By: Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder
Saturday’s segment has become a day to touch on as many issues as possible. It’s nice sometimes when our writers aren’t thinking alike.
It gets readers thinking about a whole menu of topics as opposed to just different opinions on the same thing. After all, that’s what Tuesdays and Thursdays are for. There is a whole buffet of goodies below.
The Tigers appear to be preparing for their future (as well as adding depth) by stockpiling minor league infielders, esp. shortstops and 2B-men. Kinsler’s contract runs through 2017 (option for 2018) and Iggy’s maximum trade value will be after the 2017 season (2 years before Scott Boras takes him to free agency). Are the Tigers preparing for a changing of the guard up the middle in time for 2018?
With reports that Yoenis Cespedes loves the limelight and star power, it’s no surprise that Detroit and Washington weren’t seriously in the mix for him. Yoenis was livin’ large at his media event this week with the Mets, wearing a jacket that only Mick Jagger or Steven Tyler could love – and requiring sunglasses to view it. His preference for flash and celebrity wattage would not have been a good fit outside NY or CA.
Based upon pivot opportunities and actual pivots completed, ESPN ranks Iggy and Ian as MLB’s best double-play combo. Overall, they rank Ian as the third best 2Ber in both leagues while ranking Iggy as the 4th best SS. How ironic and fortunate for us that both made their way to Detroit because of two problematic player issues that Detroit needed to eliminate.
Will the Tigers miss Cespedes’ defense this season? Both he and Justin Upton are comparable in fielding percentage, but assists are not even close. Upton, with over 1100 games under his belt, had only 39 assists, while Cespedes had 48 in just 490 games. The big Cuban’s arm will certainly be missed, so watch closely this season for any noticeable drop off in defensive playmaking ability in leftfield.
The acquisition of JD Martinez will go down as one of the greatest heists in Tiger history. The offense he has provided has been a Godsend as a couple of the key bats in the lineup have been ravaged with injury the last couple seasons. But what will certainly be part of the discussion should arbitration become necessary is JD’s defense in rightfield as he boasted a career high fielding percentage in 2015, proving he was more than just another bat.
Obviously Jose Iglesias eased a lot of minds last year having finally shed the prolonged shin issues that made us question whether the Tigers had acquired damaged goods. But his durability is still a question mark as he played in only 120 games in 2015.