Tuesday: Tigers vs. Rangers

First crack at filling in for Brandon Inge at third base goes to Don Kelly tonight. That does not mean, though, that he’s a longer-term option.

Leyland’s remarks when asked if this is an opportunity for Kelly seemed less than committal.
“I don’t know about that,” Leyland said Tuesday. “He is going to play some. We’ll see how things unfold here. He’s going to get a chance to play some.”
TIGERS
  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Damon, LF
  3. Ordonez, DH
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Boesch, RF
  6. Raburn, 2B
  7. Avila, C
  8. Kelly, 3B
  9. Worth, SS
P: Armando Galarraga
RANGERS
  1. Elvis Andrus, SS
  2. Michael Young, 3B
  3. Ian Kinsler, 2B
  4. Josh Hamilton, DH
  5. Nelson Cruz, RF
  6. David Murphy, LF
  7. Bengie Molina, C
  8. Chris Davis, 1B
  9. Julio Borbon, CF
P: Tommy Hunter

33 Comments

Just got back from the U of M dentistry school and boy o boy are those students having a fit about the Tigers. Upset, upset, upset. The student working on me mentioned Jim Joyce and asked me if we had talked about that game yet. Well, we hadn’t because the last time I went for dental work was the same night Armando pitched his perfect game. My dentist, at the last minute, decided to go the game that night.

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“If I made a mistake like that, I’d be fired.” He booed, he hollered and we both agreed the Yankees would have had the decision reversed and Bud Selig would have made that decision for the Yankees.
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Just thought I’d share. It is indeed, a small world.
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I’m sorry, but I don’t ever want to see Carlos at 3rd.

I just love the way Leyland shoots down my ideas in such an efficient manner. Okay, “Guillen is our secondbaseman.” But not tonight.
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In the curious facts department, Laird was nearly run out of town on a rail for hitting .225 last year but not a peep out of anyone over Avila hitting below that mark. And he can’t bunt. We have some strange fans.
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–Rich

Avila is scuffling. I guess it’s all relative. Especially at the end of last year, Laird was performing well below Avila’s numbers. Also, Laird was appearing to have zero idea at the plate, literally popping up 3/4 of the time. Avila at least hits some hard line drives. Laird is doing so more often this year, as well, which is probably why there is less talk about him now. Also, apathy may be an explanation.
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Not happy to come home to a 2-0 deficit and ANOTHER double play grounded into by Ordonez…

Rich in the previous heading you mentioned something about Damon’s explaination ofr not getting home when Boesch hit a single and he didn’t score. I didn’t hear it I went to bed. I assume from your later comment that he was deked by the outfielder?? And if that was his explaination I frankly think that was crap because I knew from the crack of the bat it was a ball he could score on. Am I crazy – was their any doubt?? Anyway on my way to the park tonight – hope for a little better results tonight.
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GK

Can anyone tell me why Guillen is “resting” tonight?

Compare the position players of the two teams. Is there any position besides Cabrera over Davis at 1B that you can give to the Tigers? Even with Guillen at 2nd and Ordonez in RF it would be doubtful. Putting Boesch against Murphy in LF would also be a tough call. I am beginning to be concerned about the Boesch magic being gone. My point is if you looked at these two teams on paper, Texas should win every game. Sorry, Tiger fans.

How did the Tigers ever get into this mess of poor hitting?

I can’t believe every Tiger hitter has just gone dead. All players have their ups and downs but the team as a whole
has gone dead? Fat cats? They are not all millionaires. Poor leadership? Whether this is true or not, I think you have to go with that premise and make the necessary change. This lineup changing and resting players is aggravating. They are still in a division race, for heaven’s sake.

Uninspired. Damn calls a team meeting, and then he fails in the clutch and the Tigers follow that up with a dud here. Leyland claims that the problem has been the starting pitching on the road…and then the starting pitching at home has been subpar. He claimed he didn’t have answers why they were flat out of the break. He doesn’t have any answers and he isn’t going to find any anytime soon.
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Evidently Dave Dombrowski is watching a different Detroit Tigers team. I say this because there is absolutely NO excuse for there not to be major changes in the coaching/managing area at this point.
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Avila – hasn’t shown any development that I can see
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Laird – still hitting under .200 with no power
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Boesch – not making adjustments and falling fast
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Jackson – still striking out way too much and getting no extra base hits at all and rarely bunting
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Verlander – still inconsistent compared to other $100M pitchers in baseball
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Bonderman – still hasn’t been able to learn a 3rd pitch and remains inconsistent
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Galarraga – no development whatsoever in 2 years
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Zumaya – no development in 4 years
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Perry – no development in 2 years
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Scherzer and Porcello had to go down to Toledo to get straightened out because major league coaching somehow was not capable of fixing flaws? Galarraga’s perfect game was right after coming back from AAA as well…
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No improvement in fundamentals like situational hitting, bunting, throwing to right base
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Am I wrong to expect at least some improvement somewhere over the past few years that can be attributed to this staff? Can anyone show me any?

It seems like the life has been sucked out of this team. We opted for relief help with Inge on the DL. With all due respect to Casey Fein, where was the help. Crying a boat load of Tiger Tears as I write this.

Greg

Just got back from the park and all I have to say is – bored tired and becoming increasingly disinterested in this team and what it is doing. And this is coming from a person who hasn’t missed more than 3 or 4 games a year for the last 5 years. Unfortunately I have tickets to 2 more games this week and have no real desire to go.
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Very frustrated here in Detroit
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GK

We sure are getting schooled tonight. The Rangers look terrific and I mean that sincerely.

Looking at Leyland’s comments about 3rd base…”I don’t know what I’m going to do…I don’t have any idea. I’ll have to wait and see.” and about an 8 man bullpen – “no idea.” If Kelly was going to play more 3rd base – “I don’t know about that.” Why do they struggle on the road? “If I knew the answer, I’d have it. But don’t start quizzing me, I don’t know.” About the home/road ERA splits “mind-boggling” “It’s puzzling to me”
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Sorry, but regardless of the truth of any of those statements, hearing your manager say these things over and over is not confidence inspiring. I’m at my boiling point.

Glad I opted for the beach today!.
But geez guys, I go away for a couple of weeks and you all can’t keep the Tigers winning?
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Even not watching I find myself extrmeley agitated that this season has turned the way it has. Very discouraging. It harkens back to the times that even when we were winning there were many fans who felt that the team was not really good enough to sustain success.
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I would think that if things don’t turn around in a majorly positive way very soon we will have to write this one off again. If that happens they really need to give JL and his staff the pink slip. Chnages are needed. Not stubborn and questionable strategy and tweaks. We need a whole new starting infield, (other than MCab.) And we need them to kick-*** on the base paths too. We need at least 2 starting pitchers. This is a serious makeover in the works.
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First off, I want to commend Galarraga for pitching a pretty good game. He got hurt by a couple of longballs but managed to keep us in there, run up a high pitch count through eight, and saved the bullpen. I think it’s tough on these guys to have to pitch after so many days off and I see that happening throughout baseball since Friday.
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After reading through the comments here, I think Detroit management should be most concerned over the one from GK. When you begin losing your best fans, and GK certainly falls into that category, you have a problem. It’s probably not wins and losses as much as it is putting an entertaining product on the field. We are not seeing an entertaining product when the guys seem to be the walking dead out there.
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Regarding the big picture, it is a fact that there is a lot of baseball left, including 14 games with Chicago. I don’t think this 7-game skid in and of itself is terminal, but we have to have the talent to overcome it. I’ve made pretty clear that I don’t think we’re that good this season, but if you think we do have the talent (including manager) to get back into it, then you should look at this as a temporary glitch in the pennant race and hang in there.
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On the subject of changing managers, I don’t think Dombrowski will do that during the season. I do think it’s a perfectly logical move to make, and plenty of clubs do it, but I don’t expect it to happen here. If DD were to remove JL, I’m fairly certain it would be after the season. If you ask me what I would do, I would have fired JL during or after the 2008 season, but the fact that he’s still here leads me to believe that he won’t be going anywhere soon. That said, I sure would like to see what a sudden shake up would do to this team’s play. IMO, Leyland is vastly overrated as a manager and losing him would be a positive.
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So there we stand from my point of view.
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–Rich

Spot on, Rich. If the fans lose interest, then the whole bag of potatoes is gone. After last year I strongly considered not renewing my MLB.TV subscription. I caved in the excitement for opening day. As with last year, this has to be one of the least fun to watch contenders in pro sports. Reminds me some of the Pistons back when they were getting to the Eastern Conference Finals all the time. Successful, yes. Fun to watch, no. Tigers are becoming more stressful to watch than enjoyable and, as a law student, I don’t need any more stress, let me tell you!

I came home mad – we had to arrive at the game a little late and frankly after he gave up the runs in the first few innings I wanted to turn off the express way and go home, my spouse still wanted to head down. You know me (well know ya don’t) but I will be right back watching tonight I am sure.
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But to Rich’s point I am becoming bored and while I also have agreed with him all year that this team really is just an okay team, and they aren’t going anywhere I was having fun watching them. In my opinion, you have go to watch and enjoy and cheer for the team you got or you just shouldn’t watch. Well I was having fun – I knew they weren’t any great shakes, but they were fun. I wasn’t confident of this pitching (starting staff) from the start. Unlike last year, I had confidence in the staff, at least the top three. Anyway!!!!
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Looks like the White Soxs have discovered themselves, while the Tigers and the Twins and falling flat. Oh well it is just baseball right????
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GK

This team is in a fog.
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Players not running hard out of the batters box; not scoring a winning run on what everybody in the world knew was jam shot bleeder that was going to fall in; a great defensive centrefielder who lets two catchable balls clank off his glove; but the capper for me was last night.
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It was a play that had no significance on the game or the outcome but it was a prime example of the fog these guys are in. It involved Raburn, which is unfortunate because he always seems to be a whipping boy. I do not know if anyone else noticed it because nobody has commented on it. But it drove me crazy because it showed they are not paying any attention to what is going on.
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In the bottom of 7th (the inning the Tigers had there only real scoring chance), Avila was up with men on first and third and TWO out. Avila lined out to Kinsler and you can see Raburn freeze on the line drive and then start racing back to first base. He forgot how many outs there were. You can actually see him look around confused for a moment. The play didnt mean anything other than to show their mental weaknesses. If you didnt see it, go back and cue it up and you will see what I am talking about. Completely inexcusable. I expect my 12 year old daughter’s softball team to forget how many outs there are; not professional major leaguers.
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They may or may not come out of this tailspin. It could be just another 2nd half swoon. We should be used to it by now. 2nd half swoons have everything to do with mental toughness and that comes from management and leaders; both areas we are weak in. If they do come out of it, it will have nothing to do with anything JL and his cronies do. He has no answers. He has refused to make adjustments or change things up and he is constantly playing bench players more than he should. Pick a starting 9 and run with it.
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I have not posted in a while but I have been reading every single one but that play last night got me so fired up that I had to jump back in.
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— Bob

Bob-
I did not watch past the 4th inning, but that exact Raburn play was shown as a “highlight” of the game on SportsCenter.
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I’ve been too depressed to post- Other than the Monday night which we should have won 7-6 as we all know- we have scored exactly 8 runs in 5 games.
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Please shut the heck up about starting pitching- no one is going to win with that kind of offense. I’m directing that to JL, as well as the broadcasters who still seem to be harping on that.
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I can’t stand Ozzie Guillen, but there is something to be said for his obnoxious tactics to fire his team up when they are playing well below their capabilities. I would welcome ANYTHING to spark this team.
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Tracey

Detroit fans are not just fans in the City or surrounding areas. Fans from all over the state come to see the Tigers in the summer, when their kids are out of school. Grandparents can take grandkids to the games. I’ve this kind of diversity at every game I have attended. Folks from all over. Hundreds of buses deliver fans to Comerica from towns all over Michigan. It’s always been this way.
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The Tigers continue to have pretty good crowds, but another couple weeks of this and the stands will get empty real fast. Many people do make a financial sacrifice to go to a Tigers game. I know they’re are many things you can look for at a game. Our new 3rd baseman looked pretty slick. Armando pitched very well after the 1st inning. But, they have to start winning. That’s the bottom line.

Come on guys, is every pitcher pitching the best game of the season against us? I don’t like to get down on my teams, I am a fan through and through, but I spent more time paying attention to paying my bills last night and reading the paper than I did the TV. Everyone is in a fog.

I can’t get down on Brennan, heck, you just can’t expect that kid would be so unbelievable the whole season in his first call up to the bigs. I think he’ll be fine in another week or so, but all the teams have him scouted now, so the hitting coach needs to work with him on working with what the pitchers are giving him. The other teams are not dumb, but we need to be smart too and figure out how to work out of this funk. Someone needs to fire this team up. If they need me to I’ll gladly drive up there tonight and give them a rah rah so they are back to hitting so when I go on Friday for my 2nd game of the year I can see some fire.

Last time I”ll comment on the Damon thing – in hindsight obviously, but I’d much rather see him picked off after a spectacular catch if he is being aggresive and running than not even having the opportunity.

Please guys, time to break out of the slump. Bunt, steal, throw yourself in front of the ball and take one for the team to get on base.

We all are aware of JL’s .496 record and his inability to get the Tigs over 500 in the second half despite even being over 600 at the break 2 consecutive seasons.
Amazingly though into his 19th season, his teams have only improved after the break on 4 occasions and only once with a contending team with an overall record over 500 achieved with the 1992 Marlins.
Arguing he has managed poor teams doesn’t wash as his teams have been over 500 at the break 47.4% of the time, yet have only made it over 500 27.8% after the break.
Lynn Henning blames pitching.
You could say JL is due but I don’t like the odds.

I forgot to mention that the last time JL’s team improved after the break was back in 1996 when the Pirates went .448 / .453. All four occasions occurred in his first 11 seasons as a MLB manager.

Yeah, I saw that Raburn play, Bob. Things like that happen on Jim Leyland’s punch the timeclock Tigers. The basepaths appear to be the place to take their 15-minute breaks. The players have changed over the years, but the team still is a reflection of their manager. There was Don Kelly last night postgame, parroting “not too high not too low.” Obviously JL gets through to them and they’ve taken on his personality. This is why the argument that “Leyland doesn’t pitch or swing the bat” doesn’t hold water. These players have untapped potential that won’t be reached with him.
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Even before the Cleveland series had ended, we had fans and media both pondering whether this was the start of
the Second Half Collapse, which seems as certain as the weather changing in October to Tiger watchers.
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–Rich

The team has been terrible in this stretch and it was an unfortunate time to take a baseball vacation. Tonight is my 7th game in six days. The pitching has been good enough to win most games, but the hitting and defense is terrible.
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Sizemore played 3rd for Toledo last night. I think he deserves a call up, but not as the 3rd baseman. Carlos has little range at 2nd and is a defensive liability. When a man is on first, he has to play too close to second to be there for a double play and it leaves a gaping hole between first and second with Cabrera holding the runner on base. If they are intent on leaving Carlos at 2nd, the move should be to call up Larish to play 3rd. The team has too many DH types.
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Avila’s bat has not been very productive this year, but he has developed his catching skills to the point where defensively he is not a liability as he was last year. Hopefully, he will get back to hitting like the two week stretch before the break.
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There is still a long way to go and hoping for a win tonight, so I don’t get shutout on this trip.
..Mark

A 6-day 7-game trip and you don’t have a win. That should be against the law. The least they could do is let you into the clubhouse for a pregame talk.
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I see they’ve recalled Sizemore. Bringing him up to play THIRDBASE

A 6-day 7-game trip and you don’t have a win. That should be against the law. The least they could do is let you into the clubhouse for a pregame talk.
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I see they’ve recalled Sizemore. Bringing him up to play THIRDBASE is about the stupidest thing I can think of. If JL just has to have Guillen in the lineup, put him at third so you don’t weaken two positions. Carlos does not play a good secondbase, and it affects the way Cabrera plays firstbase. Miggy shouldn’t be ranging over into the hole in an attempt to cut off grounders. Not only that, but we should plug the youngsters into the position they will actually play in the future.
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–Rich

I want to have a word for the day. My Uncle, Aunt, Wife, Daughter, and Mother-in-law are Teachers. Oh, and our fellow blogger Greg. The word is “Coach”. More yardwork to do so I hope the end of the game makes me smile :-)
Go Tigers, 10 game winning streak. –Dave

Here’s my thought for the day: Instead of preparing Sizemore for 3b, JL- you’d better get some outfielders up for the current guys, Boesch, Jackson,Damon, Raburn,Maggs crashing into the outfield fences trying to catch them taters our staff is pitching to the plate. Them boys are going to hurt themselves , heck, no wonder their top plays are sprinting to the track, and catching it over their shoulders!
Isn’t there any pitchers on the tigers that can throw for strikes, and nibble the plate to strike out the opponents?
This is one week I’d like forget this 2010!

jim

Calling up Sizemore to play 3rd is stupid.
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I am not a Guillen at 3rd guy but if you are gonna call up a 3B–call up Larish.
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Kelly can handle the job but we need an instigator not a cpable replacement. We need someone to fire up the whole lineup. kelly can’t do that.
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Raburn might though.
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Rx for failure is the top of the lineup getting on and the 3-4-5 hitters coming up empty
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We need a game changer. Reyes, Hanley Ramirez. Haren would be good.
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Drew would be an upside maybe Beltre?
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Ordonez struggling . Ugghh.
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BTW, Guillen is not a game changer. IMO, he’s pretty much done. let’s forget about all the pretentious loyalty and cut him loose.

Ok, I’m no MLB pitcher, but I know that if I throw Boesch an inside pitch on the first pitch, I will get him to pop out. I can’t be smarter than McClendon, can I?

Scherzer was a really nice DD acquisition. To get the heart of the Ranger lineup after a leadoff triple is extremely impressive.

Solutions:
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Worth is a neat little player but not part of the solution.
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Dlugach–No.
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Siizemore-Maybe.
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Srieby. I’m thinkin’ yes.
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Ramirez–no.
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Avila—yes.
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Rhymes—give him a chance. Pedroia is an indicator of little guy success.
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Wells—-I’m not feelin’ it.
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Raburn—only as a 3B
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Ordonez—it’s time to part company unless he can rediscover and excell as a Dh
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Boesch–yes–big yes.
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Sasntiago–doomed to be a utility middle infielder.
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AJ–a keeper.
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Damon—yesterday’s news.
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Zumaya–get what you can before he ends up in traction.
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Valverde- keep him around.
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Bonderman–Bye-Bye
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Porecello-He’s a Tiger.
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G-Man- has trade value
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Laird-someone needs a defensive catcher.
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Inge-A new way to spell Ingery.
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Brad Thomas equal Luke Walker
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Schlereth–Patience.
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Ryan Perry–he’s gonna be OK.
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I hope Max has 150 pitches in him tonight. :)

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