I know that Marcus Thames can slump in a full time role and I mentioned it in the Tigers release Shef article, but the more Ithink about it what does Thames not have the Shef does besides experience? But maybe he just needs to grow into a full time roll, he has power, slugging and line-up versatility. Thames could mash 40 homers if given the opportunity so why not. Plus if Guillen gets fatigue he could switch spots with Thames. Thames has the most power in the AL and it would be a shame if the Tigers didn’t let Thames prove himself.
In a surprising move the Tigers have released Gary Sheffield who was a starting DH. Marcus Thames will likely take that role now, but I still don’t get this move. Sheffield was a guy who brought power and experience to this team and he was a perfect number six hitter. Thames is good but he slumps after being in a starting role, I hope they are looking to trade for a DH right now because their line-up lost a good six hitter. Sheffield is a great player and now another team will try to get him and the Tigers could pay big if he signs in their division. I still have no idea what there trying to do but hopefully they have a trade almost done for a nice player. Good Move?: Bad Move
The Tigers have acquired speedy outfielder Josh Anderson from the Braves for side armer Rudy Darrow, who could be like Chad Bradford. The Tigers now have speed and base running, as their biggest threat used to be Curtis Granderson. Anderson is a lead-off hitter and has a good future ahead of him. Darrow will be a nice guy to have around when you want to fool hitters and he should find a spot on a big league staff by 2010. Anderson is a great runner and isn’t bad on defense, he will likely win the Tigers last bench spot. Jordan Schafer seems to have the center field job all wrapped up now as he is an amazing player who has proven himself. This deal should help both teams a lot. Edge: Tigers
Bonus: Anderson is a good hitter too, he will hit 300 in a full season
The Reds have the best chance to have a surprise team this year, here’s why. A lot of their young players have had some experience now and are ready to win they also have some more prospects they can bring up if needed later this year. I think Joey Votto is going to hit 30-32 homers and get at least 105 RBIs this year, he is an extraordinary player. Johnny Cueto will emerge as a great pitcher this year and Edinson Volquez will improve a bit from last years big surprise campaign, They have a nice closer and a youthful bullpen too, Fransico Cordero usually racks up 40 saves and is a safe bet to close a game out 9 out of 10 times. Masset, Bray, and Burton should develop into nice relievers but might have their shakyoutings. David Weathers should get at least 20 holds and set up the game good for Fransico Cordero. Arthur Rhodes had a great year last year and is a good situational reliever, his biggest challenge will be to adjust to such a hitter friendly ballpark. Aaron Harang and Bronson Ayroyo should bounce back a little and be a nice three and four combo. I believe Harang can return to three fourths of what he used to be and be a key contributor this year. The guys to watch out for are their outfielders, Willy Taveras has game changing speed, Chris Dickerson is an underrated prospect who can play solid baseball, and Jay Bruce will have an all-around great year. They have a catcher with power and defense too, which is an important key to the game. His name is Ramon Hernandez and he’s ready to slug some more homers. They now have a nice bench with the addtion of pinch hitter and outfielder Jonny Gomes who will come in in clutch situations. Jerry Harriston is a nice utility guy to have if he keeps up his hitting. Jeff Keppinger is a great second baseman and shortstop to have if he doesn’t get traded. Norris Hopper is an okay fourth outfielder to have and will have some good games and Ryan Hanigan is a defensive catcher who is nice to have. Edwin Encarnacion will be a great player if he improves his defnse so that he has something to go with his hittting. Alex Gonzalez had his career year in 2007 and should at least keep up his never ending defense this year. Brandon Phillips is a second baseman that you won’t see often, he can do everything, even hit 30 homers. If Dusty Baker does what he does best this team will be no worse than 82-80, so watch out for all the youth the Reds have.
Here is a prospect trade that could help the Twins and Tigers
RHP RP Chris Lambert
LHP SP Mauricio Robles
C Wilson Ramos
This would help the Tigers because they need catching in the minors and Dustin Ackley will not fall to them in the draft. The Twins also don’t need a catcher because of Joe Mauer. The Twins always have liked pitching since Ron Gardenhire became their manager. Chris Lambert struggled a bit last year but could still become a great long man, which is hard to find these days. Lambert was a first rounder and still can be an above average reliever. Robles is a Venezuelan product who is a lefty, he become a great middle of the rotation guy is his stock is rising. He hasn’t had an ERA over 3.38 in his first three years. He will become a great player. This deal helps both teams on their want and need lists. It gives the Tigers a catcher and the Twins some nice arms.
The Tigers have the ninth pick in the draft this year here’s what I think they will do. There is a lot of talent in the middle of the draft but out of all the names, Kyle Gibson sticks out. Gibson can easily turn into an ace or a number two guy. He has three possible plus pitches and has a great mound presence. He fits this team as he could pitch third behind Verlander and Porcello, it could be an amazing threesome. Gibson has great control and command. The only flaw is that he needs to mature as a pitcher but I could see him doing that. Gibson will go in the top ten of the draft and the team that takes him will get results.
Curt Schilling had a great career but is he a hall of famer? Well, first I want to say he is in the top five postseason and clutch pitchers of all time. To pitch through so much pain is another thing that helps him, he was a durable player. He always had decent numbers and was always in the CY Young race. He had a nice delivery that fooled many hitters for many years. He always held the ace role and went way over expectations for an ace. The only negative about Schilling’s game was that he didn’t field his position well but all of his good years will make up for that. He he in???: Yes
Korea and Japan will fight for the championship tonight, here’s how I feel on the game. Korea and Japan have spilt their match-ups, in those Korea had pitching and defense and Japan had slugging and hitting. Japan will not have Dasuke, who is the heart of there pitching staff due to him starting last nights game. This is like the Yankees not starting Sabathia in a Game 7. Korea has a good team as Korean baseball is producing more and more good players like Shin-Soo Choo, a potential starting left fielder with a bat. Korea deserves to win this game as they have beatengood teams like Japan, Venezuela, and Mexico. Jung Bong gets the hill for Korea tonight, he was once a highly regarded prospect in the Braves organization but never smoothed out and went back to pitch in Korea. Japan will give the ball to a Japanese all-star, Hisashi Iwakuma who is right on Yu Darvish back being the second best Japanese starter. He will give you a good outing.
If anyone gets to the Japan bullpen it will be Korea, they have a very talented roster.
Here are the position battles of the Detroit Tigers
- The fifth starter is still up for grabs, at the beginning of spring I thought Zach Miner would win it with his stuff but he has had a bad spring and is out of the race. Dontrelle Willis who is very slowly getting better most likely will not make the rotation unless Jim Leyland wants his offense to score around ten runs a game, so he is close to being out. Nate Robertson is having an okay spring but won’t ever get his ERA down which makes it though, for me, to let him have the fifth spot. That leaves it to Rick Porcello who is struggling a bit but is the Tigers best hope, he helps his case by being the toughest prospect in the MLB to find a flaw in. The last thing the Tigers wanted to do is rush him into the rotation, though. Projected Winner: Porcello
- The bullpen is a big position battle, the guys in it are Brandon Lyon, Fernando Rodney, Joel Zumaya, and Bobby Seay. Zach Miner is good in the bullpen and is close to clinching a spot, too. Which leaves two spots left, who I thought would go to Casey Fien, who tore up minors hitting last year and Freddy Dolsi, who’s only big flaw his his K-BB ratio, but both of them were optioned to the minors which I think was a bad move. Now I think it is going to be Kyle Bloom, a nice lefty who might be ready to contribute and Clay Rapada, who is a side arm lefty that can fool hitters with his delivery. This wasn’t what I thought the Tigers bullpen would look like.
- The last bench spot is up for grabs between Ryan Raburn, Jeff Larish, Mike Hessman, and Brent Clevlen, Timo Perez is also in it but is a super long shot. I think it will come down to Larish and Raburn with Larish winning, Larish is a good prospect who has a bat and some D and he could really help this club. Raburn should come up during the season and show off his tools of speed, power and defense. The Tigers bench won’t be weak.
The Tigers roatation will be good this year. They have Justin Verlander, who had a bad year last year but still is an elite pitcher and always is a CY Young canidate. Verlander can strikeout 200 hitters and keep other great stats as an ace. Jeremy Bonderman is a young pitcher who may seem old but had an early start to his career, he has had many good years but I think this is his breakout year to be a decent number two starter like he’s supposed to be, he is a great pitcher. Then the Tigers have Armando Galarraga who is as good of a pitcher as he was last year and can be better if he lowers his high ball rate which leads into many homers. Then there’s Edwin Jackson who can pitch an average season easy, I think he will live up to his potiential now that he is in a pitcher’s park with a good offense, he could have a great season this year, I can’t wait to see him pitch, he has a great delivery and nice pitches that I want to see. I believe Rick Porcello will win the five job since no one else is preforming in Spring Training, he will compete with Verlander soon and could pass him for the ace spot, I can’t see one major flaw in him. Willis is working with new pitching coach Rick Knapp and is taking baby steps as each outing he gets a bit better. Miner is good but is having a terrible spring he could make a few spot starts but he seems like a nice long reliever. Knapp is a good pitching coach as he brought up pitchers like Johan, Liriano, Slowey, and Blackburn he deserves a lot of credit. The only negative about the Tigers rotation would be no lefty which would give opposing hitters a break.
BULLPEN: Casey Fien a nice seventh inning man looks like he will make the club, he will be like Freddy Dolsi last year though he has a great ratio, he will be a nice addation to this bullpen. I know this won’t happen but I think it would be nice to have Ryan perry with the big club, he’s another 100 mph thrower and he has a nice slider as a second pitch. The Tigers bullpen will be a lot better than last year.