By: Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder
Saturday’s segment is a day to touch on as many issues as possible. With 153 (83-70) games behind us and just nine games to go, readers have the opportunity to read and think about a number of different topics.
Holly and Kurt 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.
It took me 1.5 years but I’m finally truly appreciating what Andrew Romine brings to the game. Utility players get no respect but this guy has stepped up to the plate, gotten some timely hits, runs well and has played every single position for the Tigers this year except catcher. Given the significant number of injuries in 2016, where would the Tigers have been without the ability to plug him in anywhere?
Rut roh, Gary Sanchez is gaining ground on Michael Fulmer for Rookie of the Year Voting. His stats, even given a smaller sample size, are jaw-dropping while Fulmer’s are not as impressive as they were earlier in the season. And the one with the most momentum may gain the advantage and the support that comes from playing for a NY team and a biased NY-centered media.
Daniel Norris revealed in a radio interview this week that Justin Verlander is working overtime to help him, Fulmer and Boyd with their pitching. JV attends every throwing session of theirs, reviews all their video and tirelessly mentors all three. Performance on the mound is only one aspect of a great player and JV has shown us all that he brings the same intensity and talent to the game on the days he’s not starting a game.
Justin Upton’s turnaround at the plate over the last month has been truly electric and well, shocking. Three days of rest to clear his head and bam, he’s been crushing the baseball ever since. Outside of a still relatively low batting average, his offensive numbers now reflect the type of production that was expected when we signed him.
If you haven’t been to a game yet this season, I would pick one of those Indian games next week at Comerica Park. Those beanball antics in Cleveland last Sunday are not going to be forgotten and I would anticipate things could get a little dicey. Until proven wrong, I still see that final game in Cleveland as the pivotal point in the season; one that finally shook this team up and turned things around.
I know there is plenty of work yet to be done, but do you think Brad has looked ahead to make sure he lines up Justin Verlander for the start in the Wild Card game, should they get there? I’ll be right back … going to check … hang on a second. Ok I’m back … as the schedule shakes out right now, JV would pitch next Tuesday versus Cleveland and the following Sunday in Atlanta; meaning if Brad leaves things alone, Michael Fulmer would pitch in the Wild Card game, hmmmm.