FORUM FOR FRIDAY

microphoneHappy Friday! It’s time again to head into the weekend hearing from our readers.   You have the rest of the week to hear from Kurt and Holly, today is the day to let them know what you’re thinking on a selected topic.

Friday is the one day of the week where we open up the comment parameters for you, so you can get those juices flowing.

Comments on THIS DAY ONLY can be expanded to a maximum of 8 sentences.

We can’t wait to get your thoughts on the following topic.


What has surprised you most about the Tigers so far this season?  Explain.


Totally Tigers loves your comments!  But please remember that responses are only published if they address today’s topic, are respectful and do not exceed the maximum response length.  All rules are at:   https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/commentsrules/.

 

 

 

 

 

20 MAY THOUGHTS

By:  Kurt Snyder

April and May are in the books after today, so it is time once again to close out the month in the most appropriate way. May must be dealt with and all thoughts while contemplating the month are captured here. Holdovers are topics we need to continue to follow and ponder, and are always necessary in the compilation of 20 more thoughts gathered for your consumption.

So today, on the last day of May, I bring you … 20 May Thoughts! Let’s begin.


1. Let me get something straight. When I say to ignore the standings and the record for this season, I hope you know I still check them out. But I also know that come trade deadline time, this team will be committed to selling and any kind of decent record at the time won’t mean a thing.

2. Last season, the Indians floundered for a long time, just as they are this season. But everyone knew how good they were and Cleveland eventually turned it completely around and enjoyed their ridiculous winning streak that propelled them to the division title. But do they seem capable of that this year? Or will there be another team that sees a division there for the taking?

3. Players I can really get excited about? The ones I can legitimately say they are sticking around and will be part of our future? Outside of Miggy, they are obvious, Jeimer Candelario, Joe Jimenez and JaCoby Jones. A lot of talent among these 3. (This is a holdover from April. Nothing has changed, in fact they are getting better and better. We really have something with these three players.)

4. Did anyone see the play of Leonys Martin even remotely possible when the Tigers signed him to play centerfield and hit leadoff? I remember some of the comments; many of them complaints about why Gardenhire would choose someone who couldn’t hit to lead off. Through the first 2 months, when did the Tiger offense begin to struggle? That’s right, when Martin was on the DL. (Yeah, I know there were others hurt as well, but you must have your catalyst.)

5. As we close out May, the story of the month has to be injuries. And just as the month ends, 2 more Tigers, Liriano and Stumpf, have been put on the shelf. The Tigers have surprised so far this season, but as is often the case, you wonder where a healthy team would be. It is fair to say they have been ravaged by injuries, but Gardenhire refuses to let anyone get down about it.

6. I wrote a post earlier in the month about how the injuries have opened doors for player auditions, and I still stand by that. The players who have taken advantage are working themselves into a real future with the team. Players like JaCoby Jones, Niko Goodrum and John Hicks lead that group, who have gotten more opportunities and are seizing them.

7. The April performance of Leonys Martin could be described like this: unexpected, surprising, impressive and encouraging. Martin has shown he CAN hit. He CAN run. And he can play one hell of a centerfield. Which will fall off? I would guess he can’t possibly hit like this all year, but we can hope. (Holdover from April. Has his hitting fallen off? Well, only because he went on the DL, and I won’t judge his offensive downturn based on that. He is perking up again as the month of May comes to a close.)

8. Ron Gardenhire’s disdain for bad baseball was made clear when he said, “I hate sloppy.” As we head into May, Gardy clearly has had a love / hate relationship with his team. (Update: let me explain this one because there was some misunderstanding in April. The love / hate relationship? It’s real. Gardy loves his team, but he hates when they play sloppy. They have made plays, but sloppy still lingers. This too, will take time.)

9. Nicholas Castellanos, hitting over .320 heading into the last day of the month is the only one holding up his end of the bargain in the area I like to call trade deadline value. There are guys we will trade who can bring great value, but playing well heading into August is a must. Michael Fulmer is certainly doing us no favors, at least through the second month.

10. Speaking of Michael Fulmer, has anyone seem him. Is he missing? Where did he go? Because that guy with the beard and wearing his number has to be an imposter. Do you think Fulmer is so frustrated because he is negatively effecting his trade value? Just kidding! I’m sorry! Don’t be mad at me… (but really he IS screwing this up!)

11. In May, Matthew Boyd has far and away made the most progress of anyone on our pitching staff. And Joe Jimenez is a close second. Jimenez has publicly acknowledged both his manager and his hitting coach for his continued progress so far this season; something no one did last season or maybe before that.

12. Name an offensive star from the month of May, but really think about it. How many just thought of Jose Iglesias? Check the stats. If we could ever find a way to keep him on this team, there would be one very happy blogger.

13. Michael Fulmer has been our best starting pitcher, and well he should. But who is number 2? Surprisingly, it has been Francisco Liriano. He is just a veteran who knows how to pitch. (I held this over because in May things have moved around a bit. Matthew Boyd has now taken over the top spot in the rotation and Liriano? Well, he still looks to be #2.)

14. I have seen teams heading into a rebuild looking a lot less talented than this current Tiger team. Is it so outrageous to suggest that the team could improve on last year’s record? After all, they did lose 98 games. (This is a good carryover, let’s hold onto this one at least through April. Well it’s April now, so yep it’s still here. It stays through May as well, and June.)

15. So what are your thoughts on the netting so far at Comerica Park? I still wonder about the view of fans who must look around the end of the netting where it terminates down the outfield lines. Can you say obstructed view? The more I see that portion of the netting on TV, the more hideous it looks to me.

16. The team’s unsung hero in May, without even looking at stats (remember I am hardly looking at them), may just be Mike Fiers. He is quietly keeping the Tigers in games, which is THE job for the 5th starter. So far, he has been a successful signing, originally considered a poor one at the time. But it’s way early.

17. A quick note on Victor Martinez. Have loved him for so long as a Tiger. But it’s over for me, as I am practically crossing off the days until his contract with the team finally ends. I hope he has been a good clubhouse presence for some of these young players, but I have not heard of any evidence of that.

18. Dear Mother Nature, Thanks so much for freezing us out in April. But your continued sense of humor lives on as we endure another wacky seasonal transition. From freezing to boiling is just, well, Pure Michigan.

19. In the category of ‘too early to tell’, I think we have acquired a gem in Jeimer Candelario. Watching his development will be near the top of my list this season. (This will continue to be a holdover, but the verbiage has changed – not too early to tell anymore. His talents are clear and without debate.)

20. Can’t leave May without mentioning this: JD and JV? Holy crap!


Totally Tigers loves your comments!  But please remember that responses are only published if they address today’s topic, are respectful and do not exceed the maximum response length.  All rules are at:   https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/commentsrules/.

CASTELLANOS & THE NEW GUARD SHINE

At some point, if you want to stay in the game, you need to recognize the brains behind the technological end of the business.  Just in case you were wondering who keeps us up and running, well, it’s Alex Hosmar.  And he can write, too!

So we have given Alex the opportunity to take the spotlight for a bit and give us a rundown of the Tiger game from Sunday afternoon.  Alex attended the game and has provided one heck of an analysis from a detailed game account to some tidbits from the crowd.   Take it from here Alex!


By:  Alex Hosmar

Typically, my role with Totally Tigers has been under the hood, making sure the site is operational and aesthetically pleasing, so that each day, you are able to immerse yourself with some of the best opinions and commentary there are about the Tigers.

But on Sunday, with the added privilege of viewing the game live from the stands, I had the honor of writing this post, recounting the 3-2 victory at Comerica Park. Because let’s face it, writing every day is a tall task, and Holly and Kurt could use a day off!


So, what about the game?

Well, this was a fast game with few stoppages, as the Tigers’ pitching staff ruled the day. After getting to the ballpark and reading the scouting report, it dawned on me that long reliever, Blaine Hardy, would get another start to allow Jordan Zimmermann to rest his shoulder. Like most spot starts, you just hope he can keep the team in the game.

Instead, Hardy gave the Tigers 7 strong innings, giving up 3 hits, issuing only one walk, striking out 6, and retiring the last 14 batters he faced. The hardest decision Ron Gardenhire had to make was whether or not to put Hardy out there for the 8th. Other than one mistake with his fastball to Yolmer Sanchez, who plated a run on a 3rd inning triple to tie the game, Chicago’s offense could not solve Hardy’s arsenal.

Joe Jimenez came on in relief to strike out the side in the 8th inning, which set up Shane Greene for the save opportunity. In what looked like a sure-fire save, with 2 strikes and 2 outs and the crowd on their feet, Jose Rondon roped a home run into the Tiger bullpen to make it 3-2. But despite this setback and walking the next batter, Greene settled down to record the final out, clinching not just the game, but a series win over the White Sox.

As for the offense, the Tigers did just enough to win the game, but unforced errors on both sides made the score closer than it needed to be. Grayson Greiner opened the scoring with an RBI double in the 4th inning, which marked the most consecutive games a Tiger has hit a double since 1934!

With runners on 2nd and 3rd and one out after Greiner’s double, the Tigers had an opportunity to open up the game early against James Shields. But just as the crowd was getting into the game, John Hicks was picked off at 3rd (yes, 3rd base) for the 2nd out of the inning, taking the sacrifice fly out of the equation.

And, as luck would have it, a few pitches later, Jose Iglesias flew out to deep right-center to end the inning. What should have been 2-0 Tigers was only 1-0.

In the next half inning, after Chicago had tied the game, another run appeared to score on a dropped 3rd strike past Greiner. But after a video review between innings, MLB announced as the Tigers were coming to bat that due to batter interference, Jose Rondon was called out, and the run was wiped off the board—a huge break for the Tigers.

After looking at the replay, the tip of Rondon’s bat clipped Greiner’s helmet, something even the umpires didn’t catch in real time.

But the hero of the day was Nicholas Castellanos, who plated the 3rd Tiger run in the 5th inning to give them a 3-1 lead, which after the home run given up by Greene in the 9th, proved to be the game-winner.

Not only did he win the game, but he did so on his bobble head afternoon with family and friends in the stands! Sunday’s game was a sound effort, both offensively and defensively. The pitching staff threw strikes and timely hitting proved to be the recipe for victory on this incredibly hot Detroit afternoon.


How about off the field?

While the crowd may have looked sparse, any shaded area, whether it be the updated Pepsi Porch, Kaline’s Corner (definitely recommend), luxurious club seating, or even stands underneath the upper deck overhang were packed with passionate fans who were engaged and excited to see the Tigers.

Speaking to fans at the game and overhearing conversations around me, there is still talk of the past, but also a greater sense of optimism for more impressive performances by the new guard of Tigers, particularly Blaine Hardy, who could make the case for a starting rotation spot with performances like these.

Interestingly enough, Miggy’s lengthy stint on the DL did not even come up until I brought it up.  But the couple I spoke to seemed more fixated on Joe Jimenez as he struck out the side.

Let’s face it, it’s tough to roam the grounds of Comerica Park without thinking about the past. The statues of Tiger greats in center field are a popular photo-op for spectators. But my favorite trip down memory lane was experiencing the interactive exhibits in the lower concourse, recounting the World Series victories, filled with newspaper headlines, informational graphics, and priceless images that define Tiger history (cue vintage Gibby in 1984 with both fists in the air).

Of course, many fans still wear Gibson, Trammell or Kaline on their back or gear with the circular “Mr. I” patch worn by the Tigers and Red Wings after their beloved owner and leader passed on last year.

While the loss of Mr. I and the effects of the recent trade deadline fire-sales are undoubtedly still in the minds of Tiger fans, Sunday’s game wasn’t just a great example of what’s to come on the field, but also a fan base that is fully focused on the future.

A healthy dose of reverence for those who brought the Tigers organization to this point can never hurt, but that no longer consumes as much bandwidth as it once did. Who knows, the newest statue could be playing right now.

Now…back under the hood!

TWO FOR TUESDAY

By:  Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning

The Tigers have been anything but boring this season. And there have been a handful of contributors who have helped to keep the team above water as they compete in, so far, what has been a pretty weak Central Division. And some appear to be keepers for the future.

On this Tuesday, our writers have a question to ponder. If you are new to Totally Tigers, please note that Kurt and Holly do not share their answers in advance with each other in an attempt to give you, the reader, a wider range of perspectives.

Here’s our topic for today.


The Tigers are rebuilding. Given the 25-man roster, and including those currently on the DL, which 10 players would you keep (contracts notwithstanding) if the Tigers intend on becoming competitive in 3 years?


KURT

Picking 10 was beyond tough. But these are the guys, Miggy included, that we have learned a lot about. I surprised myself when I looked at the list, given guys like Goodrum and Hicks have made it; guys who helped to mainly fill out the roster.

The inclusion of Cabrera is further evidence of my defiance against all who feel he can’t still make a big difference with this club.

Matthew Boyd

Michael Fulmer

Joe Jimenez

Jeimer Candelario

Jose Iglesias

Jacoby Jones

Grayson Greiner

Niko Goodrum

John Hicks

Miguel Cabrera


HOLLY

Making this list really shows just how far away the Tigers are from being competitive. I could only come up with 4 players who show they have the tools to perform well. I then added 4 players who show potential, are young and making minimal salary but it is still too early to comfortably list their names in ink. As for the last 2 spots, I have to leave those blank. Having to fill 21 roster spots in a mere 3 years, even with 4 potential candidates, is one very tall order.

Matthew Boyd

Jeimer Candelario

Michael Fulmer

Niko Goodrum

Grayson Greiner

John Hicks

Joe Jimenez

JaCoby Jones


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BASEBALL STOPS WHEN THE ARMY CALLS

As we recognize Memorial Day, we kickoff summer. Yet we never forget the people who allow us to celebrate our freedom. Today, it’s appropriate to recognize all who have served.

Totally Tigers

By:  Kurt Snyder

On this Memorial Day, it is our duty as Americans to treat the holiday for what it is. To honor those who have fought for our country and protected our freedoms.

Join me in taking a look back at a piece written last year at this time. It is appropriate for this holiday and future Memorial Days to come.  Enjoy your day today!


https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/baseball-stops-when-the-u-s-army-calls/

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IS THE FIRST CUT ALWAYS THE DEEPEST?

On this Memorial Day weekend, while we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country, here is a blog from 6 weeks ago. Still as relevant today as when it was first written. And a refresher in advance of Wednesday’s blog that questions the extent of the Tigers’ rebuild.

 

Totally Tigers

By:  Holly Horning

Tiger fans are expecting another year where famous and familiar faces will be leaving the team at some point this summer. Players like Nicholas Castellanos and Jose Iglesias who will be traded because of impending free agency.

Iggy is a free agent after this year and currently makes over $6 mill/year. It’s no secret that the Tigers have been trying to trade him for the past 2 years now.

Castellanos is due to become a free agent in 2 years but 2018 is the best year for trading him in order to get a higher return before he becomes a rental. He is also making over $6 mill this year and arbitration, should he stay next year, will zoom to somewhere around $9-$10 mill. There have also been stories that report the Tigers tried to extend him and he refused.

But when he was asked, Nick said…

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NOTABLE NEWS

By:  Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder

The Tigers have returned home and as of Friday began a stretch of games where they will spend 18 of 21 at Comerica Park.

So, what caught the attention of our writers heading into the home stand?

Holly and Kurt don’t normally share their topics with each other in the interests of getting a wider range of perspective. During an interesting week, they could head in any direction.

Let’s see where they ended up based on what has transpired through Wednesday’s game in Minnesota.


HOLLY

They sure are dropping like flies, aren’t they? Nine Tigers in 8 weeks have succumbed to injuries and 5 of those players have extended their time on the DL. And 3 of those 9 are starting pitchers while at 1 time, 5 of the 8 field positions had players out due to injuries.

While 2 of them can be excused due to existing conditions or in-game accidents, the rest are classified as “strains” which are injuries to the soft tissue – muscles, tendons and ligaments. And if you talk with those in sports medicine, physical training, and physical therapy, they will tell you that when you have a lot of players within one group getting injured, it points to an imbalance in the training program – and possibly the failure to correct and improve body alignment resulting in repeated injury.

Strains, especially those that involve the team’s current list of hamstring, groin, oblique and quad injuries, are indicative of not enough work done to promote stretching and flexibility. In most cases, a pronounced focus on muscle-building, which shortens muscles, creates bulk and weakens stability and proper movement, is blamed for the inability to stretch muscles enough in order for athletes to perform the necessary movements.

The Tigers head trainers and conditioning team have been with the team forever – from 12 years to over 20 – and offer the same insights and approach without the input of fresh eyes. It is a bare-boned staff compared to other teams – and unlike those other teams, does not possess or require players to undergo core training (specific exercises, yoga, Pilates, etc.) until they get repeatedly injured like Miggy.


KURT

I found myself having to come to my senses this week as I scanned over the Central Division standings and wondered how on earth the Tigers could still be in contention.

It wasn’t a good week on the road, they have players hurt all over the field, and still found themselves 4 games out of first place.

This is what happens when, at one point, we were looking at a division, heading into Memorial Day weekend, with no one (yes, no one) playing .500 baseball. Even teams like the Tigers could find hope under that scenario, I guess.

But that’s where you need to splash your face with some cold water, because this team, even if they are hanging around in the Central heading into the trade deadline, will not be doing anything but selling at that point.

Our baseball team in Detroit, which may look like a division contender at that point, will not be after July 31st. After another purging, they will not resemble anything like a team sniffing the post season.

This is still a season about grinding away, getting better, and along the way, trying to get healthy. With so many injuries, more players are getting opportunities, but it’s not doing much for the win column.

But again, it’s not about that this year; forget the record and the standings. Just resist, I say – resist!


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OPEN MIKE!

microphoneIt’s Friday folks, which means it’s your day! This is the day for you to be heard. Today is the one day during the month where you get the opportunity to comment on the Tiger topic of your choosing.

This is the one day of the week where we open up the comment parameters for you, so you can really get those juices flowing. Comments on THIS DAY ONLY can be expanded to a maximum of 8 sentences.  So, pick a topic and let us hear from you. What’s on your minds?


Totally Tigers loves your comments!  But please remember that responses are only published if they address today’s topic, are respectful and do not exceed the maximum response length.  All rules are at:   https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/commentsrules/.

 

 

 

EMOTIONAL DECISIONS

By:  Kurt Snyder

Do you remember the factors Mike Ilitch had to ponder when he ultimately decided to re-sign Victor Martinez to a new 4-year, $68M deal back in 2014?

How many of the factors contained warning signs and could be foreseen as negative down the road? How many were overshadowed by feelings of emotion, that justified the decision to re-sign VMart?

I bring it up now because the decisions to put Victor in the lineup these days, here in 2018, are based on obligation and are not necessarily good for the ball club.

What did Mike have to consider after the 2014 season?

Well, he had to consider the loss of someone coming off perhaps the best offensive season of his career; almost an MVP season, as VMart finish second in the voting behind Mike Trout. The timing of that remarkable year could not have been better for someone looking for another big pay-day.

And in Detroit, Mike Ilitch, the owner who loved his players and showed great loyalty towards them, had that great season hanging over his head. The tandem of Miggy and VMart had been a formidable one, and letting Victor go when he was at his best, would seemingly leave a huge hole in the lineup.  Seemingly.

From an emotional standpoint, Mike loved VMart. And VMart loved playing for him and playing in Detroit, and really sealed the deal just by telling Ilitch how badly he wanted to come back and finish his career in Detroit.

That was all Mike needed, wasn’t it?  But what was he signing up for? Well, that’s where the risks came in.

Victor was 35 years old, and those incredible numbers he put up in 2014 would be hard to duplicate, even for one more season,  much less four.

Four more years would be invested in a designated hitter; one with quickly declining defensive skills.

Victor would be 39 in the last year of his contract.

But this was Mike Ilitch. And there are lessons to be learned from his ownership. Lessons that will need to be applied to future deals made by the Tigers, Chris Ilitch and Al Avila.

Mike always planned for now, always thinking the Tigers were close to winning it all. The length of contracts and ages made no difference. Considering contributions of a player down the road in the latter years of their contract seemed of little importance.

But Mike was not alone in that kind of thinking. There were owners scattered all over the league who signed players to long-term deals strictly to seal that deal. They weren’t expecting great baseball for the life of the contract. The goal was to keep those players while they are great in order to capture that title.  Anything that happened after was of little significance.

It’s risky but popular. But what we are finding in baseball now is that decisions are being made with analytics in mind, which take into account offensive numbers, defense, age and more.

All these factors are now considered before that money and those years are handed out to today’s stars. Look at how long JD Martinez sat on that open market in the spring. Despite offensive production that continues to be dominant this season, it still was not the only consideration.

The final contract of Victor Martinez needs to serve as a lesson learned for the Tigers. He is taking up space on a team that needs to desperately move on.

A declining 39-year-old designated hitter with no ability to play a defensive position is not good for any team, much less a team beginning a rebuild.

The game has changed, dramatically. In 2018, would a 35-year-old free agent DH coming off his best season be signed to such a long and lucrative contract?

Based on how we saw the off-season go, VMart may have never been signed.  And certainly not for 4 years.

The emotions that impacted the signing of VMart in 2014 would not carry  weight today.  Those days are long gone.


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PLUMBING FOR TALENT

By:  Holly Horning

Ah, the rumors are picking up in intensity. You know the ones. The whispers about trading Michael Fulmer.

It is a topic that inspires passion among Tiger fans. A majority of them who feel that trading someone with this level of potential in order to get someone who might become another Michael Fulmer is an insane proposition. Especially when most don’t have confidence in Al Avila’s ability to trade or in the Front Office’s ability to scout.

The minority feel that the trade should happen in order to get a boatload of rebuilding talent. And their ranks are growing somewhat as Fulmer has recently been struggling a little.

But whether to trade or not, there are lots of other factors to consider. Trading or keeping Michael will each set off their own chain reactions that will go well beyond the roster. And in actuality, the Tigers need to be very careful about any trade because of what it will say about the team, the organization as a whole and the financials.

Part of Fulmer’s appeal to other teams is that he is under team control through 2022 and making only MLB-minimum salary this year with arbitration eligibility kicking in after this season. Analysts describe him as an “ace” for the Tigers but feel he would be a #2 for most other teams.

What this means is that the Tigers would probably receive a good and solid return on him, but not as much as fans would expect. And given that many are still upset over what the Tigers got for JD and JV, they may turn furious over this potential trade.

Interestingly enough, there are a number of teams with advanced analytics who feel that with their resources, they could vastly improve Fulmer’s performance. This is what the Astros were able to offer Justin Verlander. The same guy who went from 10-8 and a 3.82 ERA with the Tigers to a 5-0 and 1.06 ERA with Houston last year and currently has a 5-2 and 1.05 ERA record. The same guy who is routinely being named once again as the best pitcher in baseball.

One team that keeps coming up in the trade conversation is the “team that shall not be named.” You know, the one in NY. The team that wears pinstripes. The team with a highly prized farm system at the moment who could likely part with the quality of players that would make this deal happen.

But the Tigers organization has to think long and hard about trading one of the fans’ favorite players to a team they despise. Especially if Fulmer becomes really good. Let’s face it, fans are still complaining about the John Smoltz deal.

A trade of Fulmer, who has 4 years left before becoming a free agent, would also send a message to fans about the direction of the Tigers. And it’s not a good one. It’s one that says the Tigers don’t believe they will be anywhere near contention for at least the next 5 years. It’s a great way to motivate the paying fan base to seek out new hobbies.

There have been signs that Michael is being groomed to become the other franchise face now that Justin Verlander has departed. And this is important given that many no longer have the same positive feelings for Miguel Cabrera (the other franchise face). The J’s (Justin, Justin and JD) are now all gone and the other likely candidates, especially Castellanos, will likely be traded this season. If Fulmer goes, then who do the Tigers crown? That familiar face is needed for attendance and marketing.

Realistically, if the team does trade Fulmer, would they even have enough pitchers for their starting rotation? Historically, the Tigers have had to use 10-15 different starting pitchers over each of the past 4 years. And when you have Zimmermann and Norris both injured on a regular basis over the past 2 years (and currently both on the DL), how do you possibly find another replacement? And what about the rumors about trading Francisco Liriano?

Is there such a thing as a 3-man rotation? Making Blaine Hardy a starter so early in the season is a warning sign.

Analysts caution that there are currently so many teams who are doing poorly this year that most of them will be trying to unload players, creating a glut in the market. They anticipate that teams will be trying to trade earlier this season as a result. Will it be wise to trade Fulmer so soon when there are still questions about his potential and when it is believed that he is still trying to recover from arm surgery?

Yes, Michael remains the Tigers’ best and most valuable trade option. And when you have 2 current players with absolutely untradeable contracts (and eating up one-third of the total payroll), and a roster of rookies, Rule 5 and waiver-wire candidates, the options for rebuilding your farm system become much more slim.

But one of the biggest reasons for keeping Fulmer involves attendance. The Tigers, surprisingly, are putting a decent number of fannies in the seats. Fans are universally commenting that this team is more fun to watch than in previous years. The past home stand saw attendance figures that ran from near 20,0000 to over 24,000. Even beyond the weekends.

Trade away a solid piece of your rotation and replace him with a struggling unknown starter. Trade away Castellanos and Iglesias. Maybe also trade Liriano and Greene. Watch your team really tank. As well as your attendance.

The Tigers still have a payroll that ranks in the top half of MLB and the largest one by far in the AL Central. They need that attendance in order to help offset the past decade of yearly operations losses – the largest in MLB. Especially when they will be unable to trade away any other salaries of significance.

The real question to ask is how serious the Tigers are about rebuilding on a timely basis. And how much the financial requirements will guide the decision-making.

And that is a question for the owner, who may not want or plan on being around for the rebuilding process. He may have his eye focused on the books, instead of the team.


Totally Tigers loves your comments!  But please remember that responses are only published if they address today’s topic, are respectful and do not exceed the maximum response length.  All rules are at:   https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/commentsrules/.