HOPEFULLY J.D.’S DAY IS COMING

By:  Kurt Snyder

The Tigers looked like they would wait all night for one last crack at the Minnesota Twins on Thursday. After almost a 4 hour rain delay before the game even started, the Tigers put another beating on the Twins. The only thing that would have made it better this week is if Justin Verlander was able to join in the party. It’s the most troubling thing we have going right now with this team; the fate of JV and his bum arm.

Over the last couple years, as my Facebook friends can attest, whenever Verlander was scheduled to pitch, I would start the day with the same FB post: Happy JV Day everyone! It used to be must see TV when Verlander pitched. It was like a holiday I wanted to celebrate every fifth day.

It seems so long ago when we were certain to see a dominant pitching performance whenever he was on the mound. But until he gets himself back on the field and starts pitching well again, who knows when the next JV Day will be?

But while we wait, we need to work on scheduling another special day for Tiger fans. I am waiting to proclaim to all who will listen, Happy J.D. Day everyone!

Yep, the Tigers need to get serious about offering a new contract to J.D. Martinez.  Mixed in with all the criticism Dombrowski has endured, there is one move that has turned out to be brilliant, the acquisition of J.D. Martinez.

Already this season, around the league, teams are beginning to tie up important pieces of their teams. Most notably, we watched players sign contract extensions in Boston and Cleveland.

The Red Sox signed Rick Porcello to a rather generous 4 year, $82m contract extension; so for any of you wondering why we parted with Porcello, well, here’s 82 million reasons.

In Cleveland, the Indians signed Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco to extensions as well; 2 key pillars in their starting rotation. Kluber, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, it seemed, could have gotten more, yet the Indians locked up their ace for the next 5 years for under $40 million; an incredibly economical move by Cleveland who must have even surprised themselves by how cheaply this got done.

So obviously, it may be wise for the Tigers to take note and take a look at a player or 2 that could get even more expensive down the road if they continue along their successful paths.

More than likely, we will spend the majority of the season talking about the expiring contracts of David Price and Yoenis Cespedes and the likelihood of resigning them and keeping them in Detroit.

My writing partner and I disagree on whether Price will stay or go and I don’t know how the Tigers really can afford to keep Cespedes too. But the Tigers have a little business to take care of prior to even thinking about Price and Cespedes. They need to start, if they haven’t already, drawing up a long-term contract for Mr. J.D. Martinez.

Even after 3 games, it’s clear to me, this guy is no joke. Yes, I know we didn’t exactly run into Cy Young and his 2 little brothers this week against the Twins, but Martinez is showing that last year’s success was no fluke. The man can hit. And it’s not just that he has hit 2 home runs, it’s where he hit them; both opposite field screamers.

This is a guy who worked his tail off in Houston reinventing himself. He was a dead pull hitter going nowhere fast with the Astros. But he found a way to change his approach at the plate and he has made himself into a dangerous hitter, with power to all fields, and there are no signs that last year was a fluke.

Hitting to all fields is a sign that this guy has figured it out. Sure, there are some holes in his strike zone, but if you make a mistake against this guy, you’re going to pay. And the Tigers will make a mistake if they don’t pay, and soon. The longer they wait, the more expensive he is going to be.

Hopefully we can celebrate JV days again, but further up the ‘to do’ list is the scheduling of the first J.D. Day. The man has earned it. He’s an important piece of this team showing no signs of slowing down.