By: Kurt Snyder
Consider my 20 Thoughts for July as passionate opinions, random subjects and statements of defense in support of our dynamic shortstop. A nice little twist I think.
1. With the Tigers slowly but surely challenging the Indians in the division, I want no part of any disruption to a formidable middle infield combination that defensively is among the best in baseball.
2. Oh the benefits of writing late at night … another big Tiger victory Saturday night. The heroes? The team … a great team win.
3. I have to admit, I wanted no part of Tyler Collins continuing his career in Detroit after his “flip the fans” display earlier in the year. But the big hits he has delivered during this latest tour of duty have not only been surprising but a testament to his mettle.
4. Thank goodness the Tigers didn’t do anything silly with their catching position. What, you’re going to give James McCann one year as your starter?
5. The “acquisitions” of Jordan Zimmermann, Daniel Norris and J.D. Martinez may turn out to be the best haul brought on board by any team in baseball at or shortly after the deadline.
6. Don’t you feel horrible how the Royals have hit the skids this season? Yeah, me neither.
7. The list of spark plugs on this team is getting longer. Maybin has led the list all season and did his impression of Lorenzo Cain on Saturday night. His intangibles continue to feed this team.
8. Oh, you wanna know the others on the list? Well, you know one is Kinsler, and Iggy is now emerging as another important one.
9. The Tigers most important starter? Anibal Sanchez. I guess we are going to have to find another way.
10. More than batting average and home runs and RBI’s, Miggy’s most important stat to date is games played. 102.
11. More than batting average and home runs and RBI’s, VMart’s most important stat to date is games played. 100.
12. Justin Verlander. Who envisioned he could get better? Dominant and overpowering are now back in the JV vocabulary. JV Days are back. (Yeah, I am a little jacked about the Saturday victory.)
13. I am going to beat this to death until something is done. The Tigers better finally align their rotation properly in preparation for the Zimmermann return. Just once this year, I would like to see the Tigers top 3 starters pitch consecutively.
14. The last thing we thought in spring training was that Bruce Rondon would begin to contribute again for the Tigers … in the late innings … in July … during a pennant race. He’s been good, but my enthusiasm will remain guarded.
15. Overreacting fans felt Iggy should be traded after the dust-up with James McCann last season. But there has been a change in Iglesias. He’s turned a negative into a positive and has reached a much higher level of maturity. Playing hard. Running hard. High intensity. It’s all you can ask really. His talent takes care of the rest.
16. Having Mark Lowe fall on his face this season the way he has could have been debilitating for the pen if not for Shane Greene. The pen is developing some real depth. And Greene has led the way.
17. Speaking of bullpen depth? What other names come to mind? Alex Wilson? Definitely! Alex has teamed with Bruce Rondon in that important 6th inning role.
18. Michael Fulmer is the next Justin Verlander. He is the next Tiger ace. When do you think that will be? Hopefully not for a little while yet.
19. I believe Tiger fans have gotten used to and are taking for granted how important Iggy’s magical defense is to this team. How did that happen so soon?
20. The Tigers began July knowing they had a brutal schedule ahead. They will emerge closer to first than they were when they started the month. Not expected. But it’s reality. The approach to stand pat now is a good one. The trade deadline noise in Detroit may make crickets sound loud.