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 There's always next year. 
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Post There's always next year.
The Texas Rangers are a good comparison of how far the Tigers are from being a serious WS Contender.

The Rangers are light years ahead of the Tigers in every aspect of the game. If the Tigers want to make it to the World series next year, here are a couple things they must accomplish this off season.

1. You need more than 4 good bats in your line up. This may be the biggest reason the Rangers kicked our butts. From Lead off to the #9 hitter, they have quality hitters that are, collectively, just downright intimidating.

2. You need more than 2 very good SP's and a Closer on your Pitching Staff. While Verlander is the best there is, and Fister is very good, and Valverde is very good, the rest of our Pitching Staff is unreliable at best. For most of the season, a bottle of Coke was better than Phil Coke. But, he is not alone.

In short, If the Tigers want to contend, it will cost some money. Here are a few FA's we need to bring in to upgrade our Batting line up.

Catcher: Avila is just fine here.

1st base is set.

2nd base: (age in parenthesis) Robinson Cano (29), and Brandon Phillips (31); Both have club options for 2012. But, if either make to FA, Dumbrowski needs to be all over them like white on rice. There are other options that will be available. But they are all older or not as talented. Cano is my wish list target here.

3rd base: We need to keep Inge. He still has defensive value. But, he needs to become a super sub again.
Edwin Encarnacion (29), and Aramis Ramirez (34); Again, both have club options, but, Ramirez can void his. I would prefer Encarnacion because he is younger and a better hitter. However, Ramirez is no slouch in the hitting department.

SS: 1 target. No club option on this guy. Jose Reyes (29). Peralta becomes good trade bait with this signing.

OF: This is not a good year for Outfielders. Fortunately, I think we are all right here if Jackson can ever quit striking out 4 out of every 10 at bats. ( Don't know his actual %, but, 40% is near enough to accurate for my point).

DH: We are set here with Martinez. But, big Poppy would be an upgrade and could go into the Outfield rotation and upgrade the Outfield ( Offensively) also.

SP: IMHO, we need 2 SP's and hope that Porcello puts it together next year. If he doesn't, next year should be his last as a Tiger. Edwin Jackson (28) pitched fantastic for us, so we let him go and he pitched fantastic for the White Sox. And he is still young. Rich Harden (30), I think he would be lights out at CoPa.

RP: Zumaya is a FA. We need to let him go. He wrecked his shoulder and will never stay healthy unless he becomes a completely different pitcher and quits trying to throw everything 200 MPH. I don't know enough about other teams RP's to have a valid opinion of them. But, all I know is that the difference between the Rangers Bull Pen and Ours is night and day. And that difference was a huge reason we lost this series with Texas.

Since we are stuck with you for another year at least, Dumbrowski, there is your assignment. Get to it. Or get out.


October 16th, 2011, 9:15 am
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Post Re: There's always next year.
No backup catcher - Avila was hurt and beat to hell

Boesch being out was huge.

Maggs being out was huge, for his bat that was getting hot. Needed good hitters to work counts.

Starting pitching wasn't bad, it was pathetic umping in Texas - the strike zones were horrible, especially for verlander. How about the non check swing or the magical safe at first base during that 9 run inning. The rangers should have had 2 at best there.

Relievers were sad. Perry sucks. Penny should retire.

Why smokey didn't move fister to game 6 is beyond me.

The tigs need a good hitting 2B and 3B, a backup C, #5 pitcher, and a good middle reliever.

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October 16th, 2011, 10:21 am
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Post Re: There's always next year.
BillySims wrote:
The Texas Rangers are a good comparison of how far the Tigers are from being a serious WS Contender.

The Rangers are light years ahead of the Tigers in every aspect of the game. If the Tigers want to make it to the World series next year, here are a couple things they must accomplish this off season.

1. You need more than 4 good bats in your line up. This may be the biggest reason the Rangers kicked our butts. From Lead off to the #9 hitter, they have quality hitters that are, collectively, just downright intimidating.

2. You need more than 2 very good SP's and a Closer on your Pitching Staff. While Verlander is the best there is, and Fister is very good, and Valverde is very good, the rest of our Pitching Staff is unreliable at best. For most of the season, a bottle of Coke was better than Phil Coke. But, he is not alone.

In short, If the Tigers want to contend, it will cost some money. Here are a few FA's we need to bring in to upgrade our Batting line up.

Catcher: Avila is just fine here.

1st base is set.

2nd base: (age in parenthesis) Robinson Cano (29), and Brandon Phillips (31); Both have club options for 2012. But, if either make to FA, Dumbrowski needs to be all over them like white on rice. There are other options that will be available. But they are all older or not as talented. Cano is my wish list target here.

3rd base: We need to keep Inge. He still has defensive value. But, he needs to become a super sub again.
Edwin Encarnacion (29), and Aramis Ramirez (34); Again, both have club options, but, Ramirez can void his. I would prefer Encarnacion because he is younger and a better hitter. However, Ramirez is no slouch in the hitting department.

SS: 1 target. No club option on this guy. Jose Reyes (29). Peralta becomes good trade bait with this signing.

OF: This is not a good year for Outfielders. Fortunately, I think we are all right here if Jackson can ever quit striking out 4 out of every 10 at bats. ( Don't know his actual %, but, 40% is near enough to accurate for my point).

DH: We are set here with Martinez. But, big Poppy would be an upgrade and could go into the Outfield rotation and upgrade the Outfield ( Offensively) also.

SP: IMHO, we need 2 SP's and hope that Porcello puts it together next year. If he doesn't, next year should be his last as a Tiger. Edwin Jackson (28) pitched fantastic for us, so we let him go and he pitched fantastic for the White Sox. And he is still young. Rich Harden (30), I think he would be lights out at CoPa.

RP: Zumaya is a FA. We need to let him go. He wrecked his shoulder and will never stay healthy unless he becomes a completely different pitcher and quits trying to throw everything 200 MPH. I don't know enough about other teams RP's to have a valid opinion of them. But, all I know is that the difference between the Rangers Bull Pen and Ours is night and day. And that difference was a huge reason we lost this series with Texas.

Since we are stuck with you for another year at least, Dumbrowski, there is your assignment. Get to it. Or get out.


Sorry but I don't agree with much on your list here. The comparison on how far we are to being a WS Contender because we lost 2 extra inning games and still managed to take it to 6 games doesn't hold water.

We have more than 4 good bats. Availa, Cabrara, VMart, Young, Peralta and Boesch. It just so happened that Availa, VMart, Young and Boesch were all hurt toward the end of the season.

SP is fairly set, we just need to find a 5th starter and get rid of Penny. You can't have 5 number 1s on your team and I think it's unrealistic to expect it.

I will agree that the bullpen needs a little work. But I like Papa Grande and Beniot, and in all reality Coke is very well served in the bullpen as well he did close game 5.

The Yankees will not give up Cano. I'll pass on Reyes, Inge is horrible and needs to go and I agree time to let Zoom-zoom go.

I think the Tigers are a 3rd Basemen, 2nd basemen, a 5th starting pitcher and a long reliever away from being right back in the ALCS again next year, so of these players can come from within the system.

I don't think the Tigers need to make a splash in free agency either, sign the solid guys not the super stars.

And finally, and this doesn't go to just you, please give Dave Dombrowski the benefit of the doubt when he done so much for this team. Since he's been here we've won a pennant and a AL Central Title, not too bad. Give him time and he'll bring the WS back to the D.


October 16th, 2011, 10:25 am
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Post Re: There's always next year.
i wrote this during the regular season but thanks billy for making a separate thread

Quote:
Just because there is some time as the regular season winds down - what do you guys think the Tigers will do in the offseason? They have some needs at 2B, 3B and No 5 SP. The bullpen seems to have come together but another arm could fit in.

Starting Pitching:
1 SP Verlander 20-8, 2.75ERA/1.20 WHIP 230 IP/240 Ks
2 SP Fister 17-6 3.01 ERA/1.20 WHIP 225 IP/145 Ks
3 SP Scherzer 13-15 4.55 ERA/1.30 WHIP 200 IP/165 Ks
4 SP Porcello 16-12 4.01 ERA/1.28 WHIP 200 IP/120 Ks
#5 - here is the opening, will the Tigers let the youngsters Turner, Smyly, Oliver maybe even Below and Wilk battle it out for the 5th spot or will they look for a low end No 5 starter in free agency, maybe a left hander? Any chance Penny survives and gets an offer?

I think we may bring in a lefty but that ultimately Turner will be pitching out of the 5 spot by season's end. I just dont think it hurts him to pitch some more in the minors.

Bullpen:
RP Pauley
RP Perry
LP Schlereth
RP Albuquerque
LP Coke
RP Benoit
CP Valverde

The wildcard as always will be Joel Zumaya who has resumed throwing but will be a free agent, if we could get a positive sign from him it may lessen the need to fork over big money to Valverde after 2012 or perhaps Albuquerque will continue to be lights out and project as a closer. Luis Marte is also a projectable back end arm and Perry and Schlereth have been improving. The only open spot seems to be the long relief spot where Below has been pretty good, I could see Wilk giving him a run. David Purcey and David Pauley also will have a shot at that spot as well. I dont think we will making any signings in the pen.

Outfield: LF Delmon Young, CF Austin Jackson, RF Brennan Boesch, #4 Andy Dirks
All of a sudden we have a complete young outfield that is filled with talent. Boesch should recover fully from thumb surgery and Dirks is a good fit as a 4th outfielder. Don Kelly and Brandon Inge may also play in the OF some. I expect Young to be re signed, the others are under contract. Unlikely to see a trade or FA signing.

Catcher: Avila may be the best all around catcher in baseball but he needs a backup. He hits so well would they consider moving him to the infield some more ie as they attempted for interleague and what they may have to do if we get to the world series? Martinez will likely be able to catch some games but with Brandon Inge under contract for next season and not reliable to be an everyday starter at 3B, I think Inge will be the man to give Avila a break. Inge also needs to do this to help extend his career which will likely be outside of Detroit after 2012. Good backup catchers with experience can last a few years.

DH: Victor Martinez, may be better off minimizing his catching duties ASAP.

Infield: 2 major holes here in the infield. 2B. Carlos Guillen isnt the answer and is also expensive, he will not be back. Raburn has come around with the bat and has improved in the field but I doubt we will want to put up with his 1st half Mendoza act again. Santiago has been huge down the stretch but they seem to prefer him as a defensive sub and 1-2 game per week starter to keep him effective. Will Rhymes has been given a couple chances and is a longshot, Danny Worth didnt hit enough in AAA to project him as anything more than a reserve. So that leaves free agency, a trade or a platoon of Raburn/Santiago. The problem is that we have the same situation at 3B where Betemit can hit but not field and Inge can field but cant hit though Betemit has fielded better recently and Inge has hit more recently. I think there will be a platoon at either 2b or 3b but not both. I expect a big trade to bring in more of an all around player at 3B, the Mets are looking to dump payroll and David Wright is in the last year of his contract. I think DD wants him. We chased Aramis Ramirez at the trade deadline and he didnt want to come so Im not sure that situation would change. At 2b, the impact of the available bats seems to be less. Money wise Wright will cost a lot but for that reason may not cost a ton in prospect exchange though DD seems to be aggressive. I took a look at the potentially available 2b and the best one I saw seemed to be Omar Infante who is good but again not much of an impact.

1B Cabrera/Kelly, 2B Raburn/Santiago, 3B Wright/Inge, SS Peralta/Santiago

Lineup:
1. Austin Jackson CF 270 avg/ 12 hr/55 rbi/30 sb
2. Brennan Boesch RF 280 avg/25 hr/75 rbi/10 sb
3. David Wright 3B 290 avg/15 hr/85 rbi/10 sb
4. Miguel Cabrera 1B 330 avg/30 hr/110 rbi
5. Victor Martinez DH 310 avg/15 hr/110 rbi
6. Delmon Young LF 280 avg/15 hr/80 rbi
7. Alex Avila C 265 avg/20 hr/75 rbi
8. Jonny Peralta SS 270 avg/20 hr/75 rbi
9. Ryan Raburn 2b 255 avg/15 hr/60 rbi
UT Santiago 2b/ss 250 abs/260 avg/6 hr/30 rbi/5 sb
UT Inge 3b/c/of 200 abs/220 avg/ 8 hr/20 rbi
OF Dirks of 250 abs/260 avg/8 hr/30 rbi/5 sb
UT Kelly 1b/OF/3B 200 abs/250 avg/7 hr/30 rbi

Wright and Young could potentially be flipped in the above lineup as Wright strikes out more.

2012 Projection: 95-67, 1st in AL central. Full year of Fister and another year of improvement from Scherzer, Porcello. Turner will do just as well as Penny did in 5 spot. Valverde wont be as good but the setup men will be better earlier in the season. Exciting time for baseball and football in Detroit.


October 16th, 2011, 10:31 am
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Post Re: There's always next year.
conversion02 wrote:
No backup catcher - Avila was hurt and beat to hell

Boesch being out was huge.

Maggs being out was huge, for his bat that was getting hot. Needed good hitters to work counts.

Starting pitching wasn't bad, it was pathetic umping in Texas - the strike zones were horrible, especially for verlander. How about the non check swing or the magical safe at first base during that 9 run inning. The rangers should have had 2 at best there.

Relievers were sad. Perry sucks. Penny should retire.

Why smokey didn't move fister to game 6 is beyond me.

The tigs need a good hitting 2B and 3B, a backup C, #5 pitcher, and a good middle reliever.


I still think Martinez is capable to catch a couple times/week. After Avila hurt his knee, Leyland should have put Martinez at Catcher and Avila at DH for a few days to give Avila a chance at healing a little. I would have let Martinez catch up until he hurt his ribs or showed he was slumping at bat. Leland never even tried it.

I agree about Boesch.

Maggs was great. He isn't great anymore. It's time for a thank you and the parting gift.

Other than Verlander and Fister, our SP was completely outclassed. I think Scherzer would be best used in the long relief role. Then we could bump one of our long relievers right now into the middle relief role. And I think we need 2 more starters. I am still angry that we never even tried to get into the Cliff Lee sweepstakes. Imagine how a Rotation of Verlander, Lee, Fister might have altered the outcome of the AL Chapm series? Expensive? Yup. WS Championship rotation? YUP :!:


October 16th, 2011, 11:11 am
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Post Re: There's always next year.
The Legend wrote:
i wrote this during the regular season but thanks billy for making a separate thread

Quote:
Just because there is some time as the regular season winds down - what do you guys think the Tigers will do in the offseason? They have some needs at 2B, 3B and No 5 SP. The bullpen seems to have come together but another arm could fit in.

Starting Pitching:
1 SP Verlander 20-8, 2.75ERA/1.20 WHIP 230 IP/240 Ks
2 SP Fister 17-6 3.01 ERA/1.20 WHIP 225 IP/145 Ks
3 SP Scherzer 13-15 4.55 ERA/1.30 WHIP 200 IP/165 Ks
4 SP Porcello 16-12 4.01 ERA/1.28 WHIP 200 IP/120 Ks
#5 - here is the opening, will the Tigers let the youngsters Turner, Smyly, Oliver maybe even Below and Wilk battle it out for the 5th spot or will they look for a low end No 5 starter in free agency, maybe a left hander? Any chance Penny survives and gets an offer?

I think we may bring in a lefty but that ultimately Turner will be pitching out of the 5 spot by season's end. I just dont think it hurts him to pitch some more in the minors.

Bullpen:
RP Pauley
RP Perry
LP Schlereth
RP Albuquerque
LP Coke
RP Benoit
CP Valverde

The wildcard as always will be Joel Zumaya who has resumed throwing but will be a free agent, if we could get a positive sign from him it may lessen the need to fork over big money to Valverde after 2012 or perhaps Albuquerque will continue to be lights out and project as a closer. Luis Marte is also a projectable back end arm and Perry and Schlereth have been improving. The only open spot seems to be the long relief spot where Below has been pretty good, I could see Wilk giving him a run. David Purcey and David Pauley also will have a shot at that spot as well. I dont think we will making any signings in the pen.

Outfield: LF Delmon Young, CF Austin Jackson, RF Brennan Boesch, #4 Andy Dirks
All of a sudden we have a complete young outfield that is filled with talent. Boesch should recover fully from thumb surgery and Dirks is a good fit as a 4th outfielder. Don Kelly and Brandon Inge may also play in the OF some. I expect Young to be re signed, the others are under contract. Unlikely to see a trade or FA signing.

Catcher: Avila may be the best all around catcher in baseball but he needs a backup. He hits so well would they consider moving him to the infield some more ie as they attempted for interleague and what they may have to do if we get to the world series? Martinez will likely be able to catch some games but with Brandon Inge under contract for next season and not reliable to be an everyday starter at 3B, I think Inge will be the man to give Avila a break. Inge also needs to do this to help extend his career which will likely be outside of Detroit after 2012. Good backup catchers with experience can last a few years.

DH: Victor Martinez, may be better off minimizing his catching duties ASAP.

Infield: 2 major holes here in the infield. 2B. Carlos Guillen isnt the answer and is also expensive, he will not be back. Raburn has come around with the bat and has improved in the field but I doubt we will want to put up with his 1st half Mendoza act again. Santiago has been huge down the stretch but they seem to prefer him as a defensive sub and 1-2 game per week starter to keep him effective. Will Rhymes has been given a couple chances and is a longshot, Danny Worth didnt hit enough in AAA to project him as anything more than a reserve. So that leaves free agency, a trade or a platoon of Raburn/Santiago. The problem is that we have the same situation at 3B where Betemit can hit but not field and Inge can field but cant hit though Betemit has fielded better recently and Inge has hit more recently. I think there will be a platoon at either 2b or 3b but not both. I expect a big trade to bring in more of an all around player at 3B, the Mets are looking to dump payroll and David Wright is in the last year of his contract. I think DD wants him. We chased Aramis Ramirez at the trade deadline and he didnt want to come so Im not sure that situation would change. At 2b, the impact of the available bats seems to be less. Money wise Wright will cost a lot but for that reason may not cost a ton in prospect exchange though DD seems to be aggressive. I took a look at the potentially available 2b and the best one I saw seemed to be Omar Infante who is good but again not much of an impact.

1B Cabrera/Kelly, 2B Raburn/Santiago, 3B Wright/Inge, SS Peralta/Santiago

Lineup:
1. Austin Jackson CF 270 avg/ 12 hr/55 rbi/30 sb
2. Brennan Boesch RF 280 avg/25 hr/75 rbi/10 sb
3. David Wright 3B 290 avg/15 hr/85 rbi/10 sb
4. Miguel Cabrera 1B 330 avg/30 hr/110 rbi
5. Victor Martinez DH 310 avg/15 hr/110 rbi
6. Delmon Young LF 280 avg/15 hr/80 rbi
7. Alex Avila C 265 avg/20 hr/75 rbi
8. Jonny Peralta SS 270 avg/20 hr/75 rbi
9. Ryan Raburn 2b 255 avg/15 hr/60 rbi
UT Santiago 2b/ss 250 abs/260 avg/6 hr/30 rbi/5 sb
UT Inge 3b/c/of 200 abs/220 avg/ 8 hr/20 rbi
OF Dirks of 250 abs/260 avg/8 hr/30 rbi/5 sb
UT Kelly 1b/OF/3B 200 abs/250 avg/7 hr/30 rbi

Wright and Young could potentially be flipped in the above lineup as Wright strikes out more.

2012 Projection: 95-67, 1st in AL central. Full year of Fister and another year of improvement from Scherzer, Porcello. Turner will do just as well as Penny did in 5 spot. Valverde wont be as good but the setup men will be better earlier in the season. Exciting time for baseball and football in Detroit.


I didn't see that thread. I posted mine as sort of an off season thread since the Tigers season is over. But, it seems that you and I are pretty close to agreeing with what the Tigers need to do this off season.


October 16th, 2011, 11:14 am
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Post Re: There's always next year.
Roy,Roy,Roy...Roy wrote:
Sorry but I don't agree with much on your list here. The comparison on how far we are to being a WS Contender because we lost 2 extra inning games and still managed to take it to 6 games doesn't hold water.


The Rangers completely dominated the series was never in danger of losing it. Just because it went 6 games does not mean it was anywhere near a close series. The Rangers are light years ahead of the Tigers.

Roy,Roy,Roy...Roy wrote:
We have more than 4 good bats. Availa, Cabrara, VMart, Young, Peralta and Boesch. It just so happened that Availa, VMart, Young and Boesch were all hurt toward the end of the season.


I somewhat agree with that. I just said 4 good bats. I didn't actually mean a hard set 4. I just threw out a figure. I wouldn't count Peralta as reliable bat though. True, he had a career year. But, he is a streaky hitter at best. Boesch, on the other hand, has the potential to be something special.

Roy,Roy,Roy...Roy wrote:
SP is fairly set, we just need to find a 5th starter and get rid of Penny. You can't have 5 number 1s on your team and I think it's unrealistic to expect it.

I will agree that the bullpen needs a little work. But I like Papa Grande and Beniot, and in all reality Coke is very well served in the bullpen as well he did close game 5.


I agree that you can't have 5 #1's. I am not suggesting that at all. Edwin Jackson is not a #1. Rich Harden is really only a #2 SP quality SP IMHO. Besides those 2, I wouldn't mind bringing Galaraga back. I really wanted the Tigers to try to get Cliff Lee when he was a FA. But, oh well. But, Jackson and Galaraga wouldn't cost that terribly much to bring back. And they would solidify our SP rotation.

As far as Coke goes: Who do we get back if we bring him back? The Coke that sucked manure for 95% of the season. Or the one that decided to pitch great the last 5% of the season in order to leave the last impression a good one?

Roy,Roy,Roy...Roy wrote:
The Yankees will not give up Cano. I'll pass on Reyes, Inge is horrible and needs to go and I agree time to let Zoom-zoom go.


Reyes is one of the best, if not the very best, young SS's in the game. And I didn't say the Yankees would give up Cano. I was saying that if they did, I would be all over him. I did give other options at 2nd base. Inge's bat may suck. But, he is still very valuable at multiple positions for late game defensive replacement/giving others a day off.

Roy,Roy,Roy...Roy wrote:
I think the Tigers are a 3rd Basemen, 2nd basemen, a 5th starting pitcher and a long reliever away from being right back in the ALCS again next year, some of these players can come from within the system.


We aren't far apart on what we think the Tigers need. I just don't think our farm system has the players we need upgraded.

Roy,Roy,Roy...Roy wrote:
I don't think the Tigers need to make a splash in free agency either, sign the solid guys not the super stars.


For the most part, I agree. But, I think we need at minimum 2 more really good hitters and 2 really good SP's. Reyes would be my #1 Hitting target and Galaraga my #1 SP target to bring him back here.

Roy,Roy,Roy...Roy wrote:
And finally, and this doesn't go to just you, please give Dave Dombrowski the benefit of the doubt when he done so much for this team. Since he's been here we've won a pennant and a AL Central Title, not too bad. Give him time and he'll bring the WS back to the D.


I somewhat agree with this. But, I think some of his trades have been counter productive. Contrary to popular opinion, I am not anti Dumbrowski. I love the good Dumbrowski. I hate the bad one. You know, the one that traded away Granderson and gave us Mr. Strikeout to replace him. That deal just sucked all around.

I have more of a problem with Leyland. Avila hurt his knee. So rather than put Martinez behind the plate for a few days to give Avila some time to maybe heal a little bit while being the DH, he did nothing. I also think Leyland manages the team to play for the big home run. I don't think he knows how to manufacture a run with small ball. Far too often, if the Tigers can't hit the HR, they don't score. How many stinking times in a year can a team get bases loaded with 0 or 1 out and not score a single run? Far too darn often with Leyland managed teams.


October 16th, 2011, 11:54 am
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Post Re: There's always next year.
Quote:
The Texas Rangers are a good comparison of how far the Tigers are from being a serious WS Contender.

The Rangers are light years ahead of the Tigers in every aspect of the game. If the Tigers want to make it to the World series next year, here are a couple things they must accomplish this off season.


Completely disagree. The Rangers were better but not by much - we lost two games in extra innings and also lost a one run game. Possibly the difference in this series was Gene Lamonts decision not to send Ramon Santiago home in Game 2 on a double into right field to Nelson Cruz. Also the Rangers got an extra day of rest for Alexi Ogando when game 2 was moved back a day because of rain - when it actually did not rain that night in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers did have an advantage with what proved to be a very deep bullpen. However that is not sustainable for them as Scott Feldman should probably start for someone somewhere and pitched more than a little over his head in this series, Alexi Ogando will become a starter again next season and if CJ Wilson leaves they will transition Neftali Feliz into the bullpen. Uehara was exposed by our hitters. Mike Adams might be their closer next season. He s got nothing on Valverde. Other areas that stood out were defense where our best defender Jackson played extremely poorly and cost us multiple times in both series, and Delmon Young with the injury couldnt move or throw. Even Santiago wasnt at his best. Notoriously poor defender Raburn actually played pretty well and Miguel Cabrera and Brandon Inge were very good. The Rangers team defense was nothing short of outstanding. Finally, team speed was definitely to their advantage.


Quote:
1. You need more than 4 good bats in your line up. This may be the biggest reason the Rangers kicked our butts. From Lead off to the #9 hitter, they have quality hitters that are, collectively, just downright intimidating.


And we have that - Cabrera, Martinez, Peralta, Young, Boesch and Avila are all reliable bats heading into next season and you could make a case for Raburn. That Young, Boesch, Avila, and Martinez werent healthy was unfortunate but not indicative of them being better than us. Agree that the bats cost us the series but it was more a matter of injuries than not having the talent.

2
Quote:
. You need more than 2 very good SP's and a Closer on your Pitching Staff. While Verlander is the best there is, and Fister is very good, and Valverde is very good, the rest of our Pitching Staff is unreliable at best. For most of the season, a bottle of Coke was better than Phil Coke. But, he is not alone.


Our starting pitching was far superior to Texas' SP in this series. A full year of Fister might be a 20 game winner with sub 3.00 ERA. We dont really need much more than what Scherzer and Porcello gave us to make the playoffs but both will improve anyway and in the playoffs match up well against other teams No 3 and No 4. Phil Coke was very good out of the bullpen after about a 2 week adjustment period when he was removed from the starting rotation and should have been used more in this series in particular instead of Daniel Schlereth in Game 6. Lets pretend Coke gets you through the 4th and Porcello coming in with empty bases and pitching out of the bullpen gets you another two innings w Benoit and Valverde shutting down the last 3 innings. Game 6 was lost when the decision was made to put Schlereth in the game.

Anyway I d be open to adding another bullpen arm but thats not necessary until the next trading deadline - going into the season w Coke, Alburquerque, Benoit and Valverde is a very strong bullpen and better than what Texas will have next season barring a FA signing. Ryan Perry is a wild card, so is Joel Zumaya who should be brought back bc the cost will be so little but the upside could be so extreme. Zumaya as of late September has resumed throwing. Daniel Schlereth IMO will not amount to anything anywhere and should be traded for even a minimal return. We have plenty of other left handed arms that could emerge who are already borderline major league relievers - Adam Wilk, Duane Below and Andrew Oliver (he either gets traded to someone who still thinks he can start or they persuade him into becoming a shut down lefty specialist). Who knows maybe even David Purcey LHP finally puts it together or maybe RHP David Pauley finds a role in our bullpen. Maybe Luis Marte RHP is next years Alburquerque. The arms are now there its just a matter of figuring what roles will be filled by who and that should happen during the 2012 season.

Potential FA signings?: Jonathan Broxton coming off a very down season might be well priced given the potential big reward he could become.



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In short, If the Tigers want to contend, it will cost some money. Here are a few FA's we need to bring in to upgrade our Batting line up.

Catcher: Avila is just fine here.


Yes but he shouldnt catch 130 games again and needs a reliable backup of which Victor Martinez is not. Also, Gene Lamont, no more of running guys like Vmart and Magglio into close plays at the plate.

Who could the backup be? Inge cannot be relied upon at 3b given his terrible season and track record of inconsistency. He is versatile and if he wants to extend his career he should go back to catching at least part time. Inge did turn it around quite a bit with the bat so maybe somebody else would give him a shot but my hunch is that he wants to be a tiger for as long as possible and will do what it takes to help. In the past Inge was a very good defensive catcher particularly in the running game. If Inge cannot be moved or by some miracle we cannot find a better option that Inge at 3B, Ramon Hernandez would be a good veteran backup for Avila that can still hit.

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1st base is set.


Agree but how about Cabby learn something from his thrown out at home by 3 steps and do some real workouts this offseason maybe drop 20 lbs, one pound for every million in salary he earns. I think he has a career year if he ever decides to commit himself. Truthfully speaking, this guy screwed us by showing up out of shape in his first season here - there should have been no reason he couldnt play 3B for at least 1-2 years. Could you imagine an in shape Cabrera at 3B allowing us to add a big bat at 1B even if for only the 2nd half of a season? Wouldve been nice but I dont think he is capable anymore.

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2nd base: (age in parenthesis) Robinson Cano (29), and Brandon Phillips (31); Both have club options for 2012. But, if either make to FA, Dumbrowski needs to be all over them like white on rice. There are other options that will be available. But they are all older or not as talented. Cano is my wish list target here.


Cincy has already said that Phillips club option will be invoked, nobody has any chance to pry Cano away from the Yankees. Omar Infante has re upped with Florida. Ryan Raburn is under contract and probably both cheaper and better than Aaron Hill and Kelly Johnson who may be available pending team options. Send Raburn somewhere in the offseason where he can learn to become a better defender. Ramon Santiago will be a free agent and has been very valuable. I think we end up re-signing him but if there is a similar player with more speed that could be used to pinch run at times it might be worth saying good bye.

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3rd base: We need to keep Inge. He still has defensive value. But, he needs to become a super sub again.
Edwin Encarnacion (29), and Aramis Ramirez (34); Again, both have club options, but, Ramirez can void his. I would prefer Encarnacion because he is younger and a better hitter. However, Ramirez is no slouch in the hitting department.


Ramirez refused midseason trades including one to the Tigers bc it would have automatically kicked in his option year and kept him from free agency. He does not turn 34 until next June so he d rather hit the free agent this season. He is a much better hitter than Encarnacion who is a miserable defender. Ramirez has announced he will turn down his option year and become a free agent. The Tigers should and will chase him. I expect Dombrowski to be aggressive as Ramirez is a difference maker and does not strike out. With Nick Castellanos still at the lower levels of the minors Dombrowski could go to as much as 4 yrs/70 million to bring him in though 3 yrs/40 million might be enough. David Wright in a trade might be an option but the Mets wont give him away despite his injury problems and salary, Wright is the better defender and has more speed but also strikes out at double the clip.

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SS: 1 target. No club option on this guy. Jose Reyes (29). Peralta becomes good trade bait with this signing.


This is where things get interesting - Jimmy Rollins, Jose Reyes and Rafael Furcal are all free agents. Would the Tigers be tempted to add some team speed and and improve defensively by adding one of these guys and maybe sending Peralta over to 3B rather than chasing Aramis Ramirez? Rollins would be a great fit at the top of the lineup where he walks as much as he strikes out and still runs the bases well. Austin Jackson at lead off killed us. Reyes is a dream but probably will command 20 mill/yr and is a major injury risk as he s missed anywhere from 35-130 games the past 3 years.

Peralta however is only 29 years old himself and enters a contract year. The cupboard appears somewhat bare in the minors as Cale Iorg's bat never came around as expected and Danny Worth projects as a reserve. Peralta deserves a contract extension at some point though that doesnt prohibit switching positions.

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OF: This is not a good year for Outfielders. Fortunately, I think we are all right here if Jackson can ever quit striking out 4 out of every 10 at bats. ( Don't know his actual %, but, 40% is near enough to accurate for my point).


Delmon Young was a great addition. He ll be a very good hitter again next year with protection from Cabrera and Martinez and hopefully ARam next season but this is another spot where defense could be a concern. Can Young get himself into shape? He is clearly overweight. 15 lbs might make a difference and a conditioning/stretching program might avoid another oblique strain.

Magglio was compensated 12 million this season (2 million buyout of last years contract plus 10 million salary). If his ankle fracture ever unites he may be able to DH for someone in the 2nd half of next season or 2013 but he wont get a contract here or anywhere else until then. Some of this money will go towards adding one or two infielders but Carlos Guillens 13 mill will as well. There will be money to grab another outfielder. Andy Dirks is okay as a 4th outfielder but Carlos Beltran would be better and has some speed left and is a free agent. I dont think Dirks projects to be a starter on the major league level. Grady Sizemore would be another option. Leyland is good at finding guys at bats, it ll only be easier if the reserves are better players.

Jackson needs to learn the nuances of running the bases and also needs to be able to get down a bunt. He is better suited to be a 8 or 9 hitter unless he can hit 300 again as he did last year. I dont know why they dont teach him to change his approach when he has two strikes. A guy with his speed could turn some of those 180 Ks into infield singles if he could just hit it on the ground with 2 strikes on him.

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DH: We are set here with Martinez. But, big Poppy would be an upgrade and could go into the Outfield rotation and upgrade the Outfield ( Offensively) also.


"Big Poppy" - No, its actually Big Papi and he absolutely cannot play the outfield. Are you nuts? He s not played even an inning in the outfield in a major league game. Even at 1b he d be lucky to play 5 games. Its arguable whether he d be a better hitter in Comerica than Vmart but Vmart is 3 years younger and in much better condition.

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SP: IMHO, we need 2 SP's and hope that Porcello puts it together next year. If he doesn't, next year should be his last as a Tiger. Edwin Jackson (28) pitched fantastic for us, so we let him go and he pitched fantastic for the White Sox. And he is still young. Rich Harden (30), I think he would be lights out at CoPa.


Okay so who are you dropping from the rotation? Penny and who else? Scherzer? That would not be wise. The addition of Fister took us from a possible division champ to a lock. I think what Fister showed us down the stretch is a sign of whats to come - ie he has learned to strike hitters out and if he can build on that he gives us 2 aces. His calm and cool demeanor is something that Verlander needs to learn and his pitching style in general is something that Porcello should pattern himself after as it is looks like Porcello will not be the pure power pitcher we thought he might be. Still I expect Scherzer to continue to be solid and to have a power pitcher like him at No 3 should not be taken for granted. He needs some consistency and Porcello needs to learn to pitch deeper in games. Still a staff of Verlander, Fister, Scherzer and Porcello might be one of 2 20 game winners and 2 15 game winners. That isnt just good, its unreal and of the 4 only Verlander commands a substantial salary. We will need a No 5 starter but I commend Penny for his performance this year. Yes it was up and down but we were 16-15 in his 31 starts and he pitched 180 innings for a price of 3 million huge upgrade from years of Willis/Robertson/Bonderman at 10 mill + a season. I dont expect a big 5th starter signing, maybe we could be enticed into getting a lefty like Bruce Chen. I think Jackson will seek a high salary - Hiroki Kuroda and Rich Harden are better pitchers who could be cheaper bc of either age or injuries. Dont forget we still have some strong SP prospects in the minors LHP Casey Crosby who throws into the upper 90s, LHP Drew Smyly who had a breakout season and of course Jacob Turner. It would be nice not to force them into the majors too early but they are close and we only really need 1 out of the 3 so signing a pitcher like Jackson in his 20s to an expensive 4-5 year deal doesnt make any sense.


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RP: Zumaya is a FA. We need to let him go. He wrecked his shoulder and will never stay healthy unless he becomes a completely different pitcher and quits trying to throw everything 200 MPH. I don't know enough about other teams RP's to have a valid opinion of them. But, all I know is that the difference between the Rangers Bull Pen and Ours is night and day. And that difference was a huge reason we lost this series with Texas.


True Zumaya is a FA but he s throwing again and Im sure we know more about his health than anyone else. If we sign him again its bc he looks like he still has the velocity and if we dont its bc he s done. If he s throwing hard we sign him to a cheap deal with little risk. His problem recently has been his elbow and forearm not his shoulder. His game is throwing 95+ mph so thats what he needs to keep doing, I dont think he has the control to be anything difft. Again another setup guy would be nice but we have 4 (Benoit/Coke/Al Al/Valverde) so maybe another lefty of (Wilk, Below, Oliver, Purcery, Schlereth) and another righty of (Perry, Pauley, Marte). See what sticks and add what you need at midseason.


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Since we are stuck with you for another year at least, Dumbrowski, there is your assignment. Get to it. Or get out.


He got a 4 year extension if he follows ur plans as laid out he would surely be fired though so maybe you had an underlying motive for your recommendations :)

A little ribbing but thats just my opinion and you are entitled to yours


October 16th, 2011, 12:37 pm
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Heisman Winner
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Post Re: There's always next year.
Legend, you know you stuff. I'm very impressed, thanks for the information and opinions.


October 16th, 2011, 12:42 pm
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