By: Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning
Saturday’s segment is a day to touch on as many issues as possible. With 74 (38-36) games behind us, readers have the opportunity to read and think about a number of different topics.
Kurt and Holly don’t share and it’s only for the readers’ benefit. It almost always translates into a wide array of thoughts. Suspect nothing different today.
Stephen Moya has gotten the opportunity to do 2 things. He has the chance to show the Tigers how much of a threat he is at the plate. And he has the taken the opportunity to show how much of a liability he can be defensively; inconsistent is a word I guess you could use, as he has made some good plays too, but the poor plays have come at the worst times.
When a guy like Noah Syndergaard comes out and claims that his workload is the cause of his tender elbow, it gives you great pause. It will be real interesting to watch how the Tigers handle Michael Fulmer, as fatigue was obviously in play this week in one of his weakest performances of the season. He’s emerged as a mainstay in the rotation, but in order to remain that way, the Tigers must be really careful with him.
Brad impressed this week with how he managed Fulmer’s struggles. He was ready with the quick hook in the 5th inning, acknowledging his pitcher was fighting his command right away in the first inning. He mentioned after the game that they were on “high alert” from the first inning on, when things were obviously not right with him; and Ryan made the decision to pull Fulmer look even better by coming in and slamming the door with the bases loaded.
How inconsistent will this outfield be now that JD is on the DL? While Moya has shown improvement and made some great catches, he’s still learning. Romine and Aviles are getting more playing time and Upton has proven to be very inconsistent with a week showing a great catch, another in which Maybin had to guide him and multiple examples where he pulled up short, allowing the ball to drop in.
I’m always hoping that a good series is an indicator of more consistent play and not of “consistent inconsistencies.” This week was a good one with the Tigers able to win in multiple ways; pulling out victories in the late innings and having different players every day contribute to the win. Seeing some growth in Brad as the manager who made some decisions outside the box, improved in his strategies and overall managed very well this week.
Despite having his first injury/surgical-free year in a couple of years, VMart’s knees have noticeably declined. Instances where they have buckled after an at-bat, difficulty leaving the plate to run, and pain that requires treatment and a day off after simple baserunning. I hope the Tigers have a plan they can implement taking this into account because it unfortunately appears to not be a matter of “if” Victor goes on the DL, it’s probably more about “when” it occurs.