By: Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder
We don’t always have reader comments we are ready to address, although there are many. Timing is everything. So in order for our answers to be more impactful, some comments need to marinate a bit.
In the meantime, until Hot Stove heats up, a new segment called Questions, Comments & Concerns will highlight the topics that are evolving and the questions we need to ask before the boys report to Lakeland.
The Central is looking much scarier. The Tigers need to worry about pretty much everyone. The Twins have Molitor and now the new Korean player while the Indians and White Sox are ramping up their payroll and pitching. Multiple articles suggest the Tigers will be big spenders with one reporting that Mike Ilitch pulled out his checkbook in a meeting this week to make a statement.
I love the signing of Jay Sartori to head up Analytics. A guy from Apple can’t be more cutting edge and the best choice to get the Tigers into the 21st Century. Give him whatever he needs. His salary may just be the biggest bang for the buck.
I think Al Avila will surprise us in a good way. I’m not ready to accept the Ausmus retention at face value yet but I love his push for analytics, brooming the minor leagues and the hiring of Sartori and Dubee. I expect a better selection of players given his strong scouting background and resume of discovering both Miggy and JD Martinez.
The Tigers need to pounce on relievers who are good fits. In years past, it seemed the team sat back way too long as the pillars of relievers continued to fall and they signed with other teams. Under Dombrowski, we were continually left with the crumbs. The bullpen is in peril and we need to treat the situation with urgency.
Dombrowski makes the biggest splash of the off-season thus far. He has begun the cleaning out of the Red Sox farm system with his acquisition of Craig Kimbrel. I sense we will see a dramatic change in our approach as we search for roster improvements. “Win now” needs to be tempered.
Who will be replaced in the bullpen? I am sure we are all in agreement that we need additional pieces to the pen, but strength will come down to replacing not necessarily just adding. Ian Krol seems to thrive mostly in the minor leagues and should start their once again this season. Al Al needs to find a new home; I think he has value and could bring us depth if we put him on the block.