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Eric Cioe

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Everything posted by Eric Cioe

  1. I'd rather keep Maybin and Miller and probably Porcello than get Johan. Johan is a wonderful pitcher, no doubt. But even if Miller and Porcello turn out to be merely great, and each win 15 games a season in 3 three years, Johan would have to go pretty much undefeated to put up that many wins. Plus, we'd be keeping Maybin's bat, which will probably be pretty decent. If our farm was deeper, I might say go for it; but basically it's pretty thin now.
  2. Are you including Miller? Pudge wouldn't let Rabelo catch Miller because Pudge thought that Miller's fastball had too much movement for someone unfamiliar to catch it. Is anyone else thinking that next year, Miller could emerge as the next Unit? Miller and Verlander could be the best L/R pitching duo since Unit and Schilling. And let's face it, Verlander is probably going to be better than Schilling ever was. Ah, next year.
  3. Relievers grow in farms, not on trees. See: Rodney, Zumaya, Seay, Byrdak; if you look outside the Tigers: Looper, Chamberlain, Papelbon. Look at how the Gagne deal worked out for Boston. Relief pitching is not the best way to spend money in the offseason. In a team with a decent farm system, there will always be at least 2 arms to pitch.
  4. Get one of Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, or Ian Kennedy, plus Melky Cabrera, plus good prospects.
  5. I like it here! There are a few forums I frequent online (bass playing, pipe smoking, fly fishing, and bird hunting), and I'm regular at most of them. I can't believe it took me so long to find a good baseball forum. Speaking of the pen, can anyone spout off the pitches that these guys throw? Zumaya - FB, knucklecurve, and an infrequent changeup Rodney - FB, changeup, and an infrequent slider (I don't remember him throwing it at all this year, actually) Byrdak - FB, forkball, and curve Seay - ? Grilli - ? Jones - FB, cutter, and that big stupid curveball Miner - ? Durbin - FB, slider, change Can anyone help fill in blanks or make corrections?
  6. What is a bullpen if not a patchwork of pitchers good at a few things? I mean, when was the last time you saw the exact same bullpen year to year? And how long do dominant bullpens last? I'd rather see if anything pans out (like it did this year, with Byrdak, Seay, and Durbin proving very useful) than spend big bucks on someone who might not even deliver, like Gagne and Boston this year. You can always make a future starter into a decent reliever in the short term, like NYY did with Joba this year. No reason to spend the big bucks on the furthest thing from a sure thing in the game.
  7. I agree. What'd Jeter bat in the ALDS, .115 or so, after grounding into several rally-killing double plays? Agreed - it isn't just A-Rod. All the better for us. You have to imagine Bonderman learned his lesson about hiding his injuries this year. He watched a very dominant season turn to dust because he was too busy trying to be the horse. This is all true. But when he is healthy, he certainly has the ability to be that horse, just like Verlander does. I expect big things from Bondo next year. I expect even bigger things from Verlander. I even expect semi-big things from Miller - no, he won't have a year like Verlander's 2006, but he certainly has the stuff to be the #2 guy on the staff eventually, and the ace of any staff that doesn't include Verlander, Beckett, or Kazmir. Shoot, you have me all worked up now about the next few years - Verlander, Miller, Bonderman, Porcello ... yikes. Among those guys, just based on stuff, Bonderman looks like the 4th starter. Imagine a pitching rotation so good that Bonderman is the 4th starter! Should be a great next couple of years, if the Tigers continue to draft good players and don't get rid of any of these great starters.
  8. It certainly helps! But let's look at the numbers: Hoffman blew 7 saves in 49 opportunities. Jenks blew 6 in 46. K-Rod blew 6 in 46. Jones blew 6 in 44. It's not like Jones is way out of line here. The way he does it isn't pretty, but he gets nearly identical results to 3 of the better closers in baseball. Jones isn't a great pitcher, but then again, it doesn't take a great pitcher to get 3 outs when there is no one on base. Hell, he can let 2 runs in and still "save" the game. It takes a much better pitcher to get 2 outs when the bases are loaded in the 7th innning, because he has no room for error. He lets in a run, and he has failed his job. Closing baseball games is not the most difficult job in the bullpen. Getting the ball from the starter to the closer in a close game is. The guy with the most talent should get the most difficult job, even if he doesn't get the recognition or Hall or Fame votes for it.
  9. No doubt. But imagine having last year's Brandon Inge as the cleanup hitter in a powerful lineup. If A-Rod could put up his numbers from the regular season in every post-season game, whoever was facing the Yankees in the playoffs would have a tough row to hoe. But A-Rod's numbers in the postseason look a lot more like Brandon Inge than Babe Ruth. He is a great ballplayer, but in the post-season he doesn't perform up to the very high standards he sets for himself during the regular season.
  10. No doubt his arm was hurting in September. But July? Or was that just a rationalization after the fact? I'm not sure. But assuming he's healthy, there's no reason he can't pitch 200 innings. Getting to 200 isn't about making starts - it's about going deeper into games. That's something every Tigers starter could stand to do.
  11. Well, if Detroit makes the playoffs, then A-Rod being gone will make the Yankees that much tougher - now there won't be an easy out in the middle of the lineup come September.
  12. 1. Miller makes the rotation and pitches .500 or better. He strikes out more batters per nine than Verlander and is compared to Randy Johnson. 2. Zumaya comes back and pitches - how well, I'm not sure. 3. Fernando Rodney becomes for Detroit this year was Rafael Betancourt was for Cleveland last year. 4. DD doesn't replace Zumaya's spot with a trade or free agent, much to the ire of fans everywhere. Instead, one of Tata/Durbin/Bazardo takes over a RHP middle relief role and dominates the same way that Byrdak and Seay did last year as LHP. 5. Roller Coaster posts duplicate numbers of 2007, which is (just) good enough. 6. Granderson continues to improve. Inge pulls it together a bit and bats .280 with 20 homers, which is good enough. Guillen hits .310 with 22 homers; Magglio bats .315 with 25 homers. Whatever, offense doesn't interest me. (EDIT - Please let Raburn get some at bats!) Bonderman is the biggest question mark for next year. Can he put it together? He's tough as nails and has great stuff, but until his mental game gets better, he'll be the guy who always just missed greatness. I can easily see him winning 18 games next year with an ERA around 3.60; but that depends mostly on him pitching 200 innings with a big number of quality starts. I hear that Lackey and Escobar of the Angels made a pact in Spring Training 2007 that they would combine for 400 innings and 40 wins. They weren't far off from it. I'd love to see Verlander and Bonderman agree to the same thing this year. I think it would push Bondo to be a better pitcher. I see a healthy Verlander as a 20 game winner and Cy Young frontrunner next year. There's no reason Bonderman can't be right on his heels. So the Bonderman issue, along with how our 5th starter spot comes out, I think will make or break the team next year. Offense is great, but good defense will probably help win more games, and good defense starts with good pitching. Verlander, Bonderman, and Miller have the potential to be the next Maddux/Smoltz/Glavine if they can stay healthy and in Detroit for a few years.
  13. But you don't need a lights-out guy to be a closer. All you need is a guy that can go in and get three ground ball outs. A guy like Jones isn't flashy, and he certainly wore down my fingernails, but imagine if Zumaya were the closer, and Jones was the guy sent in to put out a 2 runners on, 1 out, heart-of-the-order fire in the 7th inning rather than Zumaya. Sure, Jones gets a lot of grief, but as long as he doesn't blow any more saves than, say, Bobby Jenks, or Papelbon, why not keep the more talented arms for earlier in games?
  14. It certainly wouldn't hurt to get one of those guys, or Wood, or Gagne, to be a setup man next year, but I'm not convinced it's a good idea if there is a draft choice given up. I'd love to see Detroit take the World Series next year, and understand the "Win Now" sentiment going around; but if winning now means being out of contention for the next several years because a few key draft picks were given up to get guys to help in the stretch run, I don't think it is worth it. Besides, I have qualms about spending dough on a bullpen. If you have a good minor league system with future starters, I say bring them in as bullpen arms for a year to wet their feet in the major leagues. The Yankees did this with Joba Chamberlain, the Cardinals did it with Adam Wainwright and Braden Looper. Beyond that, I think that as long as you have a decent farm, you start out the year and see if anything happens with the arms you've got. If you need help, trade for it mid-season. SKIP this next paragraph if you like: (I've also got a really off-the-wall idea about using starters as both starters and relievers; for example, if Verlander is the #1 in the rotation next year, and Bondo #3, let Verlander come in and throw a max of 17 pitches (or an inning, whichever is less) on a night that Bondo starts. I'm not sure how often Chuck Hernandez has these guys throw on their off days, but I know that Zito throws two bullpen sessions in between his starts of about 15 pitches each, and that the Braves rotation in the mid 90s did the same thing; Greg Maddux seemed to think that a lot of their success came from them throwing all of the time. It's not like they are throwing any more pitches per year than they would otherwise - they'd simply be throwing more of them against batters rather than just in the bullpen. So arm wear wouldn't have anything to do with it. And you'd only have one starter available to relieve each night (the one most in between starts), and you'd only use them if they felt up to it and didn't have any specific things to work on in the bullpen session that the inning of relief they'd pitch would replace. Just seems like in a close game, if you have a bench full of tired relievers, it would make sense to use a guy that's going to be throwing anyway, rather than a tired Grilli or Miner. Of course, this would never happen - there's too much of both conventional wisdom and worrying about pitchers' arms these days. Just a thought.)
  15. Two things the 2008 season will depend on: 1. Bonderman. He has the stuff and probably even the savvy to play Kelvim Escobar to Verlander's John Lackey (that is, to be a great starter who on a less team would be the staff ace). To do that, he needs to stay healthy and pitch more innings. He averaged 6.1 innings - that is, 6 innings plus 1 out - per start this year. I don't remember seeing him in the 8th inning. And for that matter, Verlander needs to eat a few more innings too. He's had two seasons to get used to the grind of a season now. There's no reason he couldn't pitch 215 innings this year. He too averaged 6.1 innings per start, and it'd be nicer if at least one of those guys stepped forward and pitched more like Sabathia or Halladay, each of whom went just over 7 innings on average. Detroit could get by with a lesser bullpen if they didn't have to have the relievers burn innings for guys who shouldn't need much help. 2. The fifth spot in the rotation. Personally, I hope Miller can take the ball from Spring Training and surprise us all. I'd love to see him turn into Erik Bedard (or better - Randy Johnson). He has the stuff to be, like Verlander, a legitimate power pitcher with the ability to strike out 200+ in a full season. The question is, does this start now, or a few years from now? If he can't take the ball in April and carry it until September, then Detroit is going to have to do some scrounging. We traded away one of our insurance policies in Jair. Tata has been hit or miss, and probably would be better in the pen anyway. Miner and Durbin remain two options who have had some success, but one wonders how long they could be effective. As far as the bullpen goes, it'd be nice to go out and get someone like Gagne or Wood, but it's unlikely. We could fill the open positions in the pen from within, and with some luck, it would work. Bullpens are funny things. Boston tries to put a sure thing in their pen with Gagne, and it explodes. Meanwhile, Tim Byrdak comes out of nowhere and strikes out more people per 9 innings than anyone else on the staff. So I'd like to see this as the pen: CL: Todd Jones SU: Fernando Rodney MR: Bobby Seay MR: Tim Byrdak MR: Jordan Tata MR: Yorman Bazardo LR/Spot Starter: Zach Miner/Chad Durbin Get rid of Grilli and one of Miner/Durbin. I think Tata could be fine, and Bazardo is supposed to have a blazing fastball that we've not seen in his starts. If he knows he only has to pitch one or two innings every other day, he might be able to let it loose a bit more.
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