By: Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder
After 66 games (32-34), there are plenty of storylines playing out as we head into the heat of summer.
Saturday’s segment is a day to touch on as many issues as possible. Let’s see what Holly and Kurt have on their minds this week. They don’t share their Saturday topics and it’s only for the readers’ benefit. So, expect a wide array of thoughts.
Is it really the fault of the starting rotation that they are near the bottom of the AL in almost every major statistical category? They dropped Pelfrey and Sanchez, added Norris and now have a healthier Zimmermann which technically should make starting pitching better this year. Maybe, just maybe, the Tigers should be taking a longer look at the impact of the pitching coaches instead, especially given the comments by a number of pitchers who have successfully sought help elsewhere.
The Tigers had not one, but 2 chances to hire former Red Sox bench coach and current D’backs manager, Torey Lovullo as their manager. A man who has received rave reviews for a number of years now, a former Tiger and a guy who idolized Sparky Anderson and tries to implement the lessons he learned from his former manager. What does this say about the Tigers’ ability to judge talent and the preference to embrace mediocrity rather than have the courage to make the needed changes?
This week’s incident where KRod publicly threw his manager and pitching coach under the bus is about way more than a closer who has lost his stuff and has a hard time coming to grips with it. There has been a gradual increase in visible dissention amongst the players which is highly unusual for an organization that has historically kept its dirty laundry from being aired. This hints at some deeper issues within and will only grow if Ausmus remains a lame duck manager beyond the All-Star break.
Are we really doing this again? Miggy has declared he will continue to play through injuries to his back, groin, oblique and hip. I guess we can quit wondering what’s wrong with him, because the answer is just about everything; and the Tigers, well, will just continue to throw him out there because that’s what HE wants.
I wonder if KRod understands his mop-up roll now (as he calls it). After he finished another screw job for JV Thursday night, the crowd booed lustily. No one has any patience for someone who complains about how they are being treated and then answers the question themselves by stinking up the joint in the attempt to protect a lead; it’s safe to say KRod can be quiet now.
Justin Verlander’s fluid delivery has been described as one reason why he continues to be able to pitch effectively well into his 30’s. Will we ever be able to say that about Michael Fulmer’s ? His delivery is far from fluid and he strikes me as a pitcher we should be concerned about going forward – each time he throws he appears to put a tremendous strain on his arm, to the point where I wonder how long his career will actually be.