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Motor City Sonics

Brad Ausmus - Are his days numbered?

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Keeping Ben Verlander around at Lakeland seemed like a symptom of what was wrong with this org.   

 

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1 hour ago, rhino said:

I think Chris Illitch is concerned with payroll and rightfully so. I can't see him firing Brad just to make a move that won't change anything and taking on an additional salary. I suppose he could plug in Vizquel, but again that won't solve anything. I think he will tell Avila to push hard on offing some veterans and move out some payroll, Verlander and Kinsler specifically. Barring that he will ride out the season as is and re-evaluate options in the off season.

I see nothing to be gained by removing Ausmus beyond a cheap and transparent move "to do something" that won't stem the flow of water coming on to this sinking ship.

I see two possible reasons for firing Brad, neither of which are particularly likely or compelling but they are what they are. The first is they just decide he is not the long term answer and they think Omar has enough potential upside that they would rather hire him than lose him in the house cleaning. I have no reason to suspect this is true other than Omar's general stature in the game and the fact that someone else probably is going to hire him soon, plus the simple reality that it is a Latin player's game today.

The other, maybe stronger one would be the idea that the relief pitching staff needs a such a total reset that it has come to the point of a need to bring in new leadership just so the guys in the pen have some kind of new paradigm to rebuild their confidence around, even if it really is all placebo effect. It comes back to the old line that it's a lot easier to replace one manager than all, or in this case 7, of the players.

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I don't think anything will be done as far as management, coaching staff till after the season. I'm not sure what Chris is thinking, it is a possibility to me that he may just want to take a different approach and decide to get rid of everyone.  It may not happen. I think its just a wait and see mode. 

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6 minutes ago, tigerfanatic said:

I don't think anything will be done as far as management, coaching staff till after the season. I'm not sure what Chris is thinking, it is a possibility to me that he may just want to take a different approach and decide to get rid of everyone.  It may not happen. I think its just a wait and see mode. 

The possibility would that would force management's hands would be a mutiny. Don't seem to be that many rumblings but you never know, especially when the team leaders converse mostly in Spanish the local press may be missing it.

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44 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

I see two possible reasons for firing Brad, neither of which are particularly likely or compelling but they are what they are. The first is they just decide he is not the long term answer and they think Omar has enough potential upside that they would rather hire him than lose him in the house cleaning. I have no reason to suspect this is true other than Omar's general stature in the game and the fact that someone else probably is going to hire him soon, plus the simple reality that it is a Latin player's game today.

The other, maybe stronger one would be the idea that the relief pitching staff needs a such a total reset that it has come to the point of a need to bring in new leadership just so the guys in the pen have some kind of new paradigm to rebuild their confidence around, even if it really is all placebo effect. It comes back to the old line that it's a lot easier to replace one manager than all, or in this case 7, of the players.

This is a solid, logical post. Dozens of managers have been fired throughout baseball history because of a team underperforming. And 200 million dollars for a last place team looks like reason enough. Maybe AA will also get shown the door. It's his roster and with him keeping Brad around past his expiration date, it's his manager.

 

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1 hour ago, Gehringer_2 said:

The possibility would that would force management's hands would be a mutiny. Don't seem to be that many rumblings but you never know, especially when the team leaders converse mostly in Spanish the local press may be missing it.

Perfidious Venezuela 

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Ausmus is irrelevant. Is Avila and the scouting and statistical staff good enough at drafting and developing players and at evaluating prospect talent in the upcoming sell off trades? They have maybe one bat in the minors (Stewart) and a decent collection of pitchers under 25 (Fulmer, Norris, Manning, Burrows, Faedo) and a collection of guys who could potentially be viable in the bullpen or back end of the rotation. Maybe Castellanos will breakout at some point as he nears his peak.  And that's about it. The lack of any viable position player talent is startling.

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Yeah, they emphasize pitching so much in the draft, it kills the position players in the farm. My math might be a little off but I believe they've only drafted 9 position players in the first 5 rounds of the last 5 drafts, and 4 of them were catchers.

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52 minutes ago, Scottwood said:

Ausmus is irrelevant. Is Avila and the scouting and statistical staff good enough at drafting and developing players and at evaluating prospect talent in the upcoming sell off trades? They have maybe one bat in the minors (Stewart) and a decent collection of pitchers under 25 (Fulmer, Norris, Manning, Burrows, Faedo) and a collection of guys who could potentially be viable in the bullpen or back end of the rotation. Maybe Castellanos will breakout at some point as he nears his peak.  And that's about it. The lack of any viable position player talent is startling.

Not disputing the recitation regarding the lack of young talent in the org, nor that that situation is not Brads fault....but that has little to do with the team's struggle to win since 2015.

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45 minutes ago, sabretooth said:

Not disputing the recitation regarding the lack of young talent in the org, nor that that situation is not Brads fault....but that has little to do with the team's struggle to win since 2015.

I think he meant that Ausmus is irrelevant in terms of turning the organization around.  The basic things that need to happen in a re-build or partial re-build have little to do with him.  

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6 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

I think he meant that Ausmus is irrelevant in terms of turning the organization around.  The basic things that need to happen in a re-build or partial re-build have little to do with him.  

To the extent that it's about getting younger positional talent, I agree completely.

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Our positional draft picks really have not done much for us in a long, long, long time. 

Here are the leaders, in terms of WAR generated as a member of the team by players who debuted after the year 2000.

Curtis Granderson - 20.1 WAR, 674 games

Brandon Inge - 15.1 WAR, 1408 games

Alex Avila - 13.2 WAR, 735 games

Omar Infante - 6.5 WAR, 676 games

Ramon Santiago - 5.2 WAR, 818 games

Andy Dirks - 3.6 WAR, 297 games

Ryan Raburn - 3.0 WAR, 566 games

Casper Wells - 2.1 WAR, 100 games

Nook Logan - 2.1 WAR, 176 games

James McCann - 1.8 WAR, 269 games

Now granted, we traded a few people away who ended up doing well... But, yeah. Yuck.

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Nook Logan was so fast

If you had an outfield of Granderson, Nook Logan, and Ryan Raburn, you were a winning team. Throw in Brandon Inge? Wow.

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16 hours ago, TigerNation said:

Yeah, they emphasize pitching so much in the draft, it kills the position players in the farm. My math might be a little off but I believe they've only drafted 9 position players in the first 5 rounds of the last 5 drafts, and 4 of them were catchers.

Close: nine position players, five of them catchers. The other four were outfielders.

In 2012, four of their first five picks were pitchers, and the other one an outfielder.

The Tigers have not drafted an infielder with any of their first five picks since 2011.

Furthermore, of the last five drafts, only one of our picks have yet to make the majors: Corey Knebel, and he's kicking *** for the Brewers. I know you can't expect a lot of your 2013-2017 first five round picks to have made the majors by now, but shouldn't a typical organization have had more than one?

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The Tigers have been horrible at drafting / developing positional players since I started watching them in the early 80's.  I made a list before, but I think the only positional players worth a crap that they drafted and/or developed since 1980-ish were Fryman, Clark, Higginson, Inge, Granderson, and Avila.  I may have missed someone, or we could haggle over a guy like Infante, but the point stands.

It is frankly amazing to me they have enjoyed the success, as it were, they have had in those 30 - 35 years.

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6 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

The Tigers have been horrible at drafting / developing positional players since I started watching them in the early 80's.

It is frankly amazing to me they have enjoyed the success, as it were, they have had in those 30 - 35 years.

I've come around to the conclusion that over the past few years, the Tigers as an organization have dropped into the bottom tercile of Baseball, and their general ineptitude drafting is a big part of that. I'm not saying we're the worst—we're not as bad as the Reds or Angels, for example—but I think we're in the neighborhood.

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7 minutes ago, chasfh said:

Close: nine position players, five of them catchers. The other four were outfielders.

 

It was pretty clear that Dombrowski believed prep pitchers could be evaluated more accurately than hitters, so his theory was draft a lot of pitchers and trade them for position players closer to ready when they were easier to evaluate. That would be fine if they actually were better at drafting pitchers than other orgs, I'm not sure I see that. The other problem with his approach is that you can't use pitching depth as effectively as you can positional depth. You can bring a good young hitter up and play him half time once he is nearly MLB ready - you at least have him on your bench as an actual game asset. You can't do that with a pitcher - they are either in the rotation or not. So the other net result is that at the end of the development arc, it's harder for those young pitchers to build that last increment of trade value as they are stuck in the minors while the hitters are showing off in MLB PAs.

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7 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

The Tigers have been horrible at drafting / developing positional players since I started watching them in the early 80's.  I made a list before, but I think the only positional players they drafted worth a crap since 1980-ish were Fryman, Clark, Higginson, Inge, Granderson, and Avila.

It is frankly amazing to me they have enjoyed the success, as it were, they have had in those 30 - 35 years.

Dombrowski was good at trading minor league guys who turned out to not be that good while their stock was high. It was probably just luck as the ones in later years - Suarez, Knebel, did not turn out as well the ones in his early years - Maybin, Miller. 

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16 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

It was pretty clear that Dombrowski believed prep pitchers could be evaluated more accurately than hitters, so his theory was draft a lot of pitchers and trade them for position players closer to ready when they were easier to evaluate. That would be fine if they actually were better at drafting pitchers than other orgs, I'm not sure I see that. The other problem with his approach is that you can't use pitching depth as effectively as you can positional depth. You can bring a good young hitter up and play him half time once he is nearly MLB ready - you at least have him on your bench as an actual game asset. You can't do that with a pitcher - they are either in the rotation or not. So the other net result is that at the end of the development arc, it's harder for those young pitchers to build that last increment of trade value as they are stuck in the minors while the hitters are showing off in MLB PAs.

I've long thought that's totally backwards. Hitters are much more projectable than pitchers, mainly because of the pitcher injury factor. Lackluster current record notwithstanding, the Cubs are proving that the better route is drafting the best available positional talent and trading for pitchers as you need them. Let someone else go through the pain and expense of developing a s***load of pitchers. You can just sit back and pick off the good ones when you need them.

Look at the Mets: they bet the farm on pitching, and everyone thought they would dominate for years on end with their rotation of Harvey, Syndegaard, deGrom, Matz and Wheeler. Look where they are now.

Betting on young pitchers over young hitters is really risky even for organizations that know what they're doing. It's downright deadly for organizations that don't.

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7 minutes ago, chasfh said:

The Cubs are proving that the better route is drafting the best available positional talent and trading for pitchers as you need them.

Agreed, and we might start seeing a shift towards this model from more teams.

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I don't know that their draft strategy has been bad. It's not easy to acquire a good young pitcher. Every team needs five starters and multiple good bullpen pitchers. Pitchers don't get blocked, so having a lot of them can be beneficial.

I think it can be easier to pick up a position player to fill a particular need when it arises.  

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12 minutes ago, Shelton said:

I don't know that their draft strategy has been bad. It's not easy to acquire a good young pitcher. Every team needs five starters and multiple good bullpen pitchers. Pitchers don't get blocked, so having a lot of them can be beneficial.

I think it can be easier to pick up a position player to fill a particular need when it arises.  

This is why a BPA draft strategy might be a good idea.  Theoretically you can get a mixture of good young pitchers and project-able hitters, and act accordingly.

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11 minutes ago, Euphdude said:

This is why a BPA draft strategy might be a good idea.  Theoretically you can get a mixture of good young pitchers and project-able hitters, and act accordingly.

Well, that sounds easy enough ... :laugh: 

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36 minutes ago, chasfh said:

I've long thought that's totally backwards. Hitters are much more projectable than pitchers, mainly because of the pitcher injury factor.

I think in the end, the bigger difference just turns out to be how good your scouting is, and you maybe you need different guys looking at hitters vs pitchers.

TBF, the theory of drafting pitchers can be defended based on the idea of what is measurable. You know how hard a pitcher throws, whether he can throw strikes. A good scout can see how a breaking ball moves - and certainly if you can get in front of an F/X apparatus you can determine his spin and release angles all pretty accurately. There are some things that are more difficult to evaluate - how well does he hide the ball for example, but in general you can get a lot of objective data about a pitcher.

OTOH, though there have been attempts, no one has developed much of anything that can quantitatively measure whether a hitter can adjust from a 95 mph FB to a MLB slider from pitch to pitch. The only way is to let a guy develop through a system and even after they hit well at AAA there is little guarantee they can make the last step. There are tons of guys out there who looked great right up until they hit the wall when they came against the level of pitching they just couldn't handle. Some get all the way to AAA first and become the infamous AAAA guys when they can't make the last step.

So there is an argument there, but you are 100% correct that the injury wastage rate is a huge confounding factor. Also, i think even granting the arguments above, it only holds for the top guys. Even with pitching, in later rounds you are drafting guys that can't do much yet based on what you think they might be able to do later.

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