“Same story,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “We didn’t pitch well, didn’t throw strikes, walked too many guys. I guess the silver lining is, if we keep pitching like this the (roster) decisions will be easier.”
Ladies and gentlemen … I agree with Brad Ausmus.
Now let’s all hold him to it.
There are several pitchers stinking it up this spring, some never meant to be around come April. But there are others who were not only expected to be around, but who have been highly compensated to contribute.
If Brad truly means what he says, pitchers like Anibal Sanchez and Mike Pelfrey should be nervous.
We asked a question this week, looking for readers to decide if the issues with hitting or the issues with pitching bothered them the most. Sometimes the answers to the questions tell us a lot of about what you are thinking. Some don’t.
Let me put myself in your shoes. If I had to answer the question myself I would have said pitching. It’s what bothers me the most about the Tigers’ spring training.
But here’s the thing, I don’t care much about spring training. I never have. Before partnering with Holly to form Totally Tigers, I never paid attention to the games. I just could never find anything meaningful about the performances; just too many abnormal variables to consider.
There are pitchers who have been in the major leagues for a long time who are perennially bad in the spring. Their goals are different. Victories mean nothing. But they do work to dial things in, heading into April, and they are there when the bright lights go on.
However, when it comes to 2 Tiger pitchers, these guys are not looking to dial in what they have, they are still trying to find what they lost. And that is a dangerous place to be in March for pitchers looking to solidify important roles on this team.
Frankly though, it would not surprise me if one or both still make the roster. Brad makes it sound easy, but I think his comments are a little tongue-in-cheek. They are meant to motivate, of course. They are meant to try to get these guys to kick it in gear.
All in all, he has handed out a nice challenge. If you don’t perform, you don’t stay. But I am going to have to see it to believe it. The decisions on Sanchez and Pelfrey, if their performances don’t change dramatically, will say a lot about what team management intends to accomplish this year.
Don’t the Tigers have to treat this season differently? Certainly the goal to win a title for Mr. I didn’t just last a couple of weeks. If this team means what they say, that this season will be dedicated to their fallen owner, then they have to swallow hard and make some potentially expensive decisions.
Of course, we hoped one or both of these 2 would turn around, but they have spent the spring giving us more of the same. Pelfrey and Sanchez, based on what we have seen so far, don’t deserve roster spots. But we have another month. So we have to keep throwing them out there.
Last season, injuries forced the team to pitch Sanchez more than we wanted. The loss of Zimmermann was a huge blow. Pelfrey was a lock for the starting rotation, because, well, that’s why they acquired him.
There is not much that can be said about him. The Tigers made 2 mistakes; signing him in the first place and then signing him for 2 seasons. It was a nonsensical mistake that will make Al Avila scared to death to make another ‘gut’ decision.
So I am kind of with Justin Verlander on this one. Things aren’t pretty but what does it all really mean? In spring training, outside of 2 pretty troubling pitching examples, what’s happening hardly limits my yawning.
Just wake me when it’s over.
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If you haven’t checked out our site (@totallytigersbb) yet, here’s what you missed this week:
– Could Joe Girardi be looking for a new gig?
– Do you know what the term “Moycado” means?
– Pudge’s controversial remarks about allowing PED users into the Hall
– JV is adamant about punishing PED users
– Jim Leyland loves the Yankees’ chances, but he’s not saying much about the Tigers
– The Red Sox are still not out of the woods re David Price
– More rankings of the farm systems