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The 2018 Detroit Tigers Season (Already In Progress)

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It occurs to me we might benefit from having a catch-all thread for posts members want to make about the Tigers while the season in progress, sort of like the catch-all offseason threads we have every winter. A thread like this would be for one-off type posts that don't warrant their own thread, or aren't specific enough to belong in the game threads, which I'd bet some members don't even read.

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I'll start:

Why don't I ever seem to hear of the Tigers making signings like this?

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/rangers-sign-julio-pablo-martinez-outfield-prospect-cuba.html

For an organization claiming to be laser-focused on rebuilding into a consistent contender, this seems like the exact kind of signing we'd benefit from. A consensus young international prospect who costs only a couple million to sign, is eligible only for a low-cost minor-league contract, is under control for six years once he does make it to the bigs, and is already vaulted into the MLB Top 100 prospects list upon signing (#60 in this case). This seems like the perfect kind of signing the Tigers should be in the market to make. And the Ilitches are billionaires, so it's not as though they couldn't afford the cost.

I don't know, maybe the Tigers are planning on something, but they rarely do something big like this that would excite the fan base and keep fans interested during the long walk through the desert. They mostly spend their international money on volume. I'd sure like to read about a big signing like this one, though.

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Based on what Baseball America is saying, they've committed their bonus money elsewhere. And I think this year it will be quality over quantity.

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19 minutes ago, chasfh said:

For an organization claiming to be laser-focused on rebuilding into a consistent contender

Just because that is what they may claim ..does not necessarily translate into actual competence to accomplish it.

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22 hours ago, kdog said:

Based on what Baseball America is saying, they've committed their bonus money elsewhere. And I think this year it will be quality over quantity.

I'd like to see that. I understand any signing is a risk, but I'd like to see the Tigers in on a consensus top 100-level international prospect, especially since they are much cheaper given the new bonus rules. They may have signed a top guy recently, although I can't recall when.

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I'd like to see that. I understand any signing is a risk, but I'd like to see the Tigers in on a consensus top 100-level international prospect, especially since they are much cheaper given the new bonus rules. They may have signed a top guy recently, although I can't recall when.


They signed Pedro Martinez Jr last September. The kid has had some good offensive reviews

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13 minutes ago, CMRivdog said:

 


They signed Pedro Martinez Jr last September. The kid has had some good offensive reviews

 

I saw that. It’s a good sign and he’s a position player which this system really needs top guys for. I don’t think Pedro’s a consensus top prospect just yet.

Interesting that he was an international sign instead of a draftee. I would’ve thought he’d grown up in the States and played American high school ball.

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Tigers are in what has to be the softest stretch of their season. After today's game against the Royals (4-15), they have three in Pittsburgh (12-9, but going through a 1-5 stretch), then three in Baltimore (6-15) before returning home to face the Rays for three (7-13), and then it's out to Kansas City for four followed by three in Texas (7-15). None of these teams are better than 5-5 in their last 10, which is what the Tigers themselves have been. We have a puncher's chance of coming out of this stretch with an 18-18 record or better.

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In my opinion, 18-18 will be a 'win' for the Tiger franchise.  Already half way there as they currently should be 10-9 except for the opening day loss that the review booth in NY gifted to Pitt.

My thoughts, ..Pittsburg has been better than expected ..but Orioles are worse than expected.  I thought KC might be better but their bullpen has totally imploded on them.  White Sox are a mystery, seems they should be better ..but then again, maybe not.  Perhaps their entire team-culture is a wasteland ..from the front office on down.

_

Season truly heats up beginning in June ..and then seems to get tougher each succeeding month.  The Tiger's youngsters likely will be extremely overmatched by the July 31 trade deadline.  If veterans can step up during June and July, it should still be a fun team to watch.  August and September could be ugly.

The team is 0-4 vs the Indians so far this year with 15 games remaining, ..and have not played neither the Red Sox nor the Astros yet (6 games scheduled against each.)   That is 21 games against those 3 teams alone where they might be lucky to win 7 of them (7-14).  Still have 19 games vs the Twins too ..but I think they could win 8 or 9 of those ..and maybe more if Gardenhire can get into their heads early in their scheduled 19 games (and stay there.)  Of course, that could go the other way too!

No question at this point of the season that premier pitching talent alone should keep the Indians, Red Sox, and Astros at the top of their respective divisions.  But the Yankees, Angels, and Twins have enough overall talent too to keep things interesting in the AL ..and as already been shown, ..the Blue Jays and Mariners could step on some toes as the season progresses.

_

On the other hand, Tigers have many games still remaining against teams that they could/should be able to play .500+ against, including:

16 vs White Sox, 14 vs Royals, 6 vs Rays, 3 vs Orioles, 4 vs Reds, 7 vs A's, 3 vs Pirates, and 7 vs Rangers.

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I liked this read about Norris

https://www.mlb.com/tigers/news/tigers-moving-daniel-norris-to-bullpen/c-273225350

Bosio wants to keep him close so no trip to Toledo and they are clear on the issues with his fast ball and spin they are looking for a way to work on.  Norris is where Jimenez was last year  - not where he needs to be but probably too good for work in the minors to help.

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1 hour ago, Gehringer_2 said:

I liked this read about Norris

https://www.mlb.com/tigers/news/tigers-moving-daniel-norris-to-bullpen/c-273225350

Bosio wants to keep him close so no trip to Toledo and they are clear on the issues with his fast ball and spin they are looking for a way to work on.  Norris is where Jimenez was last year  - not where he needs to be but probably too good for work in the minors to help.

That does sound promising.  You said it earlier, he needs to find that speed again without falling off the mound after every pitch.  But the spin rate seems to indicate that the talent is still there.

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I kind of like seeing Norris swing his leg big finishing a pitch. It reminds me a bit of Rich Hill, and it looks even cooler when a hook does it.

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Ron Gardenhire bemoaning his roster going into Pittsburgh:

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/sports/mlb/tigers/2018/04/22/thin-bench-limit-tigers-maneuverability-pittsburgh/34141719/

He's making a big deal about the need to have a bigger bench because of "all those double-switches and things", and warns, "One double-switch and that’s about all we’d be able to do" during any given game.

I'm with Gardenhire on the desire for a bigger bench, just in general, and I suspect he might be saying this to put a little pressure on Avila to make a roster move. But from my standpoint, I see dozens of National League games live every year, and even with two teams having the opportunity to do it, I might see a double switch once every four or five games, and I can't remember ever seeing a manager do it twice in a single game. It's a lot less common than AL fans who don't much see the NL imagine it to be.

(Of course, now that I've said this, Gardenhire and Clint Hurdle will do it in at least two games apiece during the series. Or at least Gardenhire will. xD)

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43 minutes ago, chasfh said:

I kind of like seeing Norris swing his leg big finishing a pitch. It reminds me a bit of Rich Hill, and it looks even cooler when a hook does it.

A leg swing is fine, the trick for Norris in the past has been been getting to anything like the same one after each pitch.

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37 minutes ago, chasfh said:

Ron Gardenhire bemoaning his roster going into Pittsburgh:

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/sports/mlb/tigers/2018/04/22/thin-bench-limit-tigers-maneuverability-pittsburgh/34141719/

He's making a big deal about the need to have a bigger bench because of "all those double-switches and things", and warns, "One double-switch and that’s about all we’d be able to do" during any given game.

I'm with Gardenhire on the desire for a bigger bench, just in general, and I suspect he might be saying this to put a little pressure on Avila to make a roster move. But from my standpoint, I see dozens of National League games live every year, and even with two teams having the opportunity to do it, I might see a double switch once every four or five games, and I can't remember ever seeing a manager do it twice in a single game. It's a lot less common than AL fans who don't much see the NL imagine it to be.

(Of course, now that I've said this, Gardenhire and Clint Hurdle will do it in at least two games apiece during the series. Or at least Gardenhire will. xD)

In my admittedly un-researched opinion, the double switch is a much, much bigger deal in conversations by managers when discussing the NL than has ever remotely been the case in the history of ever.

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1 hour ago, chasfh said:

Ron Gardenhire bemoaning his roster going into Pittsburgh:

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/sports/mlb/tigers/2018/04/22/thin-bench-limit-tigers-maneuverability-pittsburgh/34141719/

He's making a big deal about the need to have a bigger bench because of "all those double-switches and things", and warns, "One double-switch and that’s about all we’d be able to do" during any given game.

I'm with Gardenhire on the desire for a bigger bench, just in general, and I suspect he might be saying this to put a little pressure on Avila to make a roster move. But from my standpoint, I see dozens of National League games live every year, and even with two teams having the opportunity to do it, I might see a double switch once every four or five games, and I can't remember ever seeing a manager do it twice in a single game. It's a lot less common than AL fans who don't much see the NL imagine it to be.

(Of course, now that I've said this, Gardenhire and Clint Hurdle will do it in at least two games apiece during the series. Or at least Gardenhire will. xD)

I'll agree the bench needs to be deeper than it is.  I find 13 pitchers a bit much.  But if you don't have the personnel for a double switch, is it really the end of the world?

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1 hour ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

In my admittedly un-researched opinion, the double switch is a much, much bigger deal in conversations by managers when discussing the NL than has ever remotely been the case in the history of ever.

The double switch is also a handy cudgel to be used for the anti-DH argument: "Look at all the strategy you give up when you don't let pitchers hit. Why, there's ... um ... well ... there's ... um ... the double switch! Yeah! No one would ever double switch anymore! An integral part of the game would be lost forever! Ban the DH!"

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1 hour ago, Casimir said:

I'll agree the bench needs to be deeper than it is.  I find 13 pitchers a bit much.  But if you don't have the personnel for a double switch, is it really the end of the world?

It most definitely is not the end of the world. Double switches really make sense only when the pitcher's slot is due up next inning, and it's considered an official game, and the game is within reach (e.g., lead or deficit of four runs or less), and either (a) he's getting shelled so bad you can't let him throw another pitch; or (b) he hits the pitch limit somebody set for him, or (c) he gets hurt and you have the lift him immediately.

Optional: (a) if the game has no postseason implications for you and it doesn't matter whether your team wins or loses, I mean not really; or (b) your bullpen is gassed and you're going to let who you pitch take one for the team, then you might not double switch if he's getting shelled.

This is why we don't see as much double switching as we might expect given on how much people talk about it. A lot of pretty specific conditions have to apply.

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Just one of those ironic negatives of playing NL rules that the Tigers have a player like VMart on their roster.  All he can do is DH ..and seriously, he is not good enough at that lone role to even be on the team. 

IMHO, he should be released.  Then they could bring up a more versatile baseball player at league minimum.

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Double switching is right up there with the pearl clutching over the possibility of replacing your catcher mid game out of fear that the back-up becomes injured and you are left with nobody on the bench that can catch.

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1 hour ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Double switching is right up there with the pearl clutching over the possibility of replacing your catcher mid game out of fear that the back-up becomes injured and you are left with nobody on the bench that can catch.

They could always just toss Martinez back there.  What could go wrong?

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1 hour ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

... the possibility of replacing your catcher mid game out of fear that the back-up becomes injured and you are left with nobody on the bench that can catch.

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4 hours ago, kdog said:

The Tigers have put out this video about the process for the #1 pick:

 

https://www.mlb.com/tigers/video/making-the-no-1-pick/c-1967738283?tid=8877502

I like that with Gonzales, Al looked at player's family members for insight into his possible physical development prospects. Seems like a no brainer but I wonder how often it's actually done.

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