closer or you dont. JL himself alluded to this when Todd Jones broke down mid season and we went through the process of guys crash and burning in the role.
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None of the current guys stats come close to being an effective closer. A few, Ricon, Seay, Rodney and Zoom represent good, sound setup men.
Perry is looming as the team hope and saviour at this point which is crazy stuff for a 22yo to be put in this position.
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Apart from Fien, the guys sent to AAA, Williamson, Dolsi and Rapada are not closer material. He could come up sooner rather than later.
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With a signifcant less touch of hope than in the closer role, our starters are going to produce the goods with JV settling down now that he sees good support from Jackson, GMan and Bondo with Miner being sound.
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Porcello will go great in any role. In the event that Perry or Fien don’t step up and Rodney is Rodney, would it be too crazy for Porcello to revert to being the closer for the remainder of the year assuming we actually start winning our fair share?

I was almost going to post, I wonder how long before Maggs, Cabbs and Polanco post their first RBI’s. What a way for Cabs to do his!!! Must have learnt from last night he can’t rely on Maggs meandering around the bases!!
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I really hope Maggs goes well as a DH – his single at first at bat off to a good start. With $48m at stake over the next 3 years, unless we are willing to keep paying after a trade, he has to play from the dugout more times than not..
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Come on Zach, settle down!!

god damn this blog.. takes me 15 damn minutes to even sign in. it was not like this last year..
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what a throw by anderson.. no way magglio makes that throw. The d really bailed miner out..

whooooo weee that boy can hit!

so hopefully … inge and cabby will race each other .. for the HR title

Everyone hold your breath. The second member of our closer tag team is about to go….

What a difference having a team that can play defense – those early plays when it was looking ugly for Miner allowed him to get out, settle down and pitch great.
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Perry and Seay really a loking the goods this year!!
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A non save situation was hopefully even out of our possibility of losing. Rodney kept putting them straight down the middle and two flyouts thankfully not far enough.

That was a team effort. Definitely what they needed. .
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Anderson needs to pick up his game offensively to justify playing time.
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Miner showed some determination tonight. That rocky 1st inning could have gotten a lot rockier but to his credit, he turned things around showing that you don’t give in. Hope Verlander was watching this.
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Good to see Inge bounce back from yesterday and what can you say about MCab, other than wow.
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Inge is getting tape measure dingers right now. Nice.
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Tomorrow will be interesting to say the least. I expect we will see Marcus in there and Everett back as SS.
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BTW, Laird is doing a great job behind the plate from what I can see.

Crazy to have a must win game this early but last year’s start created this situation. Good to get this one.
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Everything worked out fine tonight. Some situations that could have become messy situations were averted, i.e. Miner’s first inning, Perry coming in at a good time for him, etc. Bobby Seay is very sharp this spring. Perry somehow got a 1-2-3 inning. A high 90s heater is a big help. Rodney looked great! A less violent delivery led to some low 90s fastballs for strikes. Go on Fernando, make a fool of me. I’ll be the happiest fool in town.
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Zach Miner can flat out pitch if left to do so. I’d like to keep him in the rotation regardless of who comes back or whatever happens. I’ll bet there are a lot of teams who’d love to have him in their rotation, as he can get you a good six innings way more often than not.
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I remember last September writing my idiotic posts and insisting that Brandon Inge spend the winter re-tooling his swing. Turns out he and McClendon did just that. That is not a common thing to do. I wonder what JL was saying to him after his homer, don’t get homer-happy?
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Jim Leyland, this one is for you.
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–Rich

That’s a good point Rich, I wonder what Leyland was saying to Inge…I haven’t seen anything on that.

Wow – holy home runs! Impressive night for Miguel, he amazes me still at times. And way to go Inge, what a feat to start off 3 games in a row with a homerun each day! I am glad Miner has been given a shot to be a starter again, even if by default with injuries. I think he proved himself worthy last year and assuming he keeps his control I’d like to see him in there more.

Would love to be at .500 for the home opener!

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