By:  Kurt SnyderKurt Bio Picture

What happened to February? In a blink of an eye, the Grapefruit League schedule is in full swing. This edition of the – growing in popularity – 20 Thoughts, should leave you breathless with Tiger baseball! Who needs 10 Thoughts when you can have 20?

1.  I am comin’ in hot! Why after one week of spring training do the Tigers feel the need to make statements about who are “long shots” for positions on the Opening Day roster?

2. Who should take more grief? Is it the Pistons, who many think are retiring too many numbers, or the Tigers, who most feel they downright ignore their greats?

3. In our rival city of Chicago, will the White Sox recognition and retirement of Mark Buehrle’s #56, finally motivate Tiger ownership to once and for all retire the numbers of their historic keystone combination?

4. I won’t rush to judgment on Anibal Sanchez’s poor first performance any sooner than Jordan Zimmermann’s good one. But is there concern? You bet there is.

5. Nick, Nicholas, whatever …. I would prefer to call him the #2 hitter.

6. As the Tigers experiment with lineups this spring, I would hope one experiment would not grow legs: VMart batting second.

7. Since I will probably never get my way on abolishing instant replay for our sport of baseball, there are two clocks, no more and no less, that I would endorse. One which limits the time it takes for a manager to decide to challenge, and one that limits the time it takes for a ruling on a challenge.

8. Instant replay is a hot button for many, and we have a decision to make. Do we make decisions in the interests of getting it right, or forgo that importance for the sake of pace of play? Asking for both is the easy answer. But challenge yourself.

9. So where are you on the ownership of the Tigers? Are you convinced the Ilitch family will continue to lead them long into the future? I am not.

10. Tyler Collins picked a bad time to get hurt, but I still believe he will be part of the centerfield solution. Mikie Mahtook from all indications appears to be leading for at least half of a platooning.

11. The Tigers have tough decisions to make on Stephen Moya and Dixon Machado. They will have to ask themselves a question on both. What’s more important, a defensively- challenged left-handed bat or a solid backup option at a key infield position?

12. Who is the most important reliever? Who offers the most potential star power? Who offers both talent and trade value in July? It’s Bruce Rondon. He offers all of that, and stays on this list. (Carryover from December 2016 and January.)

13. Will both Sanchez and Pelfrey make the Opening Day roster?

14. It seems the further we get from Jim Leyland’s time as Tiger manager, there is growing amnesia present in fans who have forgotten how truly great he was for this franchise. I have decreasing patience for the ramping up of the disdain for Leyland as if he was a failure as a manager in Detroit.

15. How crazy would be it be for Anthony Gose to emerge again and head north with the Tigers in April? It’s not impossible. Actually, if there is room on the bench, speed and outfield defense are his strengths; sometimes hard to turn your head away those 2 attributes that the Tigers will lack again in 2017. (Carrying this one over; there is value there as a backup, but is there room?)

16. Andrew Romine stands in the way of opportunities for both Gose and Machado. Many undervalue his versatility and contribution to this team. You may laugh, but he is an important piece; every team needs a Romine.

17. There are several scenarios to consider as the Tigers fill out their starting pitching rotation. But Dave Dombrowski would get all the credit if the incredible happened. Fulmer, Norris and Boyd all in the starting rotation in Year 2 as Tigers? It’s more of a probable than a possible.

18. Who makes the list of Tiger time bombs as we move on through the spring? Who are injuries waiting to happen? Zimmermann? Greene? I will give VMart a break for obviously putting in a huge amount of work in the weight room. So, I’m not adding him to this list – looks in tremendous shape.

19. Starting pitching depth? If your depth consists of 2 pitchers who have not been good for a while, that’s not depth. Depth is based on pitchers with the ability to win when called upon. Drew Verhagen’s spring will be monitored closely.

20. Looking forward to our first report from Spring Training. Our readers know their contribution may find its way to Totally Tigers. So who’s down there? Who’s going?

If you’re not following us on Twitter (@totallytigersbb), here’s just some of what you missed the past couple days:

Ian Kinsler’s argument for retiring #1 and #3

Miggy is the team leader for Venezuela in the WBC

JV’s fastball is still there in MPH

A Michigan family who just may be interested in buying the team down the road

The Dodgers interest in Kinsler and JV and why it didn’t happen

Miggy’s impressive work ethic

And stats, rankings, radio interviews and video!  We’ve rounded it all up to keep fans informed!

14 thoughts on “20 FEBRUARY THOUGHTS

  1. # 16 I don’t see how Romine stands in Gose’s way. Romine is the new and better version of Don Kelly. As now the 13 position roster might be: McCann, Avila: DH: VMart; IF: Cabrera, Kinsler, Castellanos, Iglesias, Machado, Romine; OF: Upton, JD, Mahtook, Collins/Gose, and Romine also. I guess the choice will be between Gose and Collins.


  2. #7 – If the umpire has to make a bang-bang call so should the manager. Mgr should not be allowed to watch or have someone watch a TV replay before “throwing the flag”. If manager sees it different from the ump, then throw that flag immediately . Also, any review taking more than 1 minute should be thrown out and call on the field stands.


  3. Yep, we’re still in February and Brad is already bloviating on someone being a “long shot” to make the team. I swear he has no concept whatsoever of Team Chemistry. I just wish he would go away.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What is the deal with JD Martinez….he has only played in 2 games with 5 at bats and no hits but three strikeouts. Any rumors he may have some sort of injury?


  5. I’d keep Machado, not Moya. Christin Stewart appears to be a lot like Moya, only with strike zone judgment. And with Machado around, the Tigers can trade Iglesias at the deadline to a contender with an injured shortstop and, I believe, lose very little replacing him with Machado.


  6. I’ll join Kurt in his assessment of Rondon when the guy with “potential star power” stops leaving the game with a one inning line of one run and two hits – one of which was a homer. His overall numbers were better last season, but he has too few clean innings to be a shut down closer.


  7. It’s crazy that when the new arena opens there will be more retired Piston jerseys hanging in it than Red Wings jerseys. Tigers should retire 1 & 3 just as the Wings should retire 91. And if Ilitch retired Tigers # 23 for sentimental reasons the same thing should be done for Red Wings # 16.


  8. #20. I was in Arizona for ST, not Lakeland. The Cubs will rule their division yet again and this is a good thing. Joe Maddon has established a culture of winning and a championship to back that up. “Embrace the Target” and “Do Simple Better” is what they live by now. The Tigers? “Station-To-Station And Pray For The Longball.”


  9. Will provide 4 March game “observations.” Tigers made their bed with CF “vancancy” – now live with it and play what ya got. With that, I keep Machado and trade Romine for a lefty stick. Feed em alll spinach. Put Gose out with the rubbish and let’s go for it. Love Dace’s replay rules!


  10. Mike Pelfry is DONE. No life or action in that arm. Out in 2nd inning today. No return on this investment Mr. Chris Illich. I blame Avila for that jem of a signing.


  11. For all JL’s strengths, he still had glaring weaknesses. He pitched to Ortiz in a series the tigers were clearly dominating in every statistical area and that cost him dearly. We were the best team in baseball that year but his managing was unable to translate that into a championship.


  12. Kurt, I will be at TigerTown on March 29 to watch the Tigers take on the Phils. They play the Yanks the day before, and as much as I love my Tigers, I can’t bring myself to watch the Yankees. We are going to see the Phils and Jays instead.


  13. #11. Kurt, what’s more important- keeping a flawed OF when they have several ready to move up in the next 2 years. Or keeping an IF who’s weak bat is much better than the OF’s defense. There is also no major league caliber IF knocking on the door on the farm either.


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