Thursday, July 21, 2005

Verlander's do-over

Justin Verlander will get another shot at the AL central on Saturday. I was able to watch Verlander's first career start just a few weeks ago on the American Forces Network. There were far more positives to take from his debut than negatives. He took the loss but most of Cleveland's hits were just out of the reach of the infielders or fell just in front of the outfielders. After the first inning, Verlander settled down despite having a tough time with his curve ball. I think Saturday will be his coming out party.

The series against the Twins is arguably the most important series of the season. This is not your typical three or four game series. The Twins are in town for a monster five game slugfest. The Tigers are still relatively close (five games behind Minnesota) to the wild card spot but with seven teams in front of them, they need to make their move now. This series will shed some light on multiple issues.

1). The Tigers will know in five days whether or not they have a realistic shot at the wild card. A 5-0 or 4-1 count in favor of Detroit will put the Tigers right in the middle of the race. A 5-0 or a 4-1 series win for the Twins will pretty much take the Tigers out of the race 2). A good series will likely force Dave Dombrowski to jump into the buyer's market at the trade deadline. 3). A bad series will likely allow Dombrowski to explore trade possibilities for Jason Johnson and/or Mike Maroth. 4). If Verlander can duplicate his Orel Hershiser circa 1988 performances from Double AA Erie (21 innings, 0 er!!!!) then Dombrowski will have even more reason to send either Johnson or Maroth packing. 5). Verlander will be going back to Double AA regardless of the outcome but a poor performance might make this the last time you see him in a Tiger uniform until next season.


robert paulson said...

Tigs should be sellers at the deadline anyway. They aren't seriously in the playoff hunt this year and any trade to help this year would by definition hurt them in the long run.

Why screw with what is shaping up as a very bright future for a short term shot at a wildcard spot?

All of their young talent should be untouchable. Shelton, Inge, Granderson, Bonderman, Verlander, Zumaya, etc.

But they should look to unload older players with expiring contracts like Rondell White and Jason Johnson if they can get some young position player talent.

Build, build, build.

Jake said...

I agree with all your points. The Tigers have as much of a chance of making the playoffs as they did at beating Johan Santana last night. J. Johnson, M. Maroth and R. White should be traded ASAP. I don't think they'll have a). a significant impact on the rest of this season, or b). any impact on next season and beyond. Dombrowski has shown he know's what he's doing. Let's hope that continues here.

Anonymous said...

I think the Tigers should not give away Johnson, Maroth, or White which I've basically been hearing. If you are getting quality young players in return then great. But White is a solid contibutor who may stay not to mention a terrific clubhouse guy. Johnson and Maroth are both solid players who will help them fiish the year strong. I haven't even heard anyone mention Dimitri Young whos huge 8 million dollar option for next year seems unnecessary (Dimitri is a great hitter but a liability in the field).

Tonight Verlander showed he may not be ready just yet but is close. No need to rush him or base any trade on his future promise. Tigers still need to add some power and another starting pitching regarless. This team is ready to take the next step and depending on VErlander to make Bonderman type progression is a reach.

Finally I must again fault Alan Trammel tonight. Like Jake riding Lloyd Carr, Trammel has become my favortite target for what I feel is shaky and conservative game calling. Tonight you have two on, one out, with the leagues worse hitting catcher at the plate in Vance Wilson in the seventh inning. Was Pudge available? Even if he wasn't for some reason why not pinch hit Dimitri Young or really anyone and move Inge to catcher? That was their chance in the season's most important game. If they won, they would have assured ending the week at .500 or better and winning both series' against the two teams in front of them. I just think Alan Trammel is developing a pattern of bad decisions and failing to take chances. In an area with Lloyd Carr and Steve Mariucci we don't need another close to the vest guy especially considering the talent of the team. Trammel will not last past next season. MFL

Anonymous said...

Oh and Tammell with two l's also sucks. They both stink and can't manage a game that is not sculpted to MLB specifics. I'm quickly growing tired of it.

Anonymous said...

Shit, Trammell. T-R-A-M-M-E-L-L.


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