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Rob Jones

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About Rob Jones

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  1. I'm okay with Cabrera's extension. One thought ... I was figuring that Miggy's production would drop this year to pre-Prince levels--i.e., to something closer to where it was when V-Mart was batting behind him three years ago: 30/100/.320 with about 20 more walks than he had last year. If that happens, then you know the Keith Laws of the world will start yammering about how Miggy's in decline, when really it's only the Tiger lineup that is.
  2. Respectfully, I don't get the argument that signing Joba constitutes "low risk." To me, the risk is enormous. If he's bad, and the other Joba-like characters in the bullpen (Coke, AlAl, Rondon ... nearly all of them) are also bad, which many of them were at times during 2013, then the season blows up on the Tigers. Good SP outings will be wasted, frustrating losses in the late innings take place at a disproportionately high rate, the team ends on the wrong side of 7-5 games or extra inning contests, and so on. The team is risking all that. Somehow "low risk" has become synonymous with "cheap." Yet cheap often means "not so good," and if you've got bunch of players like that (as I think the Tigers have with the bullpen they've got today), you're risking a lot of trouble. Joba is low risk only if there is someone who would be palpably better than him for the role he might assume. I don't see that someone on the Tigers right now.
  3. The bullpen might be okay, but it might also be epically bad. The Tigers will be minus their three most reliable relievers in 2013 (Benoit, Smily, and Veras) and intend to give more prominent roles to people who were either unreliable or injured in 2013 (Rondon, AlAl, Coke, Chamberlain) or unknown performers (Krol, Putkonen, Ortega, tiger337, whatever). Nathan's probably still got some gas in his tank (his was a good signing), but getting to him in the ninth might be an adventure. The Tigers may lose a mess of games in the sixth-eigth innings in 2014. In any case, DD's "retooling" of the bullpen this offseason fits his MO, which is to spend big bucks on one guy (Valverde a few years ago, Benoit the year after, now Nathan) and then nickle and dime the other six, so that when the playoffs arrive, the Tigers go into them with one of the weakest bullpens of all the teams still playing. And, predictably, it costs them, as they're eventually "outbullpened" by the likes of Texas, or San Fransisco, or Boston. Place me among those who are not expecting any additional "reliable" arms between now and 7/31 or Corey Knebel's and/or Melvin Mercedes' callups.
  4. White Sox have the best SPs of the bunch and a passable offense, so I see them finishing second to DET, whose SPs are off the charts good—at least potentially so. I think KC’s talent is overrated. Their pitching is better, but it’s still basically a #2 and mess of 5s, and nobody in KC’s offense really scares me. (Butler remains its best hitter, but he hasn’t a lot of muscles, so ...) Cleveland might hit a ton of HRs (and K a million times) yet has pitching that could be truly egregious. The Indians better score 8-10 runs a game cuz their SPs are going to get lit up. MN could be interesting, if its lineup can stay healthy. I think its pitching will be a lot better than it’s been for awhile. That’s not saying much, I know, but it wouldn't surprise me if MN’s SPs on aggregate finish only behind DET and CWS. Really, if all these teams stay reasonably healthy, the Tigers should win this thing in a walk. Peavy-Sale-Danks might, however, make things a bit hairy for the Tigers.
  5. For me, giving Porcello more than a one year deal is like forgetting that Robertson-Willis-Bonderman ever happened. Porcello has one plus pitch (his sinking FB), and most everything else he throws is too often below average--his breaking ball (whatever they call that thing) is not real great, his changeup is worse, and his 4-seamer lacks zip and movement. There's a reason for his back to back 4.92 and 4.75 ERA seasons, both considerably worse than league average for SPs: He just isn't that good a pitcher. If the Tigers' young arms are as good as they're reputed to be, then the club ought to be able to replace Porcello's production at a small fraction of his future cost. Don't give this guy 4 years/$20-30m when you can get 4.50-5.00 ERA from, say, Smyly for about 1/5th that.
  6. I got a chance to see Turner pitch last year for Erie. As it turned out, he pitched poorly and I was disappointed, but I suffered in silence. On our drive home from the game, my wife asked me if there was anything about Turner that had impressed me. I thought hard about that, pondering his stuff, command, presence, and so on, and answered her about a minute later by saying, no. Everybody has bad games and I'm prepared to think that Turner is better than he showed that night. His starts for Toledo after his time at Erie and his first outing for the Tigers were quite good, actually. Based on what I saw, however, and taking into account that his performance was aberrant, my view is that Turner has been oversold, much in the way that Porcello was. He should be a decent pitcher, better than Porcello, but I don't think he'll be a world beater. My sense is that his ceiling is somewhat lower than Scherzer's but higher than Porcello's. I think he'll be a league average SP, the equivalent of a #3 starter on an average team. All that said, I'd have no problem packaging Turner and other Tigers prospects not named Castellanos for Gio Gonzalez. I could be wrong (it can be hard forecasting future performance), but I would be surprised if Turner gets to and stays at the level Gonzalez has been at the last two seasons, and I suspect that is why the Tigers were hoping to trade him plus others for Gonzalez this past week.
  7. I'm guessing the Tigers signed Berry to play CF at Erie. Johnson bumps up to Toledo and, with Berry at Erie, the Tigers don't even have to consider moving Fields up. They might have had to had they not signed Berry.
  8. I understand what you're saying and agree with your point (to an extent), but then there's the situation's flip side. Laird will be starting (they say) about 1/4 of the games (around 40 of them), presumably against LHPs. Imagine possibly this batting order against such pitchers ... 7. Laird, 8. Inge, 9. Jackson. Or, even worse, maybe this one ... 8. Laird, 9. Inge, 1. Jackson. Ugh. It would have been nice to get a bit more pop in the (admittedly) backup C's bat, particularly given the neighborhood in which he will be batting. Still, in the whole cosmic scheme of big things, you're probably right to suggest that this isn't really one of them.
  9. I interpret, probably wrongly, Leyland's deportment vis-a-vis the media as a barometer of his contract status. The longer he goes without gaining an extension, the ruder he becomes.
  10. One thing to consider is how all of the Tigers' recent moves will be regarded by the players left on the team. I doubt that they're going to be real happy. As a general rule, players don't really like to see teammates they value let go; they like it even less when the guys who replace them haven't much by way of track records. Polanco, Rodney, Lyon, CG, EJ: they were all important contributors to the 2009 team, and now they're gone. We might see value, particularly over the long-term, in the moves that the front office has made, but I doubt that the players still left on the team adopt a similar long-range perspective. Baseball players are Keynesians--in the long run, their careers are dead, so it's the short-term that concerns them. Verlander's going to want to know how all the recent moves are going to help him and the Tigers win in 2010, not how they might affect the team's performance in 2011, or '12, and so forth. In this sense, I think that today's trade, in conjunction with several other of the team's choices, substantially reduces the chance that Verlander will sign a contract extension this off-season. In a completely unscientific way, I had reasoned back in October that the chances of that happening were pretty good. Once Henning started writing his articles about the Tigers' off-season plans, I started thinking that the odds had diminished. After today's trade, I think they've declined even further. Jason Beck may be alluding (admittedly obliquely) to a bit of all this in his latest blog entry, a portion of which reads as follows: Granderson hasn't yet heard from the Tigers, much like Andrew Miller didn't hear from the Tigers after he was in the Miguel Cabrera trade. In fact, Granderson hasn't heard from the Tigers for a while now, which wasn't a good sign in itself. I think everybody anticipated the fallout from this deal was going to be big. Judging from what I'm hearing from folks back in Detroit, it's huge. How that follows over the coming days as the reports and the interviews unfold is going to be very interesting.
  11. Scouting, eh? I'll have to remember that ... I wonder what that's all about.
  12. Of the 1000+ posts appearing in this thread, the above may be the most sensible. It is certainly among the better ones. I haven't the slightest idea who "won" this trade and neither does anybody else, including very likely the executives of the teams involved. For the Tigers, I don't know how anybody can interpret the trade as anything other than a big gamble. The players they got may have huge upside, but each is unproven at the MLB level. Scherzer, I guess, comes closest to being accomplished; and, even then, his 9-11, 4.12 2009 in a weaker league with no DH isn't exactly to die for (and neither is the fact that he faded about as badly as Jackson did: 3-5, 4.73 in his last 10 games). The others? Who the hell knows how they'll do? Schlereth, for example, may be the next Billy Wagner ... or, more likely (because most prospects fail), he could be another Steve Colyer (his apprehension of the strike zone seems pretty meager to me). We just don't know how these players are going to perform over the next several years, and obsessing over who got the better of the deal at this early date isn't wise.
  13. I'm nervous about Granderson. His salary for 2010, I guess, is reasonable, but if he continues to struggle as badly as he did this season against LHPs, then I will see him as overpaid in 2011-13: $8-12M, or so, per season is an awful lot of money for someone who is essentially a platoon player. If the Tigers can get good value in return for trading Granderson, I'll be okay with it.
  14. Melvin's comments got me to wondering whether he might have been interested in Gorkys Hernandez in place of Gomez. If so, then the Tigers could have had both Jair Jurrjens and JJ Hardy had they not traded for Renteria. Hindsight's wonderful, isn't it?
  15. I don't believe that is correct, although I'm not sure. I think because DW has paased a certain threshhold of MLB service time, he can refuse assignment to the minor leagues and demand to be paid according to the terms of his contract. The Tigers would then be faced with the decision of keeping him on the roster or releasing him. In either case, he'd still get paid.
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