By: Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning
Saturday’s segment has become a day to touch on as many issues as possible. Once again, readers have the opportunity to read about and think about, a wide variety of topics.
And there is a whole buffet of goodies again this week. Enjoy!
With the signing of shortstop prospect Leonardo Laffita, add the Tigers as just one more team that has tapped into what will now become a frequent source of baseball talent. With Cuba progressing towards being legally open for business, this could soon be one of the largest hotbeds for baseball talent; more than likely eclipsing Japan and at least rivaling the amount of talent that comes from the Dominican Republic.
As much as the Tigers would love to have a lefthander in their starting rotation, we can’t just assume Daniel Norris has it in the bag. I would expect Shane Greene to make things right and contend for a starting spot, maybe even pushing Mike Pelfrey despite the hefty price the Tigers paid. Last season was not how we expected things to go for Shane, but now that he is healthy again, he will be a strong candidate for the starting rotation.
Justin Upton, who for most of his career has been fairly durable, now moves to a team that hasn’t done a great job treating injuries and making good judgement when faced with them. If there is one thing he has had issues with, it’s oblique injuries that have cut short seasons on more than one occasion. Here’s hoping the Tigers keep that in mind as he trains.
It was noted that Alan Trammell is the first shortstop in baseball history to age off the Hall of Fame ballot with an above-average JAWS (Hall of Fame worthiness comparing him to SSs already in the Hall). While Whitaker has already been rejected once by the Veterans Committee, there is potential that he, Tram and Morris could all be competing against each other for ballot votes as early as 2019 when Tram becomes eligible.
An analysis of exit velocity (the speed in which a ball leaves after making contact with the bat) puts Giancarlo Stanton at #1. Just behind him is our own Miggy, with 95.1 MPH. Especially impressive is that Miggy is almost 7 years older than Stanton.
More than a couple experienced analysts have identified the Tigers as one of the top 2 teams with the most pressure to win the World Series in 2016. Payroll has skyrocketed, the Tigers have gotten deeper into debt (payroll continues to exceed revenue) and the Tigers have brought a whopping 9 new players on board this off-season. This shows that Mr. I is even more committed to winning so I wouldn’t expect them to sit back on anything that isn’t going right this year.