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Tigers on Baseball Tonight

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I heard on the radio that on Baseball Tonight last night, the crew was talking about what they would do to change the Tigers. They stated one approach that I thought was a great way to help the Tigers. He stated that the Tigers have been very top heavy in their drafting of pitchers over the past several years. They estimated that the Tigers could be in the top 5 for pitching prospects. He (I forgot the guys name who was talking) suggested that the Tigers trade some of their prospects for some everyday players. This might include getting rid of guys like Anderson, Weaver and other pitching prospects for decently young somewhat proven players. These guys all agreed that those type of guys are harder to find and necessary for building a "quality" team. I assume what they meant by these "everyday" players is .270 hitters with good to above average fielding skills and any one or two of other varying skills (speed, power, high obp, etc.)

Did anyone else see or hear this? What is your take on it? Please correct me if I heard this wrong!!

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I watched it, and they said it was important to have home grown pitching talent and to trade for everyday players in which the Tigers were deficient.

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So a rebuilding team should trade prospects for proven players? I don't really see how this would work. Anybody we get in trade isn't gonna be that good (because we lack a top flight pitching prospect) and is likely gonna be overpriced, not to mention older. So we get older, more expensive, and not that much better.

It's much easier to develop a hitter than it is to develop a pitcher, but our depth gives us a chance to develop a pitcher or two from the group that we have. If we could get some top level hitting prospects (or players) then trading the young pitchers makes sense, but trading them for mid level position players isn't gonna get us very far.

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I'm not ready to make any drastic moves yet - but if/when the time comes, I say we completely dismantle it and start over. We are not going to rid ourselves of our garbage contracts by themselves and we are going to piggyback them on a Weaver, Anderson, Cornejo to clear their salaries.

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What I understood from it and what the radio guy was saying is that we should be willing to trade these prospects or our current youth pitching for guys like a Troy Glaus. A guy who is in his mid twenties with a couple of major league years under his belt for a hot prospect(s) that could or could not develop. I don't know if teams would even be willing to give talent like that up, but you might entice someone with some of our "hot" prospects to give up a guy who puts up average to above average hitting along with some other solid intangibles and with solid defense.

After a decade or so of poor play, we must have drafted some great pitching and fielding prospects...what happened to them all? Do we really have a top 5 pitching prospect farm system???

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I don't see how trading prospects for mid level will help win a World Serries. It only sounds like a quick fix patch, but will kill us in the long run. Trading prospects only help when you already have a dominant team, hence the Yankees.

Right now I don't see were we have all these can't miss prospects in the minor leagues. I've browsed a couple of Baseball reports and the highest pitcher we have is Cornejo. Baugh maybe hurt. Pettyjohn is out for the year. Wheatland is out for the year. The Tigers need to build up the minor league pitching staff more in my opinion before they start trading it.

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Most of our highly touted pitching prospects have stagnated in Toledo, enough talent to justify the roster spot, but not enough to make it to the show. Furthermore our young pitchers have been injury plagued. Matt Wheatland, Adam Pettyjohn, and Seth Griesinger all top pitching prospects have missed serious time and Kenny Baugh is at risk to do so. Barring injuries, Griesinger should be in his 4th season as part of the Tigers rotation, Pettyjohn would be pushing for a rotation spot but would probably be in AAA and Wheatland would be eating up AA this season.

Justin Thompson was another pitcher that had injury toubles coming thru the Tig's system, as does Brian Moehler.

I have a feeling that Matt Wheatland spoiled his arm trying to be the little league and then High School hero(ask Seattle about Ryan Anderson) and probably will never amount to anything with the Tigers. Kenny Baugh was handled terribly by his college coach and the Tigs should have probably looked elsewhere when their chance to draft came up.

Furthermore drafting a closer first overall is a terrible decision, as is drafting a firstbaseman third overall. You convert a failed starter into a reliever and you convert a heavy hitting/poor fielding prospect to first base - you don't draft them.

Andres Torres, Nook Logan, John/Jack Hanahan, Omar Infante, Jason(or is it Michael) Wood, Ramon Santiago, Mike Rivera, Brandon Inge are all position players who have a decent chance of cracking our line-up with in the next two years. And I know that one shouldn't count their chickens before they hatch, but everybody needs hope.

Your 2004 Detroit Tigers

CF-Torres

SS-Infante

3B-Hanahan

1B-Young

DH-Meluskey

C -Rivera

RF-Higginson

2B-Wood

LF-Logan

Weaver

Baugh

Cornejo

Griesinger

Van Hekken/Pettyjohn

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I saw Baseball Tonight. What they actually said was this...

Harold Reynolds said, all contenders have common traits, usually it is that the pitching is homegrown talent. Buck Showalter agreed. They went on to say, you find your best 2 -3 pitchers (Reynolds example for the Tigers was Weaver, Anderson, and Cornejo) and then you trade the remaining "prospects" for more prospects (position players) or players that will pay dividends in the next 3 - 5 years. It's a plan that actually makes sense if you think about it. One thing I don't know if I agree with Reynolds and Showalter's opinions on the Tigers... they both inferred that the team isn't that far away. They said they need to add defense, one hitter, and a little bullpen support. I don't know, what does everyone else think?

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The Tigers are better than they are playing not- no doubt. But "aren't that far away" from what? - that one hitter and a shored up bullpen could make the difference - "not that far away" from not being labled the worst team in baseball? The Central Division? The World Series?

Buck Showalter is already auditioning for the Tig's skipper role, and won't say anything that will hurt his chances. But if he keeps making statements like that Dombrowski will think he is nuts.

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The good thing about if we had a team of .270 hitters with different hitting styles (i.e. power, speed, walks drawn,etc.) that are in the younger part of their careers is that you can plug 2-3 big Free Agent hitters in the right spots and have a dynamic hitting team! Along with quality pitching and strong defense, you could win a division or two! I liked the concept when I heard it, but I'm not sure that it is a possibility or just a dream/shot in the dark/cure all theory? I don't see much in our list of prospects that we would get quality in return.

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There are 4 pitchers I'd keep... Weaver, Anderson, Cornejo, and Baugh.

Sparks can probably get a decent return in a trade but trading him would be a bad idea because he is reliable to eat up innings.

Bernero, Kalita, Loux, Redman, Van Hekken, a healthy Greisinger, Maroth and maybe Fernando Rodney all can bring in a good return. A healthy Brian Moehler could get something good back too.

The key position players I'd keep are Torres, Infante, Munson, Fick (depending on how he pans out in RF), Meluskey, Rivera, and well thats it. (Meluskey's and Fick's plate presence is something the team should look to)

I wouldn't give Higgy up unless its a great deal (meaning an everyday average player and a hot prospect or two). Higgy and Bobby Abreu are like the same players IMO and Abreu would get a big return.

I'd give Easley up for a second rate pitcher and let Jackson take over at 2nd just to free up salary... can maybe unload him to KC because he is better than Carlos Febles. Also I think Arizona would take him... they love veterns and Easley lives in Arizona in the offseason so thats an added plus. Maybe Oakland too because Easley (IMO) is better than Menechino.

Palmer... what team needs a DH? Toronoto maybe because they're looking to get rid of either Stewart or Cruz Jr. but I don't think they want to add Palmer's salary. I would take another second rate pitcher for Palmer.

Inge... with Meluskey and Rivera being better batters and with all the hype surrounding Inge, he just might attract someone.

Young... yeah we have him to a long term deal which might be good and since he is a pretty good batter, can bring in another good return.

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No pitcher or combination of pitchers in our system would net a guy like Glaus. Our top pitching prospect in terms of performance is Cornejo. Our top prospect in terms of ceiling is probably Baugh. We have lots of depth, but Baugh is the only projected ace close to the majors, and he has major injury risks right now.

Greislinger was never a top prospect, in that he never projected as more than a #3 guy.

If the idea is to trade our pitching depth for offensive depth, I'd agree that that is a good idea, since hitters are more projectable than pitchers, and carry less risk. But the idea that we are one or two players away is a joke.

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The problem with the Tigers is that they do not develop any superstars. In fact, they havent really done this since the early '80's. I think what ESPN is saying is that the Tigers need to take their surplus of players and try to deal them for an established major league player who is not that old. Instead, they trade their guys for Juan Gonzalez's and Roger Cedeno's who leave the next year. It is a total waste. With Dombrowski here, they have began to change. They traded for Young, but re-signed him. The key here is that since the Tigers cannot acquire players for nothing, they must assure that their own players(the ones they develop and/or trade for) stay in detroit. If you just keep losing players year after year, you can never get better.

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My earlier post did not mean that we have currently have a team of .270 hitters of varying disciplines. I was saying if we DID have a .270 team with solid defense and a solid pitching staff, it would only take a few big free agent hitters to make them a contender.

That statement is something I read and not necessarily a personal opinion, I like the idea on paper, but in our society we use paper for other things other than making a great team! (i.e. toilet paper)

We are a long way from a contending team....even if we could add 2-3 big free agents!!

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Personally, I think .270 hitters are easier to find than superstars, so getting the superstars should be the priority. The .270 hitters shouldn't be hard to find (I'm assuming by .270 hitters we are talking about average hitters, since being a .270 hitter by yourself doesn't really say anything about your actual offensive value.)

Our rotation should be solid (Weaver, Redman, Sparks are a decent op three and 4 and 5 guys are not hard to find), and we have the arms to make a good bullpen. Figuring out who is gonna be part of the bullpen for the next few years should be a priority, as well as setting up a rotation. The offense is gonna be tougher to fix, since we don't have anyone in the minors who is close to being a top flight hitter.

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Again, I am kinda quoting what I have heard other people say about it (i.e. radio personalities, tv, friends,etc.), not sure if I understand the ups and downs of it. But on paper (sometimes the dumbest way to do things), here is what most critics state would be an ideal situation for a growing team (i.e. the Tigers future)

*A team of average hitters...I estimated an average hitter as a .270 hitter...with these guys having differing strengths which include speed, power, ability to draw walks, etc. This team should be relatively young (i.e. they will preform for 5 years of near prime ballplaying)

*a team full of average to above average fielders...with a potential gold glover or two mixed in

*A quality pitching staff...unsure on what that entails

They then stated that if you have a team like this in place, you can add 2-3 superstars/big Free agents to fill in the holes or weak spots in your roster and be a legit contender for at least a few years!

Like I said, I like the idea on paper...but I think finding a quality fielding .270 hitter that is under/in his prime as opposed to over it is a hard thing. These guys are jewels because they don't cost you much, but fill a much needed role!

After saying all that, they suggested we trade our young pitching prospects for players that fit these categories. I believe we don't have anything to trade for these players that wouldn't cripple our pitching staff!

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A .260 EQA isn't really an estimation of an average hitter, it's by definition an average hitter, but that's because the formula for EQA forces it to be. A .270 hitter seems to be a decent shorthand for an average hitter, though I'd just as soon look for guys with an OPS of .760, which is a guestimate of what an average hitter actually is (I didn't look that number up). And it takes into account differing walk rates, and power levels and the like while imparting a great deal more information about the hitter than just BA would.

Either way, the method is sound. Mostly because what they are saying is build a team with above average players (a player with league average offense and above average defense is by definition above average) who also happen to be in their primes. Then add a quality pitching staff (I also don't know what they mean by that exactly, but presumably we don't ahve it at the moment). Then after you have done these two things (both of which are difficult to do in a short time period) then all you have to do is identify a couple of superstar hitters and add them to the team.

Of course, i could just as easily say that if we get really good players in their primes, we are gonna be a good team.

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