Results tagged ‘ Matt Joyce ’

Mailbag: Tigers on MLB Network, Clevlen, Jackson, Thomas, Gomez

clevlen06.jpgSome of you might know this already, but we’ve moved away from the mailbag as a published article on the site every week. Quite a few of you seem to like the format, though, so I’m going to try to move it over to the blog in a smaller format and crank out some answers every so often, hopefully once a week. I think it makes more sense on the blog, anyway. It’s more conducive for feedback, and since it’s not actually an article, hopefully there will be less hassle on why I selected certain questions or didn’t answer others.

Anyway …

As a Tiger fan outside of Michigan, I am excited about the MLB Network. Should I be? Are the Tigers going to be featured on it ever or will it be the same Red Sox/Yankees/Cubs/Dodgers games that have been on Fox and ESPN?
- Jeremy H., Hartford, Wisc.

Actually, you’re in luck. The network will be re-airing some 2006 postseason games this weekend, starting with Game 4 of the ALCS Saturday at noon ET and continuing with the first two games of the World Series that night at 6 and 9 p.m. ET. They’ll show Games 3-5 on Sunday starting at 1 p.m. ET, if you wanted to relieve those games, too. Another neat item will be highlights of the 1945 World Series between the Tigers and Cubs on Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 11:30 p.m. ET.

You can go here for the TV listings.

Okay, say Brent Clevlen does clear waivers and the Tigers outright him to Toledo. What happens with his “options” then, or does he have to clear waivers every time he gets sent down?
- Nick R., Mayville, NY

Clevlen would have to be outrighted and clear waivers each time. Once the options are done, they’re done.

I was sad to see Matt Joyce go, but if Tampa had Andy Sonnastine open for trade talks why not go after him instead of getting Edwin Jackson? He had a better record.
- Ryan C., Greenville

First, Jackson is eligible for arbitration, while Sonnanstine is not. The Rays had more motivation for dealing Jackson and clearing up payroll to add another outfielder. Second, Jackson is arguably more of a stuff pitcher than Sonnanstine. He throws harder and has more in his repertoire. That doesn’t make him more successful, of course, but he fits the profile of the pitcher the Tigers like. And while plenty of people have said this about Jackson over the years, you can still make the case that he has a ton of upside if/when he puts everything together. Pitching coach Rick Knapp’s resume of building strike-throwers fits Jackson very well.

With the signing of minor league free agent Alexis Gomez, do you think that he has a shot of making the team since Matt Joyce is gone?
- Gareth R., Okemos

Probably not at the start of the season, unless the roster picture changes with injuries or other moves. I think moving Joyce means Jeff Larish is the Tigers’ best option for a left-handed bat off the bench, if he wasn’t already, and even he could be in a roster squeeze. Gomez gives the Tigers some depth if they need help during the season, but I think that depends on Clete Thomas (another left-handed hitting outfielder) and how quickly he returns.

Clete Thomas was a nice surprise for the organization last year. He proved that he could hit consistently, and field very well at the Major League level. What do you think will become of Clete this year? Will he earn a roster spot?
- Alan F., Grosse Pointe Woods

If he’s healthy after Tommy John surgery last fall — and keep in mind that position players return from that procedure quicker than pitchers — Thomas is in a very good spot in the organization. He can play all three outfield spots, bats left-handed, has some speed and plays solid defense. Does that mean he can make the team out of Spring Training? It would be tough. Marcus Thames and Ryan Raburn would seemingly have the edge on the reserve outfield spots, especially since Raburn can fill in on the infield as well.

Braden Looper is still unsigned as a free agent picther. Looper had some good years in Florida as a closer and might be a great option for Detroit’s closer. What are the chances of that happening?
- Frank A., Livonia

Not much, by all accounts. Enough teams are looking at Looper as a starter that he’ll probably sign as such. It’s his better route financially, and he has enjoyed starting for the last two years.

Want to submit a question? Let’s make it easy. Click on the link here and ask away. Just try to include your name — first name and last initial is fine — and hometown.

Roster move

With Matt Joyce essentially out of a starting job, the Tigers optioned him back to Toledo so that he can play every day. Clete Thomas will be recalled in time for Friday’s game at Seattle.

Joyce DHs again

Checking in from Kauffman Stadium, where the ballpark improvements are already started to get noticed, none moreso than the huge — I mean, massively huge — new video board in center field. It doesn’t have the crown on it like the old one did, but given how big it is, maybe they couldn’t build a crown large enough to put on top of it. Hopefully the sight of it on the broadcast does it justice, because looking out at it beyond center field from the press box behind home plate, I get that feeling like I’m sitting too close to the TV at home.

With Sheff in left and Magglio in right, the task of DH falls again upon young Matt Joyce, who will bat seventh.

Here’s the lineup the Tigers throw out against Zack Greinke:

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Guillen, 3B
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Cabrera, 1B
  6. Sheffield, LF
  7. Joyce, DH
  8. Renteria, SS
  9. Rodriguez, C

And for the Royals, who will throw four left-handed hitters into the lineup against Nate Robertson:

  1. David DeJesus, CF
  2. Mark Grudzielanek, 2B
  3. Alex Gordon, 3B
  4. Jose Guillen, DH
  5. Billy Butler, 1B
  6. Mark Teahen, RF
  7. John Buck, C
  8. Tony Pena, SS
  9. Joey Gathright, CF

Raburn as pinch-runner

So why pinch-run for somebody who just legged out an infield hit? Leyland said after the game that he had discussed it with Gene Lamont earlier. The thinking was that Raburn is a little faster, but also more experienced. He was less likely to be tentative, Leyland said, and Lamont knows him better and could feel more confident sending him around.

As for why Renteria wasn’t bunting to get the runner over to second, Leyland said he didn’t want to play for the tie, not with Boston’s offense and with limited options remaining in the Tigers bullpen. Todd Jones would not have come out for the 10th had the game gone to extras.

Joyce at DH, Sheff back in left

I know, on the surface, having Matt Joyce at DH while Gary Sheffield in left looks crazy. But Leyland wanted to give Sheffield three straight days in the field before a day off, and he wanted to put Magglio back in right. That left Joyce as the DH for tonight, assuming they play.

Right now, it looks like they’ll wait it out. The radar looks like it should clear before too late in the evening. Since this is the only time the Red Sox are in town, and they travel to Minnesota after Thursday’s game, they have plenty of motivation to try to get it in.

Here’s the Tigers lineup:

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Guillen, 3B
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Cabrera, 1B
  6. Sheffield, LF
  7. Joyce, DH
  8. Renteria, SS
  9. Rodriguez, C

And for the Red Sox:

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Jed Lowrie, 2B
  3. David Ortiz, DH
  4. Manny Ramirez, LF
  5. Mike Lowell, 3B
  6. Kevin Youklilis, 1B
  7. J.D. Drew, RF
  8. Jason Varitek, C
  9. Julio Lugo, SS

To go over the changes

  1. Jacque Jones designated for assignment.
  2. Matt Joyce called up from Toledo and is in RF.
  3. Sheffield is batting sixth and playing in LF, the latter per his request.
  4. Carlos Guillen will hit third.
  5. Magglio is still batting cleanup, but is DHing again today and will probably do that part-time while splitting time in RF.

Got all that? OK, here’s the lineup:

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Guillen, 3B
  4. Ordonez, DH
  5. Cabrera, 1B
  6. Sheffield, LF
  7. Joyce, RF
  8. Renteria, SS
  9. Rodriguez, C

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