After 2 months of the season, things normally start to take shape. You start to get an idea of the kind of team you have … or don’t have.
May’s 20 Thoughts will concentrate mostly on what we don’t have. Sorry, but I won’t call it anything but what it is. And right now it’s not so good. 🙂
1. Jordan Zimmermann, after 2 months, has not been good. He’s benefitted from some good run support, but the long ball is a major problem for Jordan.
2. So, have you heard who’s leading the All Star voting at first base in the American League? It must be a down year for first basemen this season. Because Miggy certainly doesn’t qualify right now.
3. So happy to be done with this road trip, so we don’t have to hear about the road trip anymore.
4. In March, I watched an analysis of the Tiger starting rotation on the MLB Network. Words used: Deep and potentially dominant. When depth came into the conversation, Anibal Sanchez came up. He was then mentioned as a potentially late game bullpen piece. STATUS: Deep? No. Potentially dominant? After Verlander and Fulmer, sorry, but no. Anibal Sanchez? In Toledo, trying to become a starter again.
5. Mikey Mahtook … what keeps him out of Toledo?
6. Under the category of Beating a Dead Horse: In May we saw the return of Miggy and JD to the lineup. JD set the house on the fire early and certainly proved worthy of “protecting” Miggy. But, VMart has not been moved from the 4 spot and all that ‘being nice to Brad’ stuff is now over.
7. There has been weak hitting all over the lineup. And it’s almost every position. That includes everyone in the infield outside of when Avila plays and anyone who plays centerfield. JD has been the only consistent threat.
8. Justin Verlander has had an odd season. He has looked dominant on many occasions but has also pitched poorly enough in other outings to keep his ERA above 4.00. So we have to be careful not to gush too much over him.
9. Michael Fulmer? Future ace of the Tigers. No sophomore slump. Improving every start.
10. How’s the ‘Win for Mr. I’ battle cry going? So far it’s only words. It’s been a poor brand of baseball in April and May. And I think it was determined (on this site) that the goals of the front office and the goals of the fans are completely different. Winning? Well, it will come by accident, because the organization has no plan to help things along. (Carryover from April)
11. The artist formerly known as KRod, was removed from the closer role soon enough to remove any trade value he might have had at the deadline. Maybe in the interests of rekindling something, he is now being used again in high leverage situations. Brad thinks he pitches better when the games are on the line. Am I talking in circles? Sorry, just reporting the news.
12. Ian Kinsler has picked a bad season to hit poorly and struggle with injuries. Another potentially valuable asset who may not bag the team as much as they hope at the deadline.
13. May saw the departure of Tyler Collins. Anyone bothered by this? Me neither.
14. Carryover from April. Write it down. Nicholas Castellanos will be an All Star this season. Oh and he’s on my fantasy team. STATUS: Nick will need a ticket (yeah I said Nick) to get to the game and he’s no longer on my fantasy team.
15. Speaking of Castellanos. His swing has gotten as long as his first name. He may want to consider “Nick” again.
16. Justin Wilson hasn’t been perfect as closer, but he has calmed things down in the ninth while Alex Wilson, Shane Greene and Blaine Hardy have been exceptional in the late innings. The pen has suddenly turned into the strength of the team.
17. It’s now June and the only baseball game I have attended was at Wrigley Field. I will now work really hard to make that an annual trip.
18. Injury report: Heading into June, the Tigers desperately need 2 things: A healthy Ian Kinsler. A productive Ian Kinsler.
19. Note to Dave Clark – VMart still can’t run, stop sending him home.
20. As poorly as the Tigers have played, they are fortunate to only be 4 games behind the Indians in the Central. A June loaded with home games will say a lot about their will to win and ability to stay in it.