Guillen could be in LF by week's end

Carlos Guillen still isn’t close to switch-hitting again, but he’s getting pretty close to switching from designated hitter to the Tigers’ left fielder.

A day after Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Guillen felt like he was “about ready to go out in left field,” Guillen said he thinks he can be out there by the end of the week, a move that would give the Tigers a chance at more flexibility.

The encouragement for Guillen comes from feeling a lot more flexibility in his throwing shoulder, which had kept him out with inflammation since early May until he come off the disabled list little more than a week ago.

Throwing drills, Guillen said, are going well.

“I feel a lot better throwing,” he said.

As for switch-hitting, he can swing a bat right-handed and feel fine, but he hasn’t yet progressed to hitting pitches from the right side.

It’s a twist compared with the expectation from a week ago that Guillen would switch-hit before he plays in the field, but the Tigers will take it. They lost a left-handed hitter in Josh Anderson when they made room for Guillen on the roster July 24, leaving Clete Thomas as the only left-handed bat as a corner outfielder. For the most part, Marcus Thames and Ryan Raburn have been platooning in left.

Whether that might prompt the Tigers to resume their pursuit another hitter on the trade market could be an interesting side effect. President/general manager Dave Dombrowski said they primarily focused on corner outfielders as far as bats go leading up to the trade deadline because they weren’t sure when Guillen could come back.

Players have to clear waivers before they’re traded now, but by freeing up the DH slot on more days, that opens up the field of hitters from which the Tigers could look.

114 Comments

LF seems to be a perpetual problem in Motown.
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G_Man is getting behind hitters and they are hitting him pretty good. The Indians probably deserved that run but I don’t agree with the ground rule double that wasn’t. The fan touched the ball and this changed the direction of it keeping Raburn from getting to it. There are good reasons why that rule is in the books and the subjective ruling of allowing the runner another base is contentious.
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G-Man really needs to quit nibbling. I’m not sure why he does this as every time he does he burns himself.

Let me throw out another possibility for first base next year. Dave, I know you were suggesting Loney and Pierre from L.A.. How about Kotchman and Heyward (Atlanta’s top OF prospect). With the money saved from Miggy we could sign a closer and a real backup catcher. This team needs some hitters and although Kotchman isn’t a real power guy he would give you about .280 with good defense at first.
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–Ed

I have never commented during a game, but all i can say is,” I just don’t get it”.

Greg

Well, nibble on.
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Funny how the obvious is not so obvious to the players and manager.
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They have hit G-Man hard all day and this inning they have been finding the holes on both sides of the fence. Ouch!
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I presume this one is over and we could have predicted that after the Marte double. This club doesn’t have the ability to come back from this against Pavano. Well I guess you could insert pretty much any name in there for Pavano–but they do seem to have a ton of trouble with him.
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My second comment is, ” I am embarrassed for the city of Detroit. It’s loyal fans deserve so much better.

Greg

This is u-g-l-y they ain’t got no alibi, they ugly, yes they ugly!
GMan faces 30 batters through 5.2 innings, wow not fooling anyone. 2 more errors this game. no pitching, no defense and no offense = no baseball! what kind of monster have you created DD & JL? let’s hope that JV doesn’t catch this flu.

Wow. Is DD paying attention? This is only one game but it is indicative of how bad this team can be. Many of us have been pointing this out and beenn criticized for complaining when the team “is in 1st place, after all”. Well problems were apparent during this time and the warnings were given about the need to address them with the added warning that 1st place would be a distant illusion when it evaporates.
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The problems are still there and they will be there next year. In the past we needed catching, relief pitching, a left-fielder and a shortstop. We still need all those things.
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We talk about a back-up catcher, we have one his name is Gerald Laird. We still need a run producer from this position. Everett is in decline, and it is getting old having shortstops in decline every year. Relief pitching is wanting. They have disguised how poor it is pretty well but it is clear we need a lock down closer. I must give credit to Lyon for improving his game immensely and Perry may provide some dependability there but they need help, not a litany of guys who become former Tigers after 1 year.
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I say give Santiago a shot at short. Or call up Dlugach. Playing Everett every day is a capitulation in my mind. They should also call up Ramirez again. Not sure what they should do with Clevlen given his option situation. I think Polanco is the best all-around team player we have and I love him to death, but I think it is time to see what Sizemore can do.
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Not sure why they insist on playing Inge if his knees are as bad as they say they are. Seems dumb to me. Brandon still needs work on his hitting and McLendon isn’t gonna be able to help.
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Whether you comment during a game or otherwise, there is nothing left to say. Another pitcher won’t help when no one seems to be able to hit in clutch situations. Every starter can’t pitch a shutout every day. The offense is anemic. It actually makes me wonder if they were all on the juice and can’t come back from quitting cold turkey. I watch as a .215 Cleveland rookie Trevor Crowe hits .500 and most of the other Indians are driving the ball with authority while the Tigers pop up, hit into double plays, or just strikeout. So, Greg, and others, there really isn’t anything left to say. I have been a Tiger fan for at least 55 years and I have never been so frustated. Not even 2003.

Well, I keep saying someday they will have to break out of it. Someday they are going to be so embarrassed they it will trigger something with these Tigers. Well I suppose that is just wishful thinking. Because if this weekend doesn’t do it then I don’t know what will. This is probably the worst weekend of baseball that I have seen all year. All pitchers that they should of handled EASILY. NOT ONE OF THEM WAS A GOOD PITCHER NOT ONE. Most of their hitters were traded away in the last week. At some point you just gotta say what the heck??? I just don’t understand how they can look so bad against that type of pitching which everyone has hit??? Yes I understand that they were playing a wounded team that was playing for pride but, that should of only have gotten them so much.
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This was horrible and again they have given me a headache.
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GK

I see JL called this the biggest game of the season in the Det News this morning. I would think he must be a little disappointed in the response he saw today.
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JV, JW and EJ to throw against the O’s.
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How many games do we win if those guys throw 3 shutouts?

1. Did you see today where Shields was throwing a no-hitter through 7 and wound up losing 4-1. When he lost the no hitter his team hadn’t scored him 1 run.

“Players have to clear waivers before they’re traded now, but by freeing up the DH slot on more days, that opens up the field of hitters from which the Tigers could look.”
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I don’t know why they would have limited the search to corner outfielders in the first place, but I’m not a GM, just an ol’ retired manager.
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Well, here we are. The fan base is going nuts, nothing but negativity and who can blame them? You’d have to be the most starry-eyed optimist to believe that this has become anything other than a bad ballclub. It’s just bad baseball all around. Non-existent offense, degrading defense, and today the pitching failed miserably at a very key time. The first inning was handled beautifully, with Grandy singling, stealing second, and being bunted to 3rd by Santiago. But Thomas hits a liner right at an infielder and Cabrera, once again, fails to deliver a run. The game ended right there. The rest was just waiting for Cleveland to finally jump on Galarraga’s poor offerings. We were also treated to the sight of big league hitters swinging like little leaguers, and I don’t think I exaggerate when I say that.
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There’s nothing more to say, nothing more to do. Either this club turns it around or they don’t. I have no suggestions.
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That first inning fan interference is on old pet peeve of mine. Rather than expecting spectators to know the difference between a fair and foul ball, and let’s be honest, many of them don’t, it would make much more sense to just create a new MLB-wide rule that dictates that no fan will reach into the field of play under any circumstances. I realize that MLB is hyper-sensitive to fan satisfaction, but come on. Players throw balls to the fans, ball boys and girls throw balls to the fans, coaches throw balls to the fan, dozens of foul balls are hit to the fans, how many balls do these people need? You reach into the field of play and you’re ejected from the park, simple as that. It would cause grumbling at first, then become an accepted policy, just like smoking in the seating bowls.
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Yes, I directed today’s rant at something other than the poor downtrodden Tigers.
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Anybody notice how the Angels and Yankees can go into the Metrodome and kick the Twins all over the turf? Perhaps the unfortunate Central Division teams have had such a horrible history with their three visits a year that the intimidation is entirely insurmountable. Hey, there’s a positive today. Only one more visit there, forever.
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–Rich

BARF!!! EMBARRASSING!!!
Lee.

Well, looks like having to go to work today was a blessing. There is no excuse for this patheticness. Every player has declined offensively. I’m not too worried about defense. Some teams have fired their hitting coaches, but I don’t think Leland would tolerate it. Honestly, I can’t think of anything else to get this team going except to fire the coaches. It’s just totally embarrassing.

I took GK’s that up against a guy with a 5+ERA spelt trouble and a sunny day too good to pass up.
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Starting with the positives, our pitching is still one of the best – we are tied 2nd in the AL this season with a 4.06 ERA and rated 1st the past month with a 3.35 ERA. Fien probably has one more relief appearance before they could bring Dolsi back.
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If they were worried about upsetting the dugout chemistry with any changes, they can forget it. Our defense has slid since May when we were tied 2nd with a .989 FPCT to now 9th and last of 30 in the Majors the past month with .974 . Offense is sitting 11th for the season on .257 and 13th the past month on .247.
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Who knows what the answer – at least the usual list of suspects at Toledo are all currently hitting well.
Is it too soon for Sizemore, and can he field away from 2nd? Dlugach’s error rate worries me.
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One thing is certain – a healthy Inge is critical to the is team and was being the team leading clutch hitter before the break .321/.423 and is only 1 for 15 post. JL I think has hesitated because Everett and Ramon have also been badly slumping. Inge has to be DL’d ASAP to be back in time with either Larish, if Sizemore or Dlugach are unable to play 3rd called up.
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The top order needs a shakeup and Curtis has to platoon with Maggs at 5. Clete could have a go would deserves a leading off. Carlos leaves a huge hole at 3 or 4 when he sits against lefties as Raburn and Thames to me seem to hit better down the order at 6.
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Rich hit the nail on the head calling this season one of the weirdest. It would have to be the most painful ride in 1st that I can remember.

I believe of of the biggest concerns is that the players do not play with a confidence or panache. In fact there is only 1 player on this team who is playing determined, inspired and “special” baseball and he only plays ever 5th day. That is Justin Verlander. Everyone else seems subdued, waiting for the inevitable to happen and hoping someone else picks up the slack.
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I hope the addition of Washburn ignites something but there again you are talking about a guy who plays about 15% of the time and none of that is on offense. Dombrowsxki made a big mistake by not pursuing a quality LHB corner outfielder when he had the chance. Instead he chooses to pick up people who have had a good year somewhere down the road but down on their luck lately, and hopes that coming to Motown and Jim Leyland will spur them on to greater heights. It ain’t working Dave.
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Willingham could have been had, Dunn maybe. Ibanez has been available a couple of times, Abreau, Nyjer Morgan are all guys who could have been had. Instead we have tried Jacque Jones and Josh Anderson.
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Leyland gets away with murder in terms of accountability of his teams performance. He spouts off about being puzzled or things being unacceptable or some such other drivel instead of taking the bull by the horns and finding out how to ignite his players.
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He is quite likely going to continue to beat his (and ours) head(s) against the wall by insisting on playing people who will not hit.
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Shake things up. Wake up, sit Everett who is on his way to .230 by the end of this month and is unable to find the green when he does hit the ball. If Laird isn’t going to hit then face reality and don’t give him the opportunity. I know it’s scary to think of anyone else behind the plate and he is an excellent backstop but we need production from him at this time when it is scarce. I’m not saying Ryan is the answer but I am saying you have to shake it up a bit.
Inge is a trooper but a wounded one.
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Granderson is not looking like he is going to hit at leadoff. Shake it up–drop him down to the 3rd, 5th or 6th spot and insist he learns how to bunt the ball for a hit or a sacrifice when the time is right. He is not hitting lefties at all so why not put some pressure on the defense and have him drop a few down. I’ve been saying that all year.
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MCab is disappointing himsel, and his mates by not being able to hit when it really, really matters. Frustrating to see him rip the ball when it doesn’t really matter.
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JL will sit back and hope that an ailing, rehabilitating, 34 year old will save his team, batting left-handed and unable to field a position. I hear Roy Hobbs is still kicking around too.
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It was a big mistake not getting the proven closer this spring and it was a bigger mistake not getting a proven bat this summer. You are only allowed to make so many mistakes and we are way over the limit in this regard.
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I don’t know how this group will right this ship as they are rudderless and without a sail or motor to propel them.
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Leyland figured todays was the biggest game of the year. Well so much for that inspirational rhetoric from the skipper. actually tomorro’s might be. If JV proves to be human and falters how much hope do we honestly have?

It is a painful ride in first, Dave, and might be worth talking about. I’m pretty certain that many of us fans predicted that the Tigers might be able to eke out enough wins to take a weak division. I know I certainly did, even though my W-L prediction was 82-80. I warned several times that this would be a very difficult and frustrating experience, but I’m afraid even I couldn’t grasp how frustrating it could be. Whether games are lost with poor offense, poor pitching, or poor defense, it’s maddening when the prize is so tantalizingly close. This, however, is what we may have known intellectually, but are finding difficult emotionally. We could be better, but I’m sure they’re saying the same thing in Chicago and Minnesota, and even these three teams have it better than Cleveland and KC.
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I assume that most who post here are within my age range and share my memories of seasons past. Younger readers may have never experienced the Tigers in a pennant race other than 2006-07. When I look back, 1968 was a big party as we breezed to the AL crown. Likewise in 1984. 1987 was a gut-wrenching finish, but we had played extremely well over the final two months of the season, and finally pulled off the miracle finish, although Toronto fans might term it The Great Collapse (they lost their final six in a row).
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This season puts me more in mind of 1967 and 1972. In ’67, we were heavy favorites and clearly had the best team, but injuries and a mid-season funk had us playing .538 ball as late as August 19th (this year’s team is at .524). The pennant was famously lost on the final day of the season that year as Boston took it with 92 wins. This in a time before division play when a club usually needed 96+ to even think of making the WS. The ’72 squad was the last hurrah of the beloved Tigers teams of the 60s, and the team was playing .531 ball (68-60) on September 3rd. They finally won the division with an 86-70 record in a strike-shortened season.
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We’ve been here before, although it’s been a long time ago, and doesn’t really make it any easier enduring this year’s race. But for a few minutes there, you weren’t dwelling on the trials and tribulations of the 2009 Tigers, were you? ;-)
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–Rich

Rich, does this team remind you of the 1988 team? Wasn’t that team a better pitching team than hitting team? Wasn’t that the year that the Tigers acquired Fred Lynn, but he didn’t make into Detroit soon enough to be eligible for the post-season roster?

Rich does this team remind you of the 1988 Tigers at all?

Only in that they pitched better than they hit. The ’88 squad was much older than this year’s team, practically ancient in comparison. Those veterans wore down late in the year and collapsed entirely the following season. As far as how the season progressed, I find that team very similar to the 2007 Tigers. Nearly identical records at the break, very strong contenders, then ending up with identical 88-74 records. There is a cautionary tale to take from the 1988 team, and that is adding veteran hitters with a track record but past their prime doesn’t work.
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–Rich

The road woes are painful. The defense is a concern. There should have been two other errors today. Cabrera should of had a ball in the 3rd that went for a double. Rayburn misplayed a ball that allowed a run to score. Sizemore would have not come to bat to hit the homer and the whole view of Armando’s start would of been different. The Tigers still would of lost. Misplays seem to cause him to nibble even more. He threw almost as many balls as strikes today.
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Everett has struggled since the break at the plate. He seems to making more errors lately on routine plays, but he still has good range. Ramon has not hit since the break either and has made too many errors. He does not have the range of Everett.
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Thames needs more at bats. Rayburn’s bat seems to be coming back some, but Marcus will give you a homer every 15 at bats.
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Granderson and Fein both had a tough series. The way Curtis did not hit with RISP would not of made him a good #3 hitter in this series. Casey did not appear ready for the majors in this series.
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Some positives, Carlos’s hitting and power is encouraging. Inge had his best series at the plate since the break. Perry has pitch well, except in one outing, since his call up.
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I am hoping JV, Washburn and EJ can win the next three.
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Mark

I missed yesterday’s game, and it looks like I am lucky to have done so! Yikes! Too bad for G-Man, just when he seemed to be getting his groove back, I hope this doesn’t set him back too far.

Went to see the Mud Hens yesterday and saw a huge home run by Hessman – who is having a rough year, probably in hind sight wise that he didn’t get pulled up to the Tigers – albeit in the past he has done much better. But this home run last night was a shot – there is a large scoreboard/video board in left field that the ball went over the top of and out into the street behind it – very exciting. Also a homerun shot by Don Kelly. What I noticed the most though – in the first inning they had bases loaded and were able to score 2 runs from sacrifice fly’s – something we don’t see nearly enough for the Tigers. And another thing – that Wilkin Ramirez is quite speedy. The Hens are struggling this year, but what a terrific venue they have to see a ball game. My 2 year olds first real big time ball game, he was speechless the first few innings.

Ok – we are luckily in a division that just wants us to stay in first place – so let’s be thrilled that we are given the chance to get better so that come post season (and I believe we will be there) we can compete with the other divison’s teams with better win/loss records.

I see that the first two pitchers for Baltimore are, once again, pitchers we’ve never faced before. That situation hasn’t gone well this season. In fact, since I’ve started monitoring the hitter-pitcher history on the game previews, I’ve been surprised at how often there’s very little to no history at all. I suppose the unbalanced schedule has a little to do with that, but it still seems unusual.
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This would mean that an effective scouting report is vital. I assume the hitters are getting this, but is it of any worth? And if it is, do the hitters pay any attention to it? Answers to these kinds of questions are what I’d like to see on pre-game shows and Tigers Weekly. Instead, we get Mickey York helping Heather with the grounds crew. Have they ever presented bits on the video guys or a day with Lloyd McClendon?
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–Rich

Well, that was a humiliating series. But back home for seven in a row. In fact, the Tigers are home for 20 of the next 30 games. So, if you reasonably expect them to go 13-7 at home (current pace) and 4-6 on the road (current pace), then you have a 17-13 record over that time. The White Sox play only 12 of their next 29 games at home and have similar road/home numbers — so that would equate to 15-14. The Twins play 15 home, 13 road, with similar ratios, which equates to 15-13. So, if averages hold together — and of course there’s every reason to think that they won’t, but if they do — then the Tigers will be 71-62 going into Labor Day weekend, the White Sox will be 69-66 (3 GB), and the Twins will be 67-66 (4 GB). Not bad.
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However, the Tigers play 14 of their last 29 games of 2009 at home, while the White Sox play 15 of their final 27 at home, and the Twins play just 12 of their final 29 games at home. Assuming the same ratios hold, we’ll have the Tigers at 86-76, the White Sox at 83-79, and the Twins at 82-80. The Tigers win!
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Of course this is all based on previous averages, and doesn’t take into account the three big deadline trades (Washburn, Peavy, Cabrera) or any waiver trades that might occur in August. And it doesn’t take into effect that Mauer was out the first three weeks of the year, that Quentin is back in the White Sox lineup, and Guillen is back with the Tigers. Or that one or more of these teams might get uncharacteristically hot down the stretch. So yeah, it means nothing.
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One thing I know for sure is that the final 15 games of the season, when the Tigers play six games each against the Twins and the White Sox (although luckily closing with six straight at home), are going to be incredibly fun/painful to watch.

Is it time to switch Armando & Minor?
Lee

Well going to the game tonight – lets say although I am glad and fortunate to get to see as many of the Tigers games as I do. And JV is pitching (and that is encouraging) it worries me that the next two days we face one guy that has never pitched in the majors and another that we have never seen. We also face Guthrie who they have had limited success and a Hernandez. We saw iHernandez in Baltimore in which we had plenty of baserunners but (shock of all shocks) had a hard time knocking in the runs. So I make no predictions.
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In the next month here is how it goes with our competition.
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Detroit Chicago Minnesota
Orioles (4) Angels (3) 3 @ Indians
Twins (3) Indians (3) 3 @ Tigers
@Boston (4) 3@ Mariners KC (3)
KC (3) 3@ A’s Indians (3)
Mariners (3) KC (3) 3@Texas
3 @ A’s Orioles (3) 3@ KC
3 @ Angels 4 @ Boston Orioles (3)
Rays (4) 3 @ Yankees Rangers (3)
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I would say that the Twins have the easiest schedule on paper. The only advantage I would say the Tigers have is that most of the schedule is at home.
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GO TIGERS
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GK

I’m going to make one last stab at a suggestion and it involves the current roster. I think bringing up minor leaguers onto this struggling band of veterans could be a disaster. It’s a thought that I and many others have had and involves Granderson. Here goes:
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RH pitcher –
Thomas RF
Polanco 2B
Granderson CF
Cabrera 1B
Guillen DH/LF
Thames/Raburn DH/LF
Inge 3B
Laird C
Santiago SS
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LH pitcher – Thomas RF/LF
Polanco 2B
Ordonez RF/LF
Cabrera 1B
Thames DH
Inge 3B
Granderson CF
Laird C
Everett SS
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My thinking is that Thomas is going to do what he does wherever you put him, that is, look at pitches and go the opposite way, something that Grandy rarely does. And, with all the past talk of protecting Cabrera, how about we have Miggy protect Granderson? And Ordonez with the lefties? Also, changing a hitter’s position in the order might have a positive effect on his performance at the plate.
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If they continue to fail to drive in runs, nothing anyone does will help, but this is the one thing that hasn’t been tried. Clete is no Josh Anderson up there and, if you want your leadoff man to “scout” some pitches, who better?
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That’s all I got.
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–Rich

Sorry the above schedule doesn’t look that great but hopefully if you can decipher it.
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GK

The real problem with Raburn/Thomas is that they’re really just aren’t that special. You can shine a ****, etc… But I do agree completely that Raburn/Thomas are better than the alternatives down on the farm. We gotta ride what we got.
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And yeah, why doesn’t Ordonez get shifted to LF at this point?
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I’m hoping to see a litte action on the waiver in August. It’s obvious that Raburn is a liability at 3B, and Larish is more of a 1B than 3B. So they’re a little weak there, in the even Inge needs a DL stint, which he probably does. Why not grab Mora from the Orioles while they’re in town? He’s on his way out of Baltimore anyhow.
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I suspect this stuff about Guillen going back to the OF isn’t going to pan out very well. Why not just keep him as the DH? Thames/Raburn certainly aren’t good out there, but I really don’t think either are worse than Guillen. Plus, more chances for another Guillen injury if he’s in the field, and we need his bat more than his glove.
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But if, as is suggested in Jason’s article, that this will help them acquire a DH-type bat, then I guess I’m for it. But only if the bat is solid, like at a Huff level or higher. (If it’s Luke Scott, no thanks, because he only hits well AGAINST the Tigers.) Still, I’m not sure why Dombrowski hasn’t gotten a solid OF bat. I mean, he’s known of the deficiency out there all year. And yet nothing. Why must we fans be made to suffer?
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But at least we’re still in first.

This guy has been a model of team player for years and this is just another example. Go Tigers in the AL!!!!
http://kmcleod.mlblogs.com/

Well that’s just it, Goodge. Thomas and Raburn shouldn’t NEED to be all that special because we’ve got “stars” that should do much better. I do think Clete has an upside and I have no problem including him in plans. Raburn is just a scrappy survivor and, while not someone you want as a starter, does have his place. It’s hard to dislike him, but he’s just in a place he shouldn’t have to be right now. And you’re right, this was the best down on the farm at this point.
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For some reason, Huff and Scott just don’t excite me. The one thing in their favor is that they’re both American Leaguers, but I have a feeling they’d be more likely to become a part of the problem than to help. Unless you subtract Luke’s hitting against Detroit and call that helping. :-)
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I wouldn’t really put Guillen in the outfield, at least not this season. I’d rather work around him as a DH. Maybe next year.
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As Dan says, the decisions of the past have created what we have now. Looks like we’ll have to live with it. And it’s still not a dead certainty that we’re going to collapse totally, although it feels that way lately.
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–Rich

At this point, I do not know if it would make much difference with Thomas or Granderson at the 1 and 3 spots. It is would a shake up to have the switch. I do know on most days I would play them both as they are the best we have in center and right. I would put Thames in left most of the time and have Carlos and Maggs platoon at DH. Let Rayburn start against the tough lefthanders and be ready for pinch hitting duties.
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I do like the thought of picking up Mora, if you could do it cheap for the rest of the season. I would view him as a defensive and offense upgrade over Rayburn at 3rd and the corner outfield spots. We really have no pure 3rd basemen that could help if Inge goes down. I think he will play until he cannot walk.
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I have seen that Wilken has been leading off for Toledo recently. His strike out ratio would be too high to help at this point. We do have some potential lightening in a bottle call up potential for next month. Balancing the auditions with being in a pennent race. Seems like every year someone help a team in the race in September and is then not eligible for the playoffs. Who will do it for the Tigers?
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Mark

Well, that was a heckuva way to start the game. It amazes me to see players on the opposing teams getting hits, HR’s, doubles, triples and we can barely even get a hit. Verlander better settle down real quick. The Tigers don’t do real well when they’re behind by 3 runs or more.

Already starting to be a nightmare. Ugh!

Thanks GK for the 3 team schedule. The Twins sure have it easier in August – no east or west coast trips and apart from 6 against the Rangers, the rest is against ordinary teams, apart from the Tigs!! :-)
Realistically, we will need to go 5-2 this home series against the O’s and Twins and then get 1, hopefully 2 of the 4 at Boston.
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As good a team as any today – I like Ramon back down the order and don’t tinker anymore with Cabbs – keep him at 4 where he started the season. With lower order heroics seemingly finished for the year, this team will live or fall on his RISP AB’s.
I would have played Raburn for Thames as he tends to plays righties better – .252 Vs .299 and .185/.29 Vs .333/.364 for RISP. Raburn surprisingly has career stats of .234 Vs left and .277 Vs right.

Took me a while to finish that entry in between all the O’s hits and runs – are we up to coming from 0-5??

Curtis probably could have made that an inside the park HR. Oh, well, at least we’ve got a run in.

I don’t know what it is about this site/blog but sometimes I’m unable to post a comment because it’s so slow (and I have a newer computer, so that’s not it). Others have commented on this problem, also.

This goes back to what I said before. What if Verlander (or Jackson/Washburn) has a bad game? What kind of trouble is this team in if their big pitchers falter? Management was wanting fans to think that the pitching could win this for them. Good pitching doesn’t dominate every game and some times they are flat out awful (like tonight so far) and other times they need the help of their offense to win.
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So much for all those recent O’s away stats and record.
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Let’s hope JV can battle back from a pretty upsetting opening inning and settle down.

Good to see MCab finally deliver. He obviously has not been doing that.

Lets see if this team can build momentum for a change. Great comeback by JV.

We seem to look as many times as swing at 3rd strikes. How tight is the team becoming?? Has to also be a big part in all the errors or are they all playing hurt??
The team had played loose without inhibition. What are they going to be like as the tension builds towards September? Management has a big role to play in creating clubhouse vibes.

I’m green with envy watching a guy like Markakis toil away for the O’s. Woudln’t he solve some problems on our club!
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Be great to see the guys pull this one out after the incredibly disastrous start.

Now if we could just get Marcus to start a string of 420′ HRs like he did previous years.
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He’s played well out in LF today.

Now get JV the win – he sure deserves it.

Now get JV the win – he sure deserves it.

Now get JV the win – he sure deserves it.

Man I hate when the site freezes!!

He does deserve it but the O’s are kinda due too. I hate to say it but their hitters scare me. Not sure how much JV has left in him but my fingers are still crossed.

That’s damn impressive. As you say, the boys HAVE to get him a win here.
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Marcus is due.

Well that was an amazing swing and result. aez had everyone looking silly and had 2 strikes on Clete! Very surprising to see the ball clear the wall with 2 outs.
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JV doesn’t get the win and his ERA goes up but he pitched as well as I have seen him for those last 7 innings.
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JV won that game for us. Make no mistake.

Thanks, Clete! You just saved the bullpen. No telling how long this one might have lasted! For all you Goodges out there that don’t think that Clete is special, I say you’re wrong. The Tigers have a solid (maybe not spectacular) but really nice ballplayer in Thomas.

–Ed

Well just got home from the game!!! Whew that was a bomb there at the end. Was another gusty performance by Justin. It didn’t look good there in the 1st. I think he took that inning as a personnel attack and was insulted by the whole thing.
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WAY TO GO.

Wow, we just spotted a 5 run lead in the first to a team that was 44-60; 3-7 in their last 10 and came back one batter at a time. JV, great adjustment & effort mentally, physically and emotionally! This game could be the game that unites the guys, builds their confidence, gains some momentum. Nice job boys!

Yeah, my bad. Clete must have read my comment and set out to shut me up. Nice one.
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And he is having an okay year, I guess. I mean, 7 homers in 167 ABs isn’t too shabby. Definitely out-hitting Maggs.
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I was really worried there that Jones was going to make a circus catch on that one.
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If you take out the first inning, Verlander pitched a 3-hitter over the next seven. Awesome that he kept the Tigers in the game. A true ace.
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I shall now go and purchase a Clete Thomas jersey as penance.

This win hopefully takes some of the pressure off Washburn’s debut tomorrow night. A loss would have been a huge weight on his shoulders. A “W” tonight allows Jarrod to go out and pitch his game.

Cuh-LETE! I’m likin’ this kid, I’ve been tellin’ ya. He’s got what it takes, I’m serious.
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I think Verlander has definitely arrived and has become the big stud. That first inning, man, they were hitting his curveball like they knew it was coming, unbelievable. I was wondering if he was tipping or something. Then Scott takes a nearly half swing and hits a 2-run double. Then JV holds ‘em down and gives us the full nine to get ‘em back. It was huge to get the quick 3-spot in the bottom of the frame.
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Cabrera had a good night. Santiago had a big hit. Thames had a single, some heads up baserunning on that ball that Weiters lost, and made two fine catches. I really think he’s at least the equal of Raburn out there, but he’s carrying one of those reps that get so ingrained. Mr. Rodney did the 9th, non-save, ha.
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Someone who did not have a good night was homeplate ump CB Bucknor. This is the guy who was voted by the ballplayers themselves as the worst ump in MLB. He drives me nuts and I’m glad to see him moving along to thirdbase tomorrow night. That transfer play by Roberts was another blown call, he never had that ball and it could have lost us the game.
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Since I’m somehow included within the Baltimore Sphere of Influence, I had to watch their feed tonight. Could have been worse, at least they’d brought along Gary Thorne and Buck Martinez, but I swear they were off the air nearly before Clete’s cleats touched home.
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Like Dave said up there, need to get 5 of these 7 and try for 1 or 2 in Boston.
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–Rich

What a difference a day makes. Marcus made some nice catches out in LF today. Doesn’t get much better than a walk-off. Looking forward to tomorrow and our “new” pitcher.

When JV complete gamed the Chisox last week, I spoke of his maturing as a player and a person. Tonight, he has come full circle. Thank you ACE for what you did tonight. And I’m being really truthful; I felt as thought the Tigers would win this one; I didn’t panic on JV’s first inning, and more importantly, neither did he. Clete topped it all off. Once again, my hat is tipped to ACE Verlander.

Greg

What an important win that was – suppose all are from here on in.
Clete and Raburn have quietly been clutch hitting all year. 10 strikeouts with 5 of them looking shows the guys are not playing with confidence.
JV just keeps impressing.

Didn’t get to see any of the game, got in my car with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th to hear the walk off by Clete – it is sometimes fun to just listen to the game, those guys were just giddy! Way to be clutch – and congrats on your first ever walk off – I hear the grounds crew was out looking for the ball, hope they get it for Clete. What fun. I just saw the clip on the site of his hit, and nothing reinforces that this is a game played by grown boys than watching a bunch of manly men jumping up and down like crazy – that is fun and that is baseball – well done.

And tip of the hat to JV – you just have proven any doubters by righting the ship after a horrid first inning and your team actually scratched back – maybe not a win, but a no decision after allowing 5 earned runs in the first is reward enough.

Ok Washburn, show us what you got.

I will continue to beat the Clete drum. He should be the everyday rightfielder.
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Why is it that baseball umpires do not consult others for help except on check swings and an occasional homerun call? The 2nd base umpire made the call from the front side and it looked right from his angle, but the 3rd base umpire had a perfect view and will not correct the call. It would be better to consult and get the call right. The umpire on the front side cannot see it all, so why not give him some help when the 3rd base ump had nothing to do. Must be an ego thing for umpires as the one who makes the call has to ask for help or the other umpires keep their mouth shut. Some umpires are just bad balls and strikes callers. I do not see how they make it to the big leagues as that is the first area where umpires should be judged.
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Go Tigers and beat up on another rookie.
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Mark

I will continue to beat the Clete drum. He should be the everyday rightfielder.
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Why is it that baseball umpires do not consult others for help except on check swings and an occasional homerun call? The 2nd base umpire made the call from the front side and it looked right from his angle, but the 3rd base umpire had a perfect view and will not correct the call. It would be better to consult and get the call right. The umpire on the front side cannot see it all, so why not give him some help when the 3rd base ump had nothing to do. Must be an ego thing for umpires as the one who makes the call has to ask for help or the other umpires keep their mouth shut. Some umpires are just bad balls and strikes callers. I do not see how they make it to the big leagues as that is the first area where umpires should be judged.
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Go Tigers and beat up on another rookie.
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Mark

The trading deadline has passed but it is still possible to make trades with waivers. It always seems a bit confusing but here are some of the details with respect to trading during the waiver period:
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This MLBTR Glossary entry explains how trading in August works:
•Teams have to pass players through revocable waivers to trade them after the July 31st deadline.
•Players acquired after August 31st can’t play in the postseason.
•Teams will often put most of their players on waivers to determine interest, since they don’t have to give up every player who’s claimed.
•Unclaimed players can be traded to any club in August.
•Claimed players can be kept, traded or handed over to the claiming team (who would then pay the player’s salary).
•If only one team claims a player, he can only be dealt to that team.
•If more than one team claims a player, he can only be traded to the team in his league with the worst record.
•If a player’s only claimed by teams in the other league, he can only be dealt to the team with the worst record.
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With that being said here are the names of players who could end up being dealt thru waivers.
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“Heyman On August Trades
Hhere are the players Heyman deems likely to clear waivers (player who clear waivers may be traded):

•Bronson Arroyo, Adam Dunn, Jose Guillen, Aaron Harang, Adrian Beltre, Aubrey Huff, Jason Giambi, Melvin Mora, Miguel Batista, Juan Cruz, Ty Wigginton, Ron Mahay, Willie Bloomquist, Lyle Overbay, Willy Taveras.
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Some players who could clear waivers:

•Jon Garland, Doug Davis, Gil Meche, Alex Rios, Carl Pavano, Mark Hendrickson, Jhonny Peralta, Jamey Carroll, Ron Villone.
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And some players who probably won’t clear waivers, but who could be dealt to a claiming team:

•Roy Halladay, Felix Hernandez, Heath Bell, Adrian Gonzalez, Marco Scutaro, Chad Qualls, Michael Wuertz, Brian Bannister, Josh Willingham, Gary Sheffield, David Eckstein, Jason Frasor, Mark Teahen.”

Well…………………we (I) rag on ‘em when they play lousy – so guess they have this coming. CONGRATULATIONS ON A GREAT COME BACK TIGS!!!
Especially JV, Marcus (couple of great catches) & Clete.
Leave Marcus in left & Clete in right.

(Carlos Guillen still isn’t close to switch-hitting again, but he’s getting pretty close to switching from designated hitter to the Tigers’ left fielder.)
Why do they want to play him in left field (or any field) – he’s not that good a fielder (because of injuries). Just asking…………………. Leave him at DH.
Lee

Hi Dan. Thanks for the waiver rules, it’s a handy thing and I’ve pasted it to my desktop.
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Of the players on Heyman’s list, three of them jumped out at me, and all have to do with the possibility that Brandon Inge would need to be shut down. #1 Beltre. He would be quite an expensive rental, more than likely too expensive, but would slip in at third nicely. #2 Mora. He’s a veteran, but I’m not sure I’m wanting a guy who’s just had a very public disagreement with his manager. #3 Jamey Carroll. This is a guy I had the pleasure of watching for the entire 2005 season in Washington. He’s one of those players who, while not blessed with an abundance of sheer talent, does everything on the diamond correctly. My kind of guy. He may not be hard to get, provided he went unclaimed, which is unlikely. All in all, though, I expect Inge to stay in the lineup. If it’s just a matter of pain and not further damage, he’ll play through it. Like him or not, he’s a warrior.
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I really think they fill an outfield hole by playing Clete everyday, and I’m not just reacting to last night’s heroics. I think he’s the real deal, as I’ve said all along. I’d still like to see him swap spots with Granderson.
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–Rich

Wilkin Ramirez called up and leading off tonight! Whooo hoooo!

All right, Ms Whooo hoooo. :-)
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Possibly for just today. They’ll need to replace Fien, unless they’ve traded for another pitcher. Does Wilkin have a history with tonight’s O’s starter? So what kind of an outfield does this give us this evening? Raburn, Ramirez, and Maggs.
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–Rich

I was wondering the same thing Rich……….boy this thread is getting long.
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Or possibly Thames, Ramirez, Raburn with Maggs DHing. or switch Maggs with Thames, but I’d take Marcus in left.
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Leaves a very good bench of Clete, Carlos, and Curtis when the righties come in.

Wilkin batted lead off for Toledo last weekend and I would wondering is a move was in the works. Given that JV went 8 last night with the expectatiion that Washburn and Jackson will eat innings I guess having an extra hitter is more important than the extra pitcher in the bullpen.
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You better hit if the outfield is Raburn, Ramirez, and Maggs. A lot of balls will drop in that outfield. Get the lead by the 6th and make the defensive changes.
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Mark

Marty, that IS the outfield tonight, Ramirez, Raburn (CF) and Maggs. I’d already looked it up.
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This thread will grow because it appears that Jason is getting some time off.
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So JL has left it up to each individual hitter how much advance scouting information to extract from McClendon. These are the kinds of things I like to know about the team, as I talked about yesterday. Well, it makes some sense. Some hitters are better with a “see the ball hit the ball” approach, and some want all the advance info they can get. At least Jim is trying something. Whether it has a positive, negative, or no effect at all remains to be seen. Bears watching, though.
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–Rich

Fresh blood! Whoopee! Although Marcus was outstanding last night. Really looking forward to tonight.

Wow – the Hens had been mixing up their lead offs the past month with Wilkin getting just about all of them in recent weeks – he had been batting 3rd all season. Wilkin doesn’t hit anywhere near as good off lefties (.249/.321 vs .330/.418) so likely a lead off platoon arrangement is in their thinking.
I don’t know if Wilkin can play outside LF – how good is Raburn likely to be in CF if JL is further not looking to start Curtis against lefties. Worth at least finding out.
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Curtis hit extremely well in his earlier short stint at 5 with his 18 for 56 (.321/.40) above his 2009 overall figures of .256/.340. None of the players JL tried leading off hit well enough to make a go of it.
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Curtis should start on the bench against lefties with his .177/.259. He would make a tremendous pinch runner or clutch hitter against a righty reliever/closer. Curtis has hit only 5 RBI’s from his 124 lefty AB compared to his .290/.374 against righties from 286 AB with 45 RBI’s.
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I had originally gone with the idea of Clete leading off but was forming the view platooning Thames was worth a shot. Thames has his best career stats at either 1st or 2nd hitting 31 of 110 for .281/.332. He also is hitting OK this year against lefties and righties – .267/.352 & .252/.320.
Thames has never been a great run driver – .178/.278 for RISP this year, down on mediocre career figures of .243/.320.
Thames does however perform really well in bases loaded situations hitting a career 14 of 27 for .519. Thames has also gone well as a pinch hitter where he is 4 for 7 this year and career 14 of 41 (.341/.426).
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I would have initially platooned Thames and Curtis as leadoffs so you still a power bat on the bench and evaluate Raburn in CF at the same time as seeing if Thames could do it full time. I would do the same with Wilkin.
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Clete is .30/.364 against lefties , .263/.340 against righties and is .351/.429 for RISP. Clete deserves the No. 3 spot permanently – a quiet word from JL to this effect might improve his judgement in the field rather than constantly trying to pull off miraculous plays when the odds aren’t with you. His speed should help reduce the high GIDP figures that have dogged the top order in recent years.
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Great to see signs the Miggs run scoring machine at 4 is purring back into action.
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It is time to platoon Carlos with Maggs at No. 5 combined with the DH role. Maggs this year is 27 of 77 (.351/.412) as DH. Carlos as DH is also hitting slightly above 2009 averages being 20 of 83 for .241/.312.
It is worth recalling Magg’s incredible stats from just two years ago hitting .363/.434 – .410/.500 against lefties and .351/.415 against righties for 139 RBI’s and 28 HR’s. Maggs is still on career average pace against lefties – .316/.369 (11 of 24 RISP) but has a miserable .232/.310 (12 of 54 RISP) against righties. Maggs has a limited but still valuable role to the end.

Washburn has been extremely good lately, and very good against the O’s. Lot of pressure on him tonight though. let’s give him a break if fate conspires against him.
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I’d rather see Clete out in CF than Raburn.
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Could have just played Grandy and let him bat 5 or 6

Well, he said he pitched to contact. Let’s hope not too much contact.

Could the real Washburn please , stand up?
The one who spotted less than 3 era with the worst defensive in the AL

Sure would be nice to get a new thread!
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Everett is just not looking good right now. They gave Wieters a hit on that but in mind that is an error. I know he dove and all that but that ball was in the palm of his glove. He could have had the out at 3rd and if nothing else, at least keep the ball in the infield.
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Everett really needs to pick up his game. Can’t justify him in the game if he isn’t close to specatacular in the field becasue he ain’t gonna hit squat.

Well-I see our hitters our in normal “rookie mode” when facing new pitchers. It is pretty hard to understand.

Gerge Kell?

Now, we need Cabrera and a the todays Clete

Let me say it 1st. This is why Marcus is never going to be a regular.
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How many times lately have we watched him watch the 3rd strike with men in scoring position?
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We look bad again today at the plate and it’s hard to tell what can reverse this trend. Not being able to pressure a rookie is something we seem to excel at.
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Washburn has pitched well and (seems like we say this all the time) deserves better.

Oooh. Can I take that post back? That’s what I get for TRYING to be optimistic.

6th inning and it’s a real dud, so far. Can’t hit, can’t pitch. Still, it’s just the 6th inning. Wilkin Ramirez doesn’t look like he belongs in the leadoff position.

I was gonna mention Miner the other day about not being able to rely on him because he sometimes simply cannot find the plate. That is true but the added problem is when he does find the plate the other side finds the green.
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Gruesome.

Zach Miner isn’t any good and never has been.

It appears that Washburn and Ramirez caught the Tiger flu already. A good record against Baltimore? Only 3 runs allowed in the last so many innings? Poof! Success hitting lead-off in Toledo? Facing a rookie pitcher? Poof! And now Miner. Has he ever come into a gane in relief without giving up hits and runs? Yet JL seems to think Miner is better as a relief pitcher? The momentum from Monday’s victory is long gone.

Chris Ray has an ERA over 8? They won’t hit him.

The Tigers used up their once a month comebacks yesterday. For whatever reason, they just don’t put many innings together where they pressure the opposition starter. Too many easy innings, too many times where they fail to work a pitcher. Rarely do they string together several hits in an inning and score multiple times–and now lately a lot of these guys seem to be guessing with called 3rd strikes. Not very good approach. I’ve said it all along this team needs more contact hitters. My goodness, Peralta and Choo of the Indians have more RBIs than just about everyone in our starting lineup!

–Ed

Just call him “Cy” Matusz. Any momentum the boys got from Monday’s comeback W went out the door quickly.
Tigs just made another Double “A” kid look great with 6 scattered hits and 3 walks. What happened to the Wash we traded for last week? The Orioles stink and Detroit makes them look real good, 44-61 good.

We need something exciting to happen. Hey, maybe Jason will start a new thread. Then we can complain tomorrow and not get frozen out.

The Indians really took it to the Tigers Sunday. Now they are really taking it to the Twins. Amazing what a last place team can do to some teams. Meanwhile the Tigers are back home playing another last place team and really taking it to them. Wow! That’s baseball. I really like it. I like it a lot.

Gruesome, indeed. Boring, actually. Tigers look dead.
Every time I get my hopes up, they get shot down. But we’re in 1st place as everyone likes to remind us. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a “worse” 1st place team. My God, we can’t seem to even string 4 or 5 wins together. I’ll try to be more patient, but tonight was a big letdown.

This game should have been called for lack of interst by the Tigers. What a horrible display by a 1st place team. I say this with tongue in cheek. We start this game with our 5-9 hitters batting avg. of .249 and a team avg of .252. This team cannot hit it’s way out of a paper bag. Washburn was OK until the 6th. After we left runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out in the 5th and both Thames and Raburn striking out the game turned. Thames is not a DH, Raburn is a AAA ball player and Ordonez needs to go, 307 AB’s with 5 HR’s and 33 RBI’s including tonight does not justify keeping him. Someone in the clubhouse needs to take charge of this team or the next 57 games will be difficult for the fans.

“The Indians really took it to the Tigers Sunday. Now they are really taking it to the Twins. Amazing what a last place team can do to some teams. Meanwhile the Tigers are back home playing another last place team and really taking it to them. Wow! That’s baseball. I really like it. I like it a lot.”

Not sure about this comment- The Twins beat the Indians 10-1 tonight. Kinda like how we should have beat the Orioles tonight.

Thought for the day……
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How would our hitters hit against our bullpen?

I almost forgot to mention another brilliant move by JL walking Huff in the 7th a .256 hitter and then Mora drives in the run. Not to forget Miner 2.1 innings pitched 5 hits 2 runs and 3 BB, plus allowing a man on 1st when he came in to score. This guy has done the same thing all year long.

Sorry for being so negative but if it walks and talks like a duck it must be a —-.

Matusz did pitch well, I’ll give him that, but we shouldn’t have been shut down so completely. After seeing him, I’m wondering about our strategy to start all RH hitters. He pounded us inside all night, tying up the hitters. Did we not have a scouting report on him? Combine this with bad breaks and you get an 8-2 ballgame.
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Note on Miner: he gets groundballs and they go through for hits. This has been going on for 4 years now. Does he have no luck at all?
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Ramirez right back down, along with Dusty, replaced by Lambert and Avila so that should make some fans happy. I seriously doubt if anyone from the minors is going to help us, though.
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I guess we’re supposed to embrace being in first place and all that, but some of us have been around the block several times. Some of us were there before the block was built, in fact. The thing is, the division is being lost right now. Sure, in the end it will come down to those final two weeks in September, but our competition is in the tough part of their schedules right now. We’re not taking advantage of it. We may come roaring down the final two weeks and fall a game or two short and it’s because of what is happening right now.
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There’s no fix, no magic for any of this. The guys on this club right now have to get it going. If they fall short, it’s them and their own mugs staring back at them in the mirror.
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–Rich

Start a pool. What day will the Tigers fall out of first place? Careful now…it’s getting close.

Avila and Lambert. Avila and Lambert! Avila and Lambert?
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Well that ought to fix the problems.

What is wrong with dombrowski and Leyland?
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We have 1 guy hitting .33 and then the rest of the lineup is under .270.
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We don’t have anybody hitting over .269 How telling is that?
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Throw in tha added lack of run producers and you have mess on your hands. A multi-million dollar mess.
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Shame on you DD for not doing the obviousl thing even with Illitch’s money and blessing.

Well I didn’t get to see last nights game, I recorded it but from what I have heard not worth doing.???? From what I hear it was the same old same old. NO HITTING NO HITTING NO HITTING.?? And while I am glad they went on got Washburn (despite last night) like some said earlier their was an obvious problem on this team and they didn’t address it. They guys at this point in the season aren’t just going to start hitting now. The only person I hold out any hope for at all is Guillen (I will reserve my judgment there).
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And like Rich said the kid did pitch well last night (and I have no doubt about it). But at some point you have to say is that these hitters are just no getting the job done. You would think that at some point embarrassment would kick in for these guys??
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And now we get the better pitchers for the Orioles so how do you think that they will handle that?? I am not feeling that good about it are you??
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GK

Alex Avila called up. Now who saw that coming? Lamber has pitched well, so that is understandable, but my goodness, Avila. Well, I know one thing: they have to have Guillen in the lineup. At this point they must be desperate and want to see Avila’s bat in the lineup. Maybe the last road trip made Jason so sick he had to take a vacation.

Really felt sorry for Wilkin – I hope they at least put him up for the night before he started the return trip. Don’t know really what they expected throwing the kid in the deep end. More than a whiff of desperation.
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I suppose they have to try something – Avila being only 22 is sure to get a baptism of fire – I wonder if there is any wisecracks that they had to wait for his averages to go back down to fit in with the rest before getting the call up – he is hitting only .169/.270 post break after being .288/.387 pre all-star.
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Interesting comments made by Seay in the fan chats when asked: “How is the atmosphere in the clubhouse?”
Bobby Seay: “This year is a lot different than past years… we have a good chemistry, good group of guys… we’ve come together and we know what it’s going to take to get where we want to go…”

Many of us felt last years team were not a cohesive group.

When asked: “How do you like Jim Leyland as a manager?”
Bobby Seay: “He’s awesome. He’s helped my career tremendously and I think he’s done a lot for Detroit… he makes coming to the ballpark easy every day.”
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IMhumbleO, today’s team against Guthrie should be:
Curtis CF
Polly 2B
Clete RF
Miggs 1B
Carlos DH
Raburn LF
Inge 3B
Ramon SS
Avila C
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I hold GK responsible for our predicament working out about mid April the Tigs are unable to hit rookies, callups and anyone with an ERA over 5. :-)
Nothing now to look forward to with every game you think we will win…..

I don’t have much faith in this team remaining in 1st. The simple fact of the matter is we just aren’t hitting and that’s been since April. I just don’t see them magically starting to hit after 4 months into the season. Miracles do happen, but that’s what it would take. the only time they seem able to hit if off a real weak pitcher or someone who is having a bad day. Our pitching is great, but that’s not enough. They are so sluggish at the plate, it hurts to watch them.

Some of the decisions made border on the bizarre. Bringing up Ramirez for one game is one thing, but sticking him right in there at leadoff is quite another. Hoping for lightning in a bottle, as JL would say? Now Avila. So much for taking the hot hand from the minors.
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The catching situation is not catching on. Gerald Laird has had one season in his career when he started 114 games (70%) and he hit .224, similar to his current average. Last year, in 95 games, he hit .276. This year he has started 78% of our games. Matt Treanor (remember him?) started 4 of the first 15 for 27%, but both Dane and Dusty started only 20% of games (these percentages are roughed out). Gerarld is running on fumes, but they bring up a catcher from AA. That doesn’t make sense to me. Nor did it make sense to call up Dusty and rarely use him.
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The hitters have to turn themselves around. It’s not enough, as an example, for Marcus to swing at bad pitches then say afterwards that he shouldn’t be doing that, which is what happened last night. Any help from Lloyd (or any other coach) would be marginal at best. I begin to suspect that our guys aren’t taking the competition seriously. We’ll know if they stumble through the rest of the Baltimore series then suddenly turn it on when the Twins get here.
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Splitting this series at home with a last place team isn’t acceptable, especially when you see Chicago beating up on the best of the East and West during their homestand.
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–Rich

The way they are playing on the road you need to a 60 to 75% winning average at home.

Dusty was not given much of a chance and should not have been brought up to play once every two weeks. I have seen Avila play a few times. I liked his approach at the plate, but too many passed balls behind the plate. It is much easier for a AA pitcher to come up and have an impact than a hitter. Laird does need more rest.
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Rayburn and Wilkin should of switched spots in the order. Does seem like someone had it in their mind before Monday to bring Wilkin up to bat lead off last night since he batted lead off last weekend for one of the first times all year.
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Thames is having the kind of year you would expect. A homer every 15 at bats and an average in the .260 range. Most of the second tier players on the roster are hitting about where you would expect or a bit better.
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It is amazing that with Granderson, Polonco and Maggs hitting about 50 points lower than you would of expected along with Carlos being hurt most of the year that this team is in first place. Cabrera’s average, power and RBI production look good, but watching him everyday his clutch hitting is down from the past. Given his opportunities he should be at 80 RBIs by now.
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We all know the pitching has carried this team and it looks like the Tigers will go as far a the pitching will carry us. Seems like most of the hitters are stuck in the .250 to .270 range and will stay there this season. Seems like we have been waiting all year for Granderson, Maggs and Polly to get to their track record. Well, for this year it looks like this is there track record.
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JV, Jackson, Porcello, Washburn, Armando and the pen better keep their era’s down if they want to win the Central.
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Mark

It’s hard to fathom what they are thinking. I feel bad for Wilkin but I’ll bet if he had hit a couple times, he’d still be in Detroit. I guess that’s the pressure they expect him to be able to deal with. They don’t give Laird enough rest. I’d be happier with Sandinia, though I’m sure I’m in the minority here, spelling Gerald a few games a week and we’d probably see G## average go up if he wasn’t catching so much. Even though Dane can’t hit a lick, he’s good with the pitchers and good defensively. The whole team performs offensively like they were all on PED’s. Just kidding, but did you ever think you’d see such pathetic hitting from this group?

You absolutely can win with the pitching we have, even with the batting averages we have. The only thing missing here is one or two well timed hits per game. That has been totally missing for too long now. It almost defies belief. Last night’s game changed when Izturis stopped what would have been a 2-run single by Everett, plus another play later on. Those have to be hits for us. It’s a combination of bad approaches, good defense by the opposition, and plain old bad luck. It’s like that old Maxwell Smart gag line, “Missed it by that much.”
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I spent much of the season campaigning for Dane, but at this point I’d prefer Dusty. Sure, he can’t hit a curveball but sometimes they throw fastballs. The Ramirez move combined with the Avila call-up leads me to believe that management is relying on the “hot rookie that nobody’s seen yet” approach, ala Clete and Kelly. While this is something that does happen from time to time, it’s not something to base a strategy on. It’s just making them appear desperate.
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–Rich

You make a good point, Rich. You don’t need to hit .300 to be able to drive in a lot of runs. Case in point, Sizemore from Cleveland is only hitting .227 but he has 54 RBI. And a lot of times with this team, as GK has pointed out, we can’t get the runner home from third with less than two outs. In those situations you don’t even need a hit but a lousy flyball or groundout will do. Our guys don’t seem to get in a contact mode, a lot of bad approaches as some of us have noted.

–Ed

There is a good Boston article about their 24 yo reliever Daniel Bard and how they are SLOWLY bringing him on in the team.
The salient point to me was:
“When he was first called to the Major Leagues in mid-May, manager Terry Francona went to great lengths to protect Bard and not throw too much at him too fast.
Almost always, Bard came into the game when the Red Sox were trailing. If he came in with a lead, it was a sizable one.
There are no longer many restrictions, as Francona has taken the kid gloves off his flame-throwing setup man and is open to using him in just about any situation.”

This has been probably my biggest beef with JL – putting called up pitchers immediately under pressure (Perry doing setup role in April, Clay pitching for the first time against NY when they had just ripped apart Porcello) and hitters thrown into top 5 positions.
JL seems to have the attitude that he wants to maximise the pressure test straight up to see if they will be OK – even if long term guys on the current roster can’t. If it is, just crazy logic.
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My second beef with JL is he plays too conservatively. In the recent Jason article, JL laments he plays with the pieces he is given and that the Tigs are not a good bunting and base stealing team.
JL ignores the fact that when the pressure is on, few players pull off the perfect play when challenged. JL and the team should adopt the motto “Fortune favours the Brave”.

I see while I was at work today, I have been mentioned a few times???? ha ha. And yes I stick by them.
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The first one “THE CURSE OF THE AAA CALL-UP” In fact last night Mario and Rod I think in the post game said that the Tigers are 0-6 against rookie pitchers this year. Although that is actually a phrase I coined in this household a few years ago when I noticed it. I think that they play to their level of competition, more so this year than any other but I have noticed it in previous years.
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And then my biggest pet peeve “RUNNERS ON THIRD BASE WITH ONE OUT OR LESS AND NO RUNS SCORE” In fact I joke when we actually do hit a sac fly. I say to my spouse “something just happened that I have never seen before there was a runner on 3rd and the batter hit a ball into the outfield the guy caught it and the runner went back and tagged the bag and went home??? I think they just called it something like a sac fly????” Sarcastic obviously. Because it is just such a rarity. Usually our guys will hit a ground ball to second (Granderson and Polanco) or pop it up to short or second and slam their bat down in disgust (Thames, Inge and Laird). But boy can they flyout to outfield when we actually want a hit, but in a sacrafice situation forget it.!!!
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Enough complaining it is what it is, and I don’t see it changing anytime soon. I think this is the team we got and we will win or lose with them. What is interesting though is that I am more frustrated with this team than last years team that was soooooooo bad. Doesn’t make sense, I guess it is because I know what they are capable of, and every game I think that this is the game that they are going swing out of it and no – they just are not capable of hitting this year.
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gk
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GO TIGERS

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