By: Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning
Even though we are only a month into the season, the Central Division is beginning to look like most of us thought it would, with the Tigers and Royals battling for the top spot.
So having said that and with the annoying Royals fresh in our minds, here are this week’s Kudos, Comments & Concerns, covering events through Friday night.
Maybe the most encouraging development early is the continuing progress of Miguel Cabrera. He seems to be getting stronger and stronger and his power has certainly returned as demonstrated most recently in Minnesota. Batting around .370, he continues to be the most feared batter in the lineup as teams have begun walking him again so as not to endure too much Miggy induced damage.
Miggy would make this list on a regular basis so I have to reserve this space for those who go above and beyond. This past week, it’s Iggy who continues to amaze us with his bat and acro(bat)ics. Last week, he led the league in infield hits and made MLB’s highlight reel 5 out of 7 days, with 2 plays – including the over-the-shoulder catch – in one day.
It has certainly been encouraging to watch the pitching mastery of Alfredo Simon, maybe the last guy we thought would pitch so effectively this early. But all good things must come to an end and certainly he had to level off at some point. But with the issues going on in the starting rotation, Simon’s performance was a welcomed sight while it lasted; and I look forward to his next run of success.
Speed kills – in this case, runners ignoring the signs or overruling Ausmus. Three base running blunders in just one game made Ty Cobb roll over in his grave. Let’s hope the Tigers don’t repeat last year by shelving their running game and instead have Omar working overtime with the players.
Well, as long as we must address concerns with this team, the bullpen can never be left out of the conversation. As much as people don’t want to continually read or hear about the bullpen, well I am tired of seeing it. I can’t ignore the elephant in the room when he’s sitting on the remote and I want to change the channel in the 6th inning.
How can the Tigers possibly wait until July – or until Rondon is green-lighted – to fix that bullpen? Starters are being pushed to go longer, often with disastrous results, because there are no solid relievers to cover the 6th, 7th and even the 8th innings. The Bullpen is a religious experience – there is an Angel and all the fans are praying.