By: Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder
Saturday’s segment is a day to touch on as many issues as possible. Once again, readers have the opportunity to read and think about a wide variety of topics.
Take a look and see what our writers have on their minds this week.
All spring, we’ve heard the Tigers brass say they “need to protect Victor from Victor” yet Ausmus now wants to put Victor at first base at the beginning of the year and move Miggy to 3B where neither has played in 1-2 years. Moving players to other positions rarely works well according to baseball experts and new unfamiliar positions open players up to an increased risk of injury. If VMart gets injured from simple baserunning, is there any doubt that putting him at a position where he has to lunge and make lateral moves is completely ignoring the risk factor as it compares to reward?
Can’t help but think there is more to the strange Adam LaRoche story than meets the eye. If he would have had a decent 2015 season, the subject of his son would have been handled better or not at all. But given that he is owed $13 million this year just as the DH and is experiencing back spasms that have kept him from playing this spring, it’s entirely possible that the White Sox were looking for a plausible out – especially given that the Sox attempted to trade him over the winter but had no takers.
A recent analysis showed the Tigers led the majors in blown quality starts in both 2014 and 2015 with the weak link happening in the 7th inning. But it was not the relievers who allowed the damage – it was the starters (including David Price) who pitched in more than half of them and had worse ERAs for that inning than the bullpen pitchers. Baseball Prospectus’ opinion was that Brad Ausmus was the center of the problem with a habit of leaving his starters in way too long.
Minor league depth is something to cherish. The decision to keep Michael Fulmer as a starter and send him to Toledo was a good one. Now we are seeing progress from Matt Boyd, but the Tigers need to continue to realize their sudden luxury and send Boyd to Toledo, too.
Will Brad Ausmus’ judgment be tested when the season begins in Miami? He had hinted that Miggy may shift to third for the short 2 game interleague series, in order to get VMart in the lineup at first base. Regardless of how good Victor may say he feels when the season starts, his troublesome hamstring in the spring should be enough of a reason for a more rational thought.
If there was ever a golden rule for successful relief pitching, it would have to be consistency. Bruce Rondon has lacked it this spring and it should earn him a ticket to Toledo. All in all though, this does not mean it has been an unsuccessful spring for Bruce and the Tigers should be far from giving up on someone still very talented and still very valuable.