“Quite frankly, last year we had a revolving door in center field and we still made it until the end,” he said. “We feel great about the team. We feel we can compete.” – Al Avila
Ladies and gentlemen: Mr. Avila has spoken again. And when he speaks, there are too many words, too much detail, and way more than we want anyone to know.
Because what we are finding out is that he really means what he says. Disclosure is one of his greatest strengths … or weaknesses.
Tuesday, he addressed centerfield, which quite frankly was a relief to all of us wondering what might happen, you know, in one of the most expansive pieces of acreage in all of baseball.
The answer? He’s good with what we have. And he justified the situation by touching on how unsettled things were in centerfield, because of the injuries to Cam Maybin causing others to have to fill in. You know. Baseball stuff.
The “revolving door” of Gose to Maybin to Collins to Romine to Jones went on and on, with Cam getting most of the time when he was healthy. But Maybin had his fair share of injuries as he always does. They have held him back from what was originally billed as a potentially incredible baseball career waiting to happen when he came up to the big leagues with the Tigers.
For Maybin, 2016 was arguably his best, offensively. He became a leader and a main source for inspiration and motivation. But the first chance Al got to let him go, he did, which is turning out to be not such a great idea, given the internal options and the seemingly very real intent to settle for them.
An outfield already suffering from severe defensive deficiencies will now need to make do without the one player who was the best defender of the 3.
Maybe most importantly, Maybin was a glue guy for Detroit, and the Angels, if they can keep him on the field, are going to find that out real fast. He will have an impact on that team.
And internally the Tigers don’t have anyone to replace all those important variables. The Tigers have saved $9M this season setting Maybin free. But I am not sure that’s the area I would have chosen to save money. When you give up the glue, things tend to fall apart.
Our GM seemed proud about surviving that “revolving door” in center and how the Tigers still “made it to the end,” in 2016. You decide what that means. I have thoughts on that I will save for another time.
And of course, there is that word “compete,” again, our goal for 2017. Here’s to setting our sights low. Intending to contend sounds like it is off the board.