By: Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning
Hopefully you enjoyed our little Q&A exercise yesterday. These are just little exercises for our own amusement but everyone is encouraged to ride along. So welcome to Round 2.
The ultimate goal? Give the better answer. But don’t vote, cause Holly gets hostile when she doesn’t win. And she only agrees with Kurt to keep his spirits up. He can get quite emotional, but we like that. Where else can you find a duo where the woman brings controlled logic and the man is the emotional wreck? Right here baby!
Today, Kurt, who’s quite controlled actually (meds do wonders), has the following questions focused on some key Tiger players:
1. Will Anthony Gose hit enough to stay in a platoon with Rajai Davis?
Kurt: Yes, mainly because I don’t think the Tigers will raise the bar very high for him. He is here for his defense and they want him in centerfield. I think when Rajai plays center, Gose will be a defensive replacement for him late in games we are leading.
Holly: It’s going to depend upon how others in the lineup not named Miggy or VMart will hit. I expect Dealin’ Dave to keep his options open both in Toledo and on the open market. Gose will definitely be a defensive replacement who can play all three outfield positions.
2. Will David Price sign an extension with the Tigers before the season is done?
Kurt: Yes, I believe this gets done and before the season ends. Illitch doesn’t want to compete and he will make Price an offer hard to pass up. Price stays a Tiger for a good long while.
Holly: No, both sides would be silly to sign an extension. Price, younger and better than Max, will test the market. Next winter, the largest number of younger pitchers will hit the market and the Tigers will go after someone with youth, solid credentials and a much smaller outlay of cash.
3. Will we continue to see concussion issues with Avila this season?
Kurt: Yes. I don’t think the mask or the change in mechanics is going to matter with Avila. He is what he is. It will end up spelling the end of his Tiger career.
Holly: I think there will be issues but Avila will be traded before the season is up. The Tigers will not make a qualifying offer to him but they also will not allow him to walk without getting something in return. There will be a team who needs a defensive catcher short-term.
4. Will Joe Nathan stay the closer the entire season?
Kurt: No, but I want to be wrong, because we need him. But I see him faltering early, like May, and Soria will take over as closer. This will also depend on Rondon. If he is not effective, Nathan gets more leash.
Holly: Whether Nathan remains closer will depend upon Ausmus and the health of other pitchers. Can Brad get over his rigid beliefs about the BP? Will DD finally tell him to use all the resources he’s been given?
5. Will Cespedes eventually bat second this season?
Kurt: No, but he should! He has not been mentioned at that spot and I don’t know why. That power and speed combination in front of Cabrera could be lethal. But I don’t think Ausmus will realize the opportunity to really dramatically affect the top of the order. (Here comes the overrated OBP angle … wait for it.)
Holly: Not unless Wally can work miracles because Cespedes’ OBP is officially ranked “poor” – hovering around .300 or less. He is a classic power hitter who needs to hit lower in the order. But it is his contract year so never say never.