DETROIT TIGER FANS!
For full access to all our areas, please register (free), there are areas that do not show up until you register and log-in.

DETROIT TIGER FANS!

A place for Detroit Tiger Fans to come together for a bit of fun
 
HomeHome  CalendarCalendar  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  Log inLog in  
Please log in and join in the fun of game day threads (GDT) and in overall Tigers chat.
CONGRATS TO CABRERA AND HUNTER on winning 2013 Silver Slugger Awards!
DETROIT TIGERS - 2011, 2012 & 2013 AL CENTRAL DIVISION CHAMPS!

Share | 
 

 Tigers midterm report

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
GoGetEmTigers
DTF1 ADMINISTRATOR Detroit Tiger
DTF1 ADMINISTRATOR Detroit Tiger
avatar

Female
Number of posts : 57424
Age : 58
Location : Eastern Ohio, near Wheeling WV
Favorite Current Tiger(s) : JV, Hunter, Jackson, Porcello, Avila (really ALL of em!)
Reputation : 20
Registration date : 2007-10-05

PostSubject: Tigers midterm report   Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:32 pm

07/16/2008 12:00 PM ET
Tigers midterm report
After up-and-down first half, Detroit looking good for stretch
By Jason Beck / MLB.com

DETROIT -- The high peak and momentous drop of this roller coaster that has been the Detroit Tigers' season appears to be over. The second half will be about how fast this ride can go.

What the Tigers don't have is no longer the theme defining the club as it heads into the season's second half. Injuries are no longer a major factor as long as Magglio Ordonez returns at or close to full strength. Questions about organizational depth seem to have been answered with the contributions by so many young players. The schedule looks a lot more favorable for Detroit from here on out than it did with four West Coast trips the last couple months.

With two and a half months left, talent and performance will probably determine whether the 2008 season for the Tigers is one of baseball's better recent comeback stories following their 2-10 start or a disappointment for a team whose roster was built to win now.

Club MVP:
Through all the injuries around the lineup, all the early-season slumps and all the position changes, one constant is that Carlos Guillen can hit. Whether he's batting sixth or third, or playing first base, third base or left field, Guillen is an unquestioned catalyst for the offense alongside Curtis Granderson. The difference is that Guillen has remained healthy all season and, appropriately, earned an All-Star selection.

Call him "Ace": Sure, it seems odd to give a midseason pitching award to someone who wasn't even in the Majors on Opening Day, but where would the Tigers' rotation be without Armando Galarraga? Honorable mention goes to Freddy Dolsifor the way he shored up the setup situation from his arrival in May until Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney returned.

Greatest strength: It's not the sheer numbers from the Tigers' offense that has Detroit playing so much better now, but the consistency with which this team is putting up runs. After being shut out 10 times in fewer than 50 games, Detroit has only been blanked once since May 31. They're scoring at least three runs in the vast majority of their games, though the Twins pitching staff brought out some of Detroit's inconsistencies again last weekend.

Biggest problem: Other than the oblique muscle, which has forced three Tigers hitters onto the disabled list this year, Detroit's weakness lies in pitching depth. The Tigers have overcome the loss of Dontrelle Willis to control problems and Jeremy Bonderman to injury thanks in no small part to Galarraga, but they can't afford to lose any more starters at this point.

Biggest surprise:
Not only was Galarraga at Triple-A Toledo to begin the year, he wasn't even viewed as a potential fixture in Detroit's rotation. He has changed minds on that thanks to the ability to spot more than one pitch for strikes. Each time that it appears opponents have figured out the Venezuelan right-hander, he has answered with a strong outing. The Tigers desperately need that to continue.

Team needs: The Tigers would no doubt love to add one more arm to the rotation, preferably a proven one, but they probably don't have the top-level Minor League talent to offer a team in return. Thus, team president/GM Dave Dombrowski would appear more likely to look for an decent innings-eater than try to join the bidding on a front-line arm.

Oh, doctor: Ordonez will be activated from the disabled list on Thursday after missing time with their respective oblique injuries. That will bring the Tigers roster as close to full strength as it's probably going to get this season. A return to form for Willis would be a bonus that the Tigers are not counting on for this season.

He said it:
"We pretty much had the full cheeseburger." -- Manager Jim Leyland on his bullpen depth after a 15-inning win at Seattle on July 6

Mark your calendar:
All those West Coast trips from May and June are over. From here on out, the Tigers' big road trips are almost all within their own division. They'll visit Chicago in August and September for meetings with the White Sox in a place where the Tigers haven't done well over the years. Detroit also has seven games left to play at Cleveland, including a four-game set leading up to the July 31 Trade Deadline. Those Tampa Bay series that used to be yawners are now looming large for the beginning of August in Florida and at season's end in Detroit.

Fearless second-half prediction: The Tigers will head into September as part of a three-team scrum with the Twins and White Sox for the AL Central title as the trio duplicate the tension of a 2006 race that went into the season's final couple weeks for all three and to the season's final day for two of them.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://alwaysatiger.forumotion.com
GoGetEmTigers
DTF1 ADMINISTRATOR Detroit Tiger
DTF1 ADMINISTRATOR Detroit Tiger
avatar

Female
Number of posts : 57424
Age : 58
Location : Eastern Ohio, near Wheeling WV
Favorite Current Tiger(s) : JV, Hunter, Jackson, Porcello, Avila (really ALL of em!)
Reputation : 20
Registration date : 2007-10-05

PostSubject: Re: Tigers midterm report   Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:46 pm

07/16/2008 12:00 PM ET
Youth serves Tigers well in first half
Leyland happy with early returns, but wants stars to step up
By Jason Beck / MLB.com

DETROIT -- The Tigers began the season as the story of a team that mortgaged much of the farm to win now. Little more than halfway into this season, they still have a chance to win, in part because the farm wasn't as barren as it seemed to be.

Six of Detroit's top 10 prospects from Baseball America's 2007 rankings left the organization in the two offseason trades that brought in Miguel Cabrera, Dontrelle Willis and Edgar Renteria. The message going into this season was clear: If the Tigers are going to win, it's going to be on the strength of its big league roster and its star-studded cast.

That's still pretty much the case, and manager Jim Leyland admits they won't win without their big guys making major contributions. But they wouldn't have a chance if not for the young talent that came up during Detroit's injury-plagued struggles and showed they're better than advertised.

After all the deals shook out, Michael Hollimon, Jeff Larish and Matt Joyce were the fourth, fifth and seventh-ranked prospects this past offseason, but neither Clete Thomas nor Brent Clevlen was on the list. Armando Galarraga wasn't on the Tigers' top-30 list, let alone the top 10, having come over in a Minor League deal during the Winter Meetings. Eddie Bonine was at the back end of the rotation at Triple-A Toledo, not even on the 40-man roster.

All of them have been Major Leaguers this year, and all of them have made an important contribution at some point. And at various points, the Tigers have needed it. They're a healthier club now, but they'll still need help if they're to join the AL Central race for the stretch run.

"That's why it's called a team," Leyland said.

Perhaps no story was as surprising as Galarraga, himself an offseason acquisition who came over in a Minor League trade with the Texas Rangers. Given the depth of starting pitching in the Tigers system a year ago, he would've been overlooked when Detroit needed a fill-in starter a week into the season if Detroit still had Andrew Miller, Jair Jurrjens, Dallas Trahern and Burke Badenhop.

Instead, with the Tigers short on insurance starters,Galarraga got the call when Willis hyperextended his right knee. Three months later, Galarraga holds a critical spot in Detroit's rotation after ace Justin Verlander and veteran stalwart Kenny Rogers.

"If you can throw more than one pitch for strikes," Leyland said, "you've got a chance."

The same philosophy goes for Bonine, who got the call to Detroit out of necessity after Willis' command problems landed him in Class A Lakeland and Jeremy Bonderman was shelved with a circulation problem in his shoulder.

Bonine's back-to-back quality starts against the Padres and Rockies played an underrated role in the Tigers' 16-3 run through the end of June, which vaulted them back within sight of the AL Central leaders.

Simply getting innings out of those two starters is a benefit for a team whose bullpen depth can shorten games on most nights. The fact that the two rookies delivered quality, efficient innings is a bonus.

Each time Detroit has had to deal with a positional issue, it has usually been able to reach into the farm system.
Thomas made enough of an impression on Leyland filling in for injured Curtis Granderson that he stuck with the club once Granderson returned. A shot-in-the-dark decision to call up Joyce and release Jacque Jones in early May brought some left-handed punch to the lineup. Joyce was named the AL Player of the Week on Monday, and he remains on the Tigers roster with Magglio Ordonez's expected return from the DL on Thursday.

Add in Larish, who filled in for an injured Gary Sheffield, and Hollimon, brought up after Ramon Santiago separated his left shoulder, and the Tigers have found some previously elusive left-handed balance from within for what had been a heavily right-handed lineup.

Leyland doesn't believe in clubhouse chemistry, but he does believe the young group has brought energy that the team needed.

"You have four left-handed hitters," Leyland said, including the switch-hitting Hollimon, "and they might be able at some point in the not-too-distant future to make the jump. I'm not talking about tomorrow. I don't know about next year. But I'm talking about how I like what I see. I like it a lot."

It leaves the future looking significantly brighter for Detroit as it moves forward with this season and starts to consider its roster for 2009. Still, Leyland isn't going to look to his youngsters as go-to guys quite yet.

"The fact of the matter is," Leyland said, "other people have to step up."


Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://alwaysatiger.forumotion.com
 
Tigers midterm report
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Sally Pearson on 7.30 Report last night
» Another big PR in the Parks Half Marathon: Race Report
» IRONMAN WISCONSIN RACE REPORT
» Brooksie Way 1/2 Marathon, Rochester, Mich -- Race Report
» Stawell Athletic Club releases its annual report

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
DETROIT TIGER FANS! :: Tiger Talk :: Breaking News-
Jump to: