Results tagged ‘ Curtis Granderson ’

Ramirez to replace Granderson? Probably not

The continued trade interest in Curtis Granderson raises the question of who would replace him in center field. But contrary to published speculation, Wilkin Ramirez isn’t the answer.

From a pure athletic standpoint, Ramirez might be the closest Detroit has to Granderson that’s Major League ready. He was arguably Detroit’s fastest player as a spot player over the summer and late-season pinch-runner. His power potential is big, to the point that he would project more for an RBI producer.

He is not, however, a center fielder. He never has been, save for two games in center at Triple-A Toledo this past season and some time there in winter ball for Licey this offseason. The Tigers considered moving him to center in the lower levels of the farm system once they determined he was not a third baseman, but team officials felt he was a better fit in left field, where he made 11 errors in 95 games this year. The physical tools are there, but his instincts are a work in progress.

So if not Ramirez, then who? Ryan Raburn was Granderson’s backup in center for most of the year, and started there on a few occasions when Granderson had a game off, but that doesn’t necessarily make him a full-time center fielder. Clete Thomas was a regular in center at Erie and Toledo in 2007 and ’08, and maybe could fit in a platoon, but he was overmatched at the plate down the stretch this year. Prospect Casper Wells has the ability to play center field in the big leagues, according to some, and he definitely has the desire. Whether he could do it every day is another question; he would have to prove himself to the Tigers to do it.

Ideally, a Granderson trade would bring back a center-field prospect in return, but given the teams with reported interest, that doesn’t appear likely.

The other option would be to add a veteran center fielder, maybe someone like Mike Cameron, with whom the Tigers were linked in trade talk last summer as someone to play CF against lefties. That, however, would beg the question: If a Granderson trade frees up money to fill other needs, what good is it if you have to spend money to replace Granderson?

Add Angels to Granderson suitors

Trade interest in Curtis Granderson is expected to draw teams that already have an established center fielder. That group is now believed to include the Angels.

The Angels have talked with the Tigers about a Granderson trade, according to a report in New York’s Newsday, with the enticement of slotting in Granderson as a corner outfielder alongside Gold Glove center fielder Torii Hunter and adding a left-handed bat to a lineup that had a lot of right-handed hitters in the middle of the order this past season.

Angels general manager Tony Reagins declined comment to Newsday, much like Tigers officials have been quiet on the Granderson front this week.

Granderson is a friend of Hunter dating back to their days as AL Central rivals in Minnesota, and while Granderson loves center field, he understandably has a lot of respect for Hunter as one of the greats at the position. Granderson has also talked about how much he enjoys Angel Stadium, and the way the stadium plays.

It probably helps that the Angels have seen some of Granderson’s best performances. He’s a .353 (30-for-85) career hitter at Angel Stadium, and his eight home runs in 21 games there are as many as he has hit anywhere other than Detroit.

The Angels have position prospects that could entice the Tigers, including outfielder Chris Pettit. They also have some level of bullpen depth that could provide Detroit with some late-inning help.

Dombrowski: Tigers aren't having a fire sale

As the GM meetings rumor mill began to swirl around the Tigers Wednesday, team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski wanted to dispel a notion that popped up.

“We’re not having a fire sale,” he said by phone Wednesday.

He was surprised the question came up, in fact, and he thought it was a rather ridiculous question. Still, given the buzz coming out of the meetings on Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson, it had to be asked.

Others gave no impression of a looming payroll purge, either, so far as they knew. Agents who have talked with the Tigers, too, suggested that wasn’t their understanding, though they didn’t claim to have an intricate knowledge of the team’s plans.

The impression that came out today was that of a team that needs to get creative to look for ways to improve a team that didn’t win the AL Central while having a lot of money tied into untradeable contracts. So they have to look at what the tradeable contracts can get them. One source suggested that after a season like the Tigers had, they could listen to interest on a lot of their players, that the notion of untouchable players was questionable.

So on Jackson and Granderson, and maybe Gerald Laird, maybe even others, they’re going to listen and discuss. If you look at it, they don’t have a whole lot of other players who would attract a nice package in return. But there’s no indication they’re going to move if they don’t like the return.

Bill James predicts 22 HRs for Raburn

Jason Beck / MLB.com

So what happens every November, right around the time that the Bill James Handbook comes out, is that they send out an email to writers detailing what they project for the next season from certain players on their team. Generally, it’s a look at last season’s stats and a projection whether the player will build on those numbers or regress.

This year’s version is out, and the projections include a 22-homer season in 439 at-bats from Ryan Raburn, But as Bill James admitted in the email, they can’t predict or project playing time.

The projection on Raburn includes a .276 average, 73 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. What interested me, though, were projections for some of the hitters. Curtis Granderson, under their scenario, would bat .275 with 27 homers, 76 RBIs, 17 stolen bases and an .844 OPS — keeping a lot of his home-run power while still getting a bounceback on batting average. Magglio Ordonez is projected to bat .311 with 17 HRs and 84 RBIs.

On the pitching side, Rick Porcello would get a bit of a sophomore slump, going 10-11 with a 4.25 ERA in 195 innings.

Granderson wins Marvin Miller Man of the Year award

For those who missed it this morning, Curtis Granderson was selected by MLB players as this year’s Marvin Miller Man of the Year for excellence on and off the field. The story is on the site if you want to read more, but from what I’ve looked up, it’s the first time a Tiger has won a national baseball award for community service since Al Kaline.

Here’s Granderson’s reaction to the award:

“I am honored to not only be receiving such an award, but also humbled that this
was voted on by other Major League Baseball players. I am in a position to use
my status as a professional baseball player to help others in need to rally
others to help those in need.

“Working with the Detroit Tigers Foundation, the Detroit Action Team and the
various other programs along with my own Grand Kids Foundation, I have seen
first-hand impacts being made in Detroit and other inner cities throughout
Michigan. I am excited at being able to continue to help enhance the educational
experience for many of Michigan’s students.
“I want to help others realize that they do not have to be rich and famous
to make a positive impact in their community. Volunteering just one hour a week
at any community organization or school can make a difference.”

Granderson also was on the Mike and Mike show this morning talking about it. There’s a sound clip available on the show’s home page on the ESPN Radio site.

Whatever your reactions on Granderson’s season at the plate, and I know there’s a range of reax, this is a nice award to get. The way the postseason awards are shaping up, it’s probably going to be the only individual award the Tigers get this year.

Sunday: Tigers vs. Blue Jays

It’s much the same lineup Sunday against Ricky Romero that the Tigers trotted out Friday against Brian Tallet, including Curtis Granderson batting seventh as the lone left-handed hitter.

Adam Lind is back in the Blue Jays lineup at DH. He’s a .325 hitter with a 1.001 OPS in day games this year. Not only is Joe Inglett starting again, he’s in right field.

UPDATE @12:20: Joe Inglett was scheduled to be back in the lineup in right field, but he has been scratched with a rib cage strain. Jose Bautista is now batting ninth in RF.

TIGERS

  1. Ryan Raburn, LF
  2. Placido Polanco, 2B
  3. Magglio Ordonez, RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Marcus Thames, DH
  6. Brandon Inge, 3B
  7. Curtis Granderson, CF
  8. Gerald Laird, C
  9. Adam Everett, SS

P: Rick Porcello

BLUE JAYS

  1. Marco Scutaro, SS
  2. Aaron Hill, 2B
  3. Adam Lind, DH
  4. Vernon Wells, CF
  5. Lyle Overbay, 1B
  6. Juan Encarnacion, 3B
  7. Travis Snider, LF
  8. Raul Chavez, C
  9. Joe Inglett Jose Bautista, RF

P: Ricky Romero

Granderson batting 7th

Manager Jim Leyland wants to play Granderson as much as he can for the final 3 1/2 weeks, but he doesn’t want him having to struggle at the top of the lineup against lefties. Thus, Granderson is batting seventh Friday against Blue Jays left-hander Brian Tallet. Leyland said he’ll start him again Sunday against fellow southpaw Ricky Romero before resting him Monday against lefty David Purcey.

“He’s going to be a big key for us,” Leyland said of Granderson Friday.

The result is that we’ll see less of Wilkin Ramirez than one might’ve figured. As Leyland pointed out, it’s difficult to play a rookie down the stretch of a playoff race.

“I’m going to pretty much go with the guys who have been here all year,” Leyland said. “If it isn’t good enough, it isn’t good enough.”

TIGERS

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

P: Nate Robertson

BLUE JAYS

  1. Marco Scutaro, SS
  2. Aaron Hill, 2B
  3. Adam Lind, LF
  4. Vernon Wells, CF
  5. Kevin Millar, 1B
  6. Rod Barajas, C
  7. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
  8. Randy Ruiz, DH
  9. Jose Bautista, RF

P: Brian Tallet

Granderson sits, Ramirez plays

As expected, Curtis Granderson is sitting against another left-handed starter, this one Lenny DiNardo. Wilkin Ramirez gets the start in left field. Raburn moves to center and leadoff, which worked well on Tuesday.

TIGERS

  1. Raburn, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Thames, DH
  6. Inge, 3B
  7. Ramirez, LF
  8. Laird, C
  9. Everett, SS

P: Jarrod Washburn

Granderson sits, Ramirez starts

With a left-hander on the mound and extra right-handed bats here thanks to the September call-ups, manager Jim Leyland took the opportunity to give Curtis Granderson the night off. Ryan Raburn started in center field, with Wilkin Ramirez getting the start in left. It sounds a lot like Aug. 4, when the Tigers called up Ramirez for a day and rested Granderson that night.

TIGERS

  1. Ryan Raburn, CF
  2. Placido Polanco, 2B
  3. Magglio Ordonez, RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Marcus Thames, DH
  6. Brandon Inge, 3B
  7. Wilkin Ramirez, LF
  8. Gerald Laird, C
  9. Adam Everett, SS

P: Rick Porcello

INDIANS

  1. Grady Sizemore, CF
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
  4. Jhonny Peralta, 3B
  5. Travis Hafner, DH
  6. Luis Valuena, 2B
  7. Andy Marte, 1B
  8. Michael Brantley, LF
  9. Wyatt Toregas, C

P: Aaron Laffey

Granderson gets a knuckler

Curtis Granderson has long talked about the challenge of playing the outfield at Comerica Park in day games. But Monday was a new adventure even for him.

When Granderson drifted towards left-center field on Carlos Pena’s fifth-inning line drive, he wasn’t heading that direction to make a catch. He was preparing to field it on the bounce.

“I was actually getting into position to cut the ball off,” Granderson said after the Tigers’ 11-7 loss to the Rays Monday afternoon. “I didn’t think I was going to have a chance to catch it.”

It was much to Granderson’s surprise, then, when the ball carried long enough that he would’ve had a chance to catch it. The problem was that it also hooked so sharply that it ended back in straightaway center, close to where Granderson started.

“I’ve never seen that happen before,” Granderson said. “I don’t know what happened.”

He wasn’t the only one who seemed to have trouble out there. Rays center fielder B.J. Upton had trouble tracking Aubrey Huff’s drive to center, then seemingly found it before it popped out of his glove for a two-base error. Others around the league have had problems here, too, including Torii Hunter.

The fact that Granderson has played half his games here for about four years and still has trouble says plenty about it.

“We still can’t pinpoint what it is, whether it’s about the glare or the sun,” Granderson said. “This is the only stadium where you don’t need shades to fight the sun.”

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