TWO FOR TUESDAY

By:  Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning

The word on the street is that Anthony Gose wants to try his hand at pitching for the Tigers. Will our writers address this one or just let it go? Oh, I think you know the answer.

As has been the norm, Kurt and Holly have not shared their answers to today’s question. It’s the best way for our readers to get the best bang for their buck. So here we go.


Is auditioning Anthony Gose as a pitcher a desperation move or a worthy experiment?


KURT

This is out of the box thinking – the kind we don’t see from this team, right? Well maybe if it was management’s idea, instead of Anthony himself.

If anyone was desperate, it was Gose not the Tigers. For him to suggest it was like saying, hey, I used to pitch! If it works out, you get to keep me and you won’t have to see me hit anymore!

Geez! What do we owe this guy anyway? Most of us can’t believe he has been here this long with all the trouble he caused in the minor leagues last season.

But on the other hand, I foolishly thought he might make it all the way back this spring with the Tigers’ desperate need for outfielders to solve their centerfield and for the meantime, rightfield vacancy as well. How’s that for desperate?

So, here he sits, once again, in the minor leagues, and if it tells you anything about what is ailing the Tigers most, it’s the farm system. A team really has to be thin and devoid of talent if they would keep someone like Gose around for a potential shot as a pitcher sometime down the road.

I found it funny that the Tigers felt the need to reassure us by saying he would still be playing outfield, but they would also give him some bullpen sessions on the mound. Well, thanks so much. What a relief. Wouldn’t want to risk all the dividends we have received from Gose as an everyday outfielder!

So is this desperate or a worthy move? It’s only a worthy move for someone who has worked hard and given us everything he has to contribute to this team. But Gose has done plenty of damage in this organization and really hasn’t earned another chance at any position. Just cut him and call it what you want. In fact, maybe cutting him would be the worthy move.


HOLLY

When I heard the news I had to double-check the calendar to see if it was April 1st. But after shaking my head and doing a little research, it’s a desperation move, but not for the reasons you may believe.

First of all, this cat has more lives than a real one. With what other team can you have a weak bat, refuse to take live batting practice, ignore your coaches’ suggestions, get demoted, curse out your manager, walk away from the game, no-show for the next, get suspended, be put on waivers, clear waivers….. wait for it, I’m almost done….. fail in winning back the CF spot to a rookie and several veterans (whew!) and now be given another chance?

My first thought is that the Tigers’ soft spot for supporting former players and managers has shown itself again. No surprise why “Never Can Say Goodbye” started playing in my head again.

https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2017/01/22/looking-over-his-shoulder/

My second thought centered around the team trying to avoid the inevitable social media storm that would happen when he was released. The hailstorm of criticism over even trading for him – and giving up Devon Travis. Could it be that management is just hoping they can bury him in the minors and he will quietly fade away?

My last thought was the hope (and several fervent prayers) that the Tigers are not so truly desperate for pitching that they were forced to accept Gose’s suggestion of trying to convert him.

The rationale offered publicly was that he pitched in high school and threw in the 90’s. Teams did it with Sean Doolittle and Kenley Jansen – the only problem was that these guys had just turned 21 when they were converted. Gose will turn 27 this summer and his high school days were almost a decade ago. Not all that similar now, is it?

But the real problem for me is that they green-light this unusual, long-shot out-of-left-field idea. Like the Tigers don’t have bigger and better priorities on their list? The Gose Experiment will take valuable time, resources and attention away from whatever farm system level into which he gets placed. He’ll take up a roster spot and spend time with a pitching coach which will all come to the detriment of other players. Then, of course, there’s playing time which means time that another player, with better odds, should be getting.

The Tigers have a farm system in desperate need of focused attention and resuscitation. I simply cannot believe that trying to turn an outfielder 3 years shy of age 30 into a pitcher is a good way to allocate time, priorities and that sense of urgency that allows seems to be missing.


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13 thoughts on “TWO FOR TUESDAY

  1. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, …………. Wait, you mean that he wants to do this with the Tigers? Heaven help us–they just might waste time and resources with this utter nonsense!

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  2. THIS is why I’m a TT daily reader. Does anyone think you’d find this honest and obvious assessment of such a bonehead idea from any of the beat (and I mean BEAT) writers in town. no way. Thanks H & K…. keep it up. It appears to me that you are gaining readers daily.

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  3. If the Tigers were to cut Gose and another team made the effort to make him into an effective pitcher we’d hear screaming that the Tigers should have tried it. It’s not like 27 is ancient. Look what Texas did last year with Matt Bush at 30 years old, and his baggage is way worse than Gose’s.

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    • Hi, Spartan – History points to failed-player-converted-to-pitcher as a rare occcurrence. With Matt Bush, he was converted into a pitcher at age 21 and was pitching while he was in and out of jail in the minors. Texas also consistently has had a better farm system, more often in the top 10 than not, and had the luxury of taking less popular choices. The Tigers don’t have any of those advantages. Thanks for keeping the dialog going! – Holly

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  4. Well…he’s left handed and reportedly can throw in the mid-90s. And it isn’t like they have a burgeoning farm system where there is no room to take a flyer on a guy. Why not?

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    • Hi, Max – It is unknown how hard Gose can throw now. The mid-90’s report comes from high school which was 9 years ago. It will be interesting to see what the gun says now……At least he’s a leftie! Thanks for keeping the conversation going…. – Holly

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  5. Considering him for the outfield did have merit. J.D.’s offense can’t be replaced so it made sense to think about defensive options. Gose was worth looking at for his speed, good arm, & run saving potential. That idea was plausible. This one is bizarre.

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  6. I disagree with our writers today. Whose roster spot is he going to take that’s so valuable? One of those 34-year-old castoffs the Tigers signed to fill their minor leagues? If he can pitch, it opens him up for a trade. Don’t give up on a guy unless you have something better right now!

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  7. Conversions from everyday player to pitcher….Kenley Jensen (catcher), Sean Doolittle (1st base), Joe Nathan (shortstop), Rafael Soriano (outfield), Carlos Marmol (catcher), Jason Motte (catcher), Chris Hatcher (catcher). Way back, 1946, Hall of Famer Bob Lemon (3rd base). It does happen!

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    • Hi, Hamp – Not saying it doesn’t happen but stats show that most converting happens while still in the minors and at an early age. Converting once in the majors and closer to age 30 is a much more difficult task and rarely accomplished. Left unsaid, but somewhat implied is whether Gose, who is notorious for being difficult to coach, is the best candidate to try this. Thanks for keeping the conversation going! – Holly

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  8. Convert Gose to a pitcher?! Well, to borrow a famous quote from a current politician, “what the heck do you have to lose?” Upon reflecting, since Gose is not a fan of batting practice, he’ll probably not like bullpen sessions either. Gose pitching is not an organizationally favorable move.

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  9. I chuckled when I saw this story but most certainly did not when Ausmus kept Daniel Norris in yesterday to give up 13 hits. And after the game Norris was complaining about a dead arm! Anyhow, why not let Gose throw a bullpen session or two to extinguish that notion?

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  10. Which is harder going from pitcher to position player, or position player to pitcher? Rick Ankiel made the switch from pitcher to everyday player. So it’s worth a shot, it won’t hurt anything. The worst that can happen is he failed, the best is he would be come a serviceable pitcher.

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