Alfredo Figaro to Japan?

Not exactly scalding the hot stove, I know, but credit NPBtracker.com with the scoop on Tigers pitching farmhand Alfredo Figaro and negotiations for him to join the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s Pacific League. Nothing is finalized, but talks are ongoing.

Figaro was kind of an underrated pitching prospect rising through the farm system when the Tigers gave him a shot in 2009. He made two starts that June — one really good, the other very bad — and went back to Triple-A Toledo before coming up in September for some relief work. His ill-fated spot start against the White Sox on the final Saturday of the regular season was highly scrutinized, you might remember, but the Tigers understandably didn’t want to start rookie Rick Porcello or ace Justin Verlander on short rest.

Figaro went 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in eight games for the Tigers this past season, allowing 11 earned runs on 18 hits over 14 2/3 innings. He walked eight and struck out five. With the Tigers’ pitching ranks getting deeper at the upper levels now as more recent draft picks rise up the ranks, Figaro might have reached his ceiling with Toledo.

Will it impact the Tigers? Not really. The main difference will be another rotation spot open for the Mud Hens, where Andy Oliver and Charlie Furbush front what should be a talented starting staff. Some have seen Furbush as a darkhorse candidate for a lefty relief spot in Detroit at some point during the season, but I seriously doubt he’d be used that way in the minors, especially with the Tigers needing to identify some insurance starters other than Oliver if case the injury bug hits early.

8 Comments

Wrong Jason. You START JV or Porcello on short rest in game #161. No manager in baseball would have started Fig in that situation.

Translation: slow news day.

I must comment on this thread. Everyone is concerned with our hitting and pitching, and of course fielding. With Maggs back we should be fine. But with the same manager, who knows? Kulture, good one. No Manager would have. Part of me wants the Tigers to have a bad start so we get rid of the SOC. Then we will finally have a great second half! –Dave

I felt sick as soon as I read that remark about Figaro. Still hurts. Still want to change the outcome and can’t.
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On an aside, I think I just saw DD walking in the hallway with Harold Reynolds. Not sure, but it sure did look like him. Maybe Harold will get an interview.

Talk about ripping the scab off a wound! :-) If Verlander can’t start on three days rest, who can? Then Porcello on regular rest for the season finale. I doubt we play that game #163 if Leyland had done that. Even if we still end up in the tiebreaker, Justin has two days rest in case he’s needed in an extra inning game, if it went extra innings. Oh wait a minute, it did. I will never forget that final weekend. Or that horror-stricken look on Dombrowski’s face after Gomez scored the game winning run. That was the worst sports moment in my entire life, and that includes games I played in myself.
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–Rich

Looks like there’s a logjam down there in Florida. I wish someone would please take Carl Crawford and Lee, because lots of deals are being held up by these two.

I know it is the land of the free but why not a salary cap? The Yankees can buy anyone! Jeter was crying over 45 million. Now he gets 51 million and his agent gets 5%.
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Where does all this money come from? Can we buy a new manager? Go Tigers, 2011. –Dave

I like the idea of a salary cap (provided there is also a salary floor) which tends to reward those who do the best job of actually putting together a team. In hockey, before the cap, the Red Wings dominated spending and often won. Now, after the cap, the Red Wings are still winning. Why? Because their GM knows how to build a team, primarily by hiring great scouts, coaches and keeping his core together any way possible. Kind of like the Twins…
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If a salary cap existed in baseball, we might need a new GM (maybe we do anyway?) because the Tigers are usually in the top quarter of spending, if not higher, in baseball, and still have only made the playoffs once in the past 20 years. And of course, the Yankees have 1 World Series win in the last 10 years despite spending the most money.

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