By:  Holly Horning

I can’t help but compare the other 29 teams with the Tigers because it helps put what our team is experiencing into perspective. It also gives us insight into how Detroit’s organization is run and where they stand in the mix of performance and strategy.

With that said, here are 10 things that have been on my radar screen as we head into the thick of summer…

1. The Evil Empire (you know the one) appears to be back and not going away anytime soon. All this after only a couple of months rebuild.

2. The Nationals, Dodgers, Angels and Red Sox are showing signs of taking a page out of the Ilitch/Dombrowski/Boras playbook about how to bet it all on a ring and come up short. Things are going to get really ugly at the end of this year for most or all of them.

3. Clayton Kershaw has pitched in only a single World Series game while Mike Trout has played in only 3 division series games and both have only 2 more years until free agency. What a waste of talent and strategy by both of their teams.

4. Teams with higher payrolls have more options when assembling their rosters. Shouldn’t it follow that teams without those means should be hiring the best Front Office talent and adding to their resource arsenal in order to balance the edge given by money?

5. The Red Sox have a recent habit of firing their GMs within 1-3 years. Dave Dombrowski’s teams have only won a single playoff game in the past 2 years with one of baseball’s largest payrolls – and he is in the third year of his contract.

6. Once again, MLB-affiliated tv and radio were mum on the firing of Chris Bosio and left it to others to do the reporting. You’d never know there is a real issue within the industry re insensitive comments and actions of a sexual, racial and cultural nature (including those highly placed within the top tiers of MLB) if you only listened to the stations officially run by MLB.

7. Any woman can tell you that long hair is really hot in the summer. So why do baseball players now voluntarily coat their entire heads in long hair and beards?

8. Baseball teams never report their actual attendance and run with the number of season tickets sold combined with no-shows and actual ticket sales. MLB attendance overall this year is down almost 7% and facing their lowest numbers in 15 years while ticket prices and food/parking costs have risen 3% on average.

9. With all their money and resources, how did MLB end up hiring a retired couple to put together 30 teams’ schedules for the past 25 years via paper and pencil? Shouldn’t they have hired a math expert who can use a super computer instead of going very cheap and very old school?

10. In a recent survey, professional baseball players believe that the PED problem is larger than believed. And the decision-makers within MLB believe it is smaller than thought. What a surprise.

Which one of these 10 observations intrigues you the most? Pick one, share your thoughts and support your argument.

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By:  Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder

The long losing streak and the firing of the pitching coach dominated the news this week. Can we expect to hear more on these topics or are their other things unearthed by our writers?

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

Let’s see where they ended up based on what has transpired this week through Thursday’s play.


Yikes, what a mess this week was with the losing streak and now the Bosio firing and ensuing legal mess. However, the first was expected and the latter is still too murky to dissect for cause and meaning.

Buried under all of this was something I’ve been waiting to happen for the past decade. The Tigers have officially entered the 21st Century and hired U of M to do sports science testing on their athletes – a program with a purpose of diagnosing issues, injury prevention and enhancing performance.

Like most of MLB, biomechanics is now being used and the Tigers have started to put their prized prospects through analysis. One player was put through the program because of reoccurring hamstring injuries and they found the cause and corrected it. Last week, new #1 draft pick Mize and Faedo, the latter with a decrease in pitching velocity, were put through their paces.


The ugliness of a rebuild is finally underway for the Tigers. Games through Thursday of this past week included no victories. But even the long losing streak didn’t dominate the headlines more than the firing of pitching coach Chris Bosio.

As expected, more details have come out, some contradictory to Bosio’s version of what transpired in the incident that caused him to be fired. Readers have made good points in wondering if there were other incidents that contributed to his firing by the Cubs prior to being hired by the Tigers and they also questioned his leave from the team early in the season due to health issues.

Everything comes under scrutiny when something like this occurs, and you can be sure there will be more information that will come out that will allow us to properly put this story to bed.

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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 (normally) 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:





By:  Holly Horning

To trade or not to trade: that is the question

Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous rebuilding

Or to deal with a sea of troubles against arms in the bullpen.

(The blogger has taken unparalleled liberties with this quote from Shakespeare. Apologies to everyone. It could not be helped.)

With a little over 4 weeks until the July trade deadline, the baseball world is starting to heat up over which players will end up being traded to which teams. And, of course, the Tigers are expected to continue the process they started last year.

But is it as easy as simply trading off parts of the roster? Is it a clear line thought process from “rebuild” to “trade”? Or is this a complicated process in which a variety of factors will be considered before a single trade is attempted?

To argue that the trading process is as simple as Al Avila or another GM making a call with a proposal is a rather simplified rationale for an organization employing multiple decision-makers. Everyone needs to work in tandem.

Ron Gardenhire’s priorities are probably different to some degree than the visions of Al Avila. And while Avila may have his sights firmly set on rebuilding this team and making it competitive, the organization’s de facto owner may have other ideas.

And the kicker is that he is probably not sharing them with anyone within the Tigers’ organization. Chris Ilitch may have other priorities.

If you read the social media threads attached to the local media’s articles, readers can make a case for trading or not trading certain players. They have different understandings of what constitutes a rebuild. And they have concerns over whether this is a viable rebuild with a time schedule or a plan to consistently keep “rebuilding” for years.

The bottom line is that it always comes down to money. How much to spend on players. How much money can be saved on payroll. How appealing a rebuilding team can maintain itself with the fan base before permanently losing real attendance figures. How much revenue can be generated outside of ticket sales. And whether real value can be extracted in a trade.

In other words, it’s complicated. We may be surprised – or not – by what happens before August 1st rolls around. And if a move, or lack of one, doesn’t make sense, then we may not be privy to what is going on below the surface.

Sometimes a rebuild is more of a zig-zag line than a direct one. And sometimes that road may be temporarily shut down or detoured. Maybe even washed out and requiring a new rebuild.

Logically now, we want to identify the factors that will make a difference in who and how many are traded. We’re wondering how much or how little will be done. And it will all depend upon what the decision-makers see – and what ownership’s long-term plans are.

With that said, here are many, but not all, of the issues that will impact what the Tigers do over the next 4+ weeks.


1. Little-to-no interest in the players by other teams identified as likely trade bait.

2. A buyer’s market where supply is greater than demand.

3. A proposed trade where the Tigers don’t see enough of a return in players to make the trade happen.

4. Better than expected attendance figures that would be negatively impacted by the trading of popular or impactful Tigers.

5. The new tv rights contract negotiation dependent upon attendance and viewership.

6. The inability to replace a traded player with someone not yet deemed ready in the farm system.

7. Given the unexpected better-than-expected performance and attendance figures, a strategy of extending hope and revenue for a longer period of time.

8. The potential that the team is being readied for a sale and thus the desire to maintain higher figures of revenue.


1. Reduce payroll so it is more in line with what is spent in the AL Central and move it below the average payroll in MLB.

2. Trading off players making more than MLB-minimum in order to help negate the albatross contracts of Miguel Cabrera and Jordan Zimmermann.

3. A true rebuilding plan with long-term vision.

4. Viable farm talent that is ready to come up.

5. The need to stock the farm system with as many new prospects as possible.

6. A division that is truly horrible with multiple teams in a position to reap greater talent benefits than the Tigers at the end of the year.

7. A desire to continue to get the #1 or very high draft picks by significantly depleting the current talent and tanking performance.

8. The potential that the team is being readied for a sale and thus the desire to chop payroll as much as possible, balance the books and load up the farm system in order to generate better offers.

Let’s keep these two lists in mind as the trading begins. In the meantime, are there other factors that can be added?

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By:  Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning

As we approach July, fans continue to question the value of Victor Martinez and his continued spot in the lineup and on this team.

It has been a topic of conversation for months as VMart continues to pose little threat in the middle of the Tiger lineup. So here is our topic for today.

What should the Tigers do with Victor Martinez this year? And, of course, support your argument.


Recently, I sent out the gauntlet for Victor Martinez. I could no longer see the value in having him hold a roster spot. He has clearly reached the end and no longer has extra base power. Despite his contract, I felt the need to release him, given his spot on the team could be used to develop someone who has a future with the team.

However, under this current team leadership, I can no longer expect what I am suggesting. If you were to ask Ron Gardenhire, I would expect him to answer as if he were talking about his son.

Gardy has had great respect for the long time Tiger cornerstones he faced as an opposing manager. Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez are in that category. Victor is respected by Gardy and the Tiger ownership too much to dishonor him with an early release from the club.


There’s a big difference between “should” and “could”. Between all the injuries, old as well as potential new trades and the lack of depth in the system, the Tigers are very limited in what they may possibly do. As it is, they’ve been scrambling to have enough qualified players to come in and fill the roster so there is a logic to hanging onto warm bodies.

There’s the valid argument that VMart, now too old, too slow and a rally killer, is no longer effective and should be released in order to make room for the unproven youngsters. And, in fact, a national report late last season had the Tigers’ coaches recommending that. Yet, VMart remains so we have to ask if it’s Al Avila making the decision to keep him or being told by Chris Ilitch to hang onto him.

It’s not inconceivable that Chris promised his dad to take care of Victor because the late owner and his player were very close. It’s also known that Chris was loath to fire Ausmus while there was still a salary to be paid so it makes sense that he would also not want to release a player being paid $18 million.

The Tigers organization also has a reputation of protecting all of their employees no matter how deserving they are to leave so it would be a real surprise if they were to change their behavior and release a highly regarded veteran player who has contributed a lot in the past.

What would solve everyone’s problem is to keep Victor and make him the Tigers’ hitting coach because he’s the only one who works each and every count and the current coach, also the previous hitting coach, wasn’t and isn’t getting it done.

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By: Holly Horning

It’s readily apparent to all how much better the Tigers are as a team this year with Ron Gardenhire taking over as manager.  The signs are everywhere from how they play, to their intensity and fight and to taking responsibility for their performances.  Even the national media believes this team is playing above expectations.

But there is also the non-verbal aspect to consider.  This is a happier team.  You can see the comfortable body language in every player.  You see it in their faces.  You see it in the hugs the players – as well as the manager and coaches – give each other.  They are a cozy bunch in the dugout, congregating in clusters and talking to each other unlike the “every man is an island” attitude we saw over the previous managerial reign.

But this just didn’t happen because a manager was replaced.  This was planned.  And it took skill to make it happen.  This is a sign of a good, maybe even great, leader.

Communication.  It’s what makes everything work well.

For the last 4 years, we never heard a player give a ringing endorsement of Brad Ausmus.  We saw a group of men increasingly distant, unfocused and unhappy as time went by.

The local media, undoubtedly spurred by the media powers that be, went into overdrive to protect the former manager by constantly telling fans that Brad was good but always failing to include the supporting points.  They called everyone who questioned Ausmus “shriekers”.  Remember?

And it really started to remind us all about that fable involving the emperor and his new clothes.

It’s just too bad that the local media hasn’t communicated all the information with their readership over the past 4 years.  If they had, the Tigers may have been forced to make some leadership changes that the players and many fans knew were way overdue.

But the signs this year are unmistakable.  So much so that the media cannot deny it.  They’ve done a complete 180 about how a manager doesn’t make a difference.  Apparently now he does.  Revisionist history at its finest.

We are now hearing more and more what it was like for the players under Ausmus.  Information that was stifled over the past 4 years is now coming out in dribs and drabs.  We saw a lot of it over those years but the local media chose to ignore it or churned out “all is well” press releases instead of articles.

We saw Justin Verlander going ballistic in the dugout and slamming equipment.  Mound visits in which you could clearly read his lips.  And JV could give any sailor a run for his money when it came to telling his manager how unhappy he was with him.

Of course, there was David Price and the infamous “no-show” to the mound to pitch another inning.  It was blamed on “miscommunication” between the pitcher and his manager.  Baseball history was made with that event.

There was the dugout battle between Rajai Davis and Brad in which Rajai got benched for successfully stealing a base because he saw an opportunity and took it without asking permission first.  An episode that undoubtedly inspired him to later sign with Cleveland, rather than return to Detroit, for approximately the same amount of money.

We saw Max looking uncomfortable.  And Miggy made what we already knew official.  He also didn’t like Brad.

Within the past couple weeks, we’re learning more.  Jose Iglesias in an interview recently expressed his happiness with Gardy because his manager allowed him to make decisions and take responsibility.  And to grow as a player.  He alluded to the fact that Brad always told him what to do.  He frankly admitted that he felt very frustrated being so severely restricted in what he was able to do in the field or at the plate.

And then there’s Victor Martinez.  A much different man this year than in 2017.  He looks happy.  He’s smiling a lot.  And he’s once again having positive interactions with his teammates and they are returning the affection.

We didn’t like what Victor had become last year.  We thought it was entitlement.  Or a stubborn, ageing player who refused to see what he had become.

But VMart’s reason for being upset much of the year?

Brad.  (Surprise!)

We learned from an interview, that VMart’s former manager didn’t confer with his players.  Didn’t discuss strategies or visions with them.  A man who said repeatedly, almost proudly, that he never went into the clubhouse.

And Victor, to his credit, didn’t throw his manager under the bus last year.  But this year, he’s admitted that Brad never talked to him.  That Ausmus never acknowledged any of Victor’s ideas or concerns.

The breaking point was the day Martinez came off the disabled list.  Ausmus moved him in the lineup without having a conversation or even giving him a clue.  VMart only found out he was moved when he saw the lineup card.

“I think at least I deserve to be called to the office and at least tell me,” Martinez said. “I have time enough to at least tell me know ahead.  The only thing is I ask for respect. That’s why I respect everybody. You respect people to get respect back and that’s it. I’ve never asked for special treatment or nothing. I show up and play. That’s it. That was the difference.”

To say that Ron Gardenhire is on the opposite end of the spectrum is an understatement.

He meets with all of his players regularly.  They discuss the vision, goals, ideas and possible changes that will be involved during the year.  He explains why they need to happen.  He gets their input and discusses their concerns.  And every player interviewed has said they appreciate being allowed in on the dialog and being able to understand their exact role.

Almost to the man, they reported feeling as if they were equals in the conversation.  They felt respected.  And they appreciated that they would not be blindsided with moves they didn’t expect.  And they felt comfortable knowing that decisions and moves were being made that respected the soul and integrity of each of them.

You see it now in the dugout.  Players who come down the stairs and are usually greeted by their manager or another coach.  A few words of wisdom, a lesson in the making, strong eye contact and all followed by a hug or a pat on the back.  This never happened under the Ausmus regime.

You see players grouped around a coach or each other during a game and a discussion about what is happening on the field.  It’s a cohesive bunch now.

Gardenhire will also tell you that he holds regular meetings with the entire team or groups of players.  That he feels it is one of the most important aspects of a manager’s job.

A far cry from the stories of player-led meetings in the clubhouse over the past couple of years because there was no communication from their former manager, who was holed up in his office.

Gardy has simply established an optimum learning and working environment for his players which allows them the opportunity to focus on performance and be the best they can be.  He has created a culture and a supportive network all through his emphasis on strong communication.

And that’s what good managers do.


By:  Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder

After a short 2-game series in Cinci, where the Tigers lost both games to the lowly Reds, the air kind of came out of the balloon when it comes to positivity.

So, what caught the attention of our writers heading into the weekend series in Cleveland?

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

Let’s see where they ended up based on what has transpired this week through Wednesday’s play.


I lost count this week about how many times Nick Castellanos misplayed balls (or couldn’t stop a grand slam that other right fielders could have prevented) or looked lost in right field that I’m developing PTSRFD. Out of the regulars who play the identical position in MLB, Nick ranks dead last in almost all categories and has cost the team countless runs which must be considered in tandem with the runs he drives in.

Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely like the guy and know his work ethic is unquestionable – even giving him props for being jerked from position to position to position (the current count is 5) and never complaining, by the Tigers who did him no favors in his training and development.

But realistically, Nick is a classic DH on a team with a waiting list at that position and with a much smaller chance of being traded to another team who only needs a DH. Even if he stays in Detroit, what does the team do with Miggy in the future years? Do they move Nick to his 6th position – first base – where he’ll see even more action?

Honestly, the Tigers are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to trying to trade him or being forced to keep him. After all, if they don’t make a qualifying offer which will be over $18 million next year (one he has a good chance of accepting), they will get nothing when he leaves.

Granted, they need his bat but Al Avila has said this team is going in a new direction and looking to acquire players who are more athletic, better defensively and faster. To keep Nick would be back sliding on their promise to develop a new kind of roster that can be competitive late in the season.


This week, the Seattle Mariners expressed their interest in acquiring Matthew Boyd from the Tigers. For some odd reason I don’t feel the same way about losing Boyd as I do about Fulmer.

All season long and maybe longer I have been riding the “Trade Fulmer” train. But I don’t know what train I’m on when it comes to having both Michael AND Matthew on the block; 2 young pitchers with plenty of controllable years left.

I think that Fulmer would bring more value in a trade and feel better about letting him go. But having a young lefty like Boyd who is trending upward is someone I would think long and hard about before trading.

Many feel the opposite and consider Boyd the no-brainer because you give up less and that Fulmer has the most talent and thus is more of a keeper for the long haul, which could all be true. But the best value, the better prospects? All day long, it would come in a Fulmer trade. So, it’s one or the other, but I would not trade both.

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:


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:

After 2 games as a professional at Single A Lakeland, Brock Deatherage (gotta love the name), the Tigers’ 10th round draft pick, has hit 4 homers! (Special thanks to Nick M. who brought us the topic.)  What is your reaction? 

1. Excitement

2. Interested enough to keep an eye on him

3. Too early to care   

Explain your answer.

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:






By:  Holly Horning

Let’s say you have the ability to buy a car. Not just any car, but a very special one. One that is very rare and one of the most expensive ones ever made. A high-performance car considered to be one-of-kind.

A car that would make everyone stand up and take notice. People who would want to see your car and remark on how well it runs. Viewers interested in seeing its power and performance.  A car they have never seen in their lifetimes.

So if you had this car, how would you treat it? You’d take very good care of it, right?

You wouldn’t ignore having the oil changed. You’d make sure that the fluid levels were checked frequently. The tires rotated and regular check-ups every 5,000 miles. And only fill her ‘up with high-performance gas.

Heck, you’d also make sure to hire a specialized mechanic who understands how to take care of this high-performance beauty. Nothing ever too good for your one-of-a-kind.

The point is, you’d never neglect your car. Or forget to take care of it. Or even assume that it will continue to run smoothly as it gets older and the mileage starts to add up. Because if you did, it would be spending more and more time sitting in the garage instead of purring in the streets.

You would not be taking care of your investment and risk having the ability to drive it whenever you wanted. It, and your money, would be gathering dust in that garage.

Does this sound familiar? How many of you understand that this tale of caution parallels how the Tigers have failed to watch over their biggest investment?

Miguel Cabrera.

A one-of-a-kind player destined to be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot if he can only stay healthy and continue to produce. A player already paid over a quarter of a billion dollars by the Tigers alone and expected to retire from Detroit having earned at least $392 million and potentially up to $452 million. Not including all the incentives and bonuses.

He’s earned more money than it took to build Comerica.

Miggy makes $185,000 per game, whether he plays or not. Even when he’s on the disabled list. He’s still owed $17.4 mill for 2018 and because baseball contracts are guaranteed, he will be paid every single penny of it. His salary constitutes 23% of this year’s total team salary and will climb once again next year.

Meanwhile, the Tigers have refused to confirm if they have insurance on Miggy. Or even, at this point, if they were able to get insurance on him given his previous injuries. Historically, they have not taken out insurance on their players and continue to pay Prince Fielder his salary as a result.

And then there’s Jordan Zimmermann and Victor Martinez – both not insured and stories for another day.

Given all of this, am I the only one shaking my head over the Tigers’ failure to protect their most expensive investment ever? If you had such a spectacular player at a jaw-dropping price, wouldn’t you protect him?

Wouldn’t you ensure that special precautions were taken to keep him as healthy and as fit as possible? Wouldn’t you have a plan for the long term, especially considering that he is signed through 2024 (or 2025)?

Instead, the Tigers essentially left him on his own and allowed him to solely focus on weight-lifting instead of practicing a balanced fitness routine. They allowed him to ignore his core which any professional trainer will tell you is the center from which all physical health and strength emanates.

There were some years when he came to spring training significantly overweight.

Did they allow this benign neglect because of organizational practices or because they were afraid of his star status and the power it gives him? And why was he allowed to play for at least 2-3 years, obviously injured, and not go on the DL? To allow injuries to linger and fester, increasing the potential for long-term damage?

And now, it appears that our worst fears about keeping Miggy healthy are being realized. Let’s hope we are very wrong about this but the timeline and increasing frequency shown below are cause for alarm.

2010 – ankle sprain

2012 – core muscle tear (unreported and a result of breaking up an alleged clubhouse fight)

2013 – groin injury, core muscle surgery at end of year

2014 – ankle problem, broken foot both surgically corrected at the end of the year

2015 – torn calf muscle

2017 – back injury, hip flexor strain, groin strain, 2 herniated disks

2018 – 2 hamstring injuries, 2 herniated disks, hip flexor strain, bicep spasms, bicep tear

During this current year, Miggy has had 6 injuries that forced him to miss a minimum of 3 days or more for each of them. Six injuries spread out over 10 weeks. And now, he’s out for the rest of the season with the bicep tear.

It obviously brings up serious questions about how the organization oversees its operations. And then there are the perennial questions surrounding whether the medical and training/conditioning programs are as proactive, updated and advanced as they should be.

And then there is the question of entitlement. Did this gargantuan contract allow Miggy to call all of his own shots and be essentially unaccountable to the rest of the organization?

But if we look at this rationally, should anyone have signed off on a benign neglect policy for a man with a pattern of impulsive behavior? A man not known to impose a structured, disciplined routine upon himself in the off-season like Mike Trout, Giancarlo Stanton and Derek Jeter.

What would Miggy’s stats have looked like these past 2+ years if the Tigers had been more proactive in protecting their investment?

All good questions and many that will go unanswered. At least publicly.

Now that his name is no longer on the lineup card, there is one thing we do know. And that is, the Tigers did him no favors.

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:


By:  Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning

Who would have thought that the Tigers could have a deep starting pitching rotation – one where they cannot get down to 5 starters? Well, this may be a reality soon, as least through the end of July.

With Francisco Liriano almost ready to come back, the team has a decision to make.

Here’s our topic for today.

With Jordan Zimmerman’s return to the rotation, are the Tigers doing the right thing by moving Blaine Hardy back to the bullpen? Do they have any other options?


While the Tigers ponder the suddenly conceivable 6-man rotation, let’s think about what that means. Just to get us grounded, the 6 starters would be: Fulmer, Boyd, Fiers, Liriano, Zimmermann and Hardy.

When Liriano comes back, the last thing you want is for him to leave the rotation; he must continue to be groomed as a coveted lefty starter and trade piece. Fiers is the same type of asset.

Zimmermann needs to start because, damn it, that’s what we are paying him to do. And Hardy – well, he has earned the right to continue in the rotation; in fact, he may be better than he has ever been in this new role.

So let’s give that 6-man rotation a go, because none pf the pitchers make sense in a bullpen role going forward, for all their individual reasons.


With the news that Francisco Liriano will need at least one more rehab start, Blaine Hardy’s starting job is secure for at least 1 more week. He has the best won/loss record of all the starters and has an ERA second only to Matthew Boyd, allowing 2 runs or less in each of his last 6 of 7 starts with opponents hitting a mere .226 against him.

And this is where reality bites because almost all teams will select the guy owed $74 million instead of the most deserving, not just because of the money factor, but because it tells the world that the Front Office made a really big mistake if they drop him from the rotation.

These costly mistakes, when made official, also tend to get at least 1 person involved in that contract signing fired.

Ron Gardenhire has just started talking about a 6-man rotation and credited Chris Bosio with persuading him with the stats that support the move. But I believe that such a strategy will never progress to adopt a strict 6-man rotation because of injuries and potential trades.

After his initial – and still classified as mystery injury(ies) 2 years ago – Zimmermann has yet to pitch that 30-game minimum number of starts as a Tiger and I don’t think he will finish the year without having to go on the DL at least once more. He’s already had 4 injuries and trips to the DL just this year.

Both Liriano and/or Fiers could also be traded this year which would keep Hardy in the rotation to stay. I think between 1-2 trades combined with the DL factor, Hardy’s job as a starter could remain safe if he can just hang on for another 3-4 weeks.

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: