Sunday, July 24, 2005

Welcome to Detroit Curtis Granderson

It's only been four games, but it looks like Curtis Granderson brought his "A" game to Detroit. He's hitting .429 (6 for 13) with 2 hr's, 2 triples, and 4 RBI's. More importantly, Granderson is an instant upgrade over Nook Logan in center field. Granderson's instant contributions only bolster a lineup that keeps getting stronger as the season moves along. Chris Shelton is hitting .363! Magglio Ordonez has a 17 game hitting streak. Carlo Guillen is hitting .326. If Placido Polanco can get healthy, the Tigers will have arguably the best lineup in the majors. This is what 15 years of god-awful baseball will do to you. The Tigers are 16 games behind the White Sox and I'm experiencing Tiger-mania.

As if that wasn't enough to get the adrenaline going, Jeremy Bonderman won his 13th game by beating the Twins on Sunday. He's on pace (I don't want to jinx him here so let me say that I don't think he'll make it) to win 20 games at the age of 22. The list of pitchers to accomplish that feet is not very long. It just doesn't happen. I know there's some people out there that won't take anything but making the playoffs but I'm elated with the progress. For the first time in years there's hope. As Andy Dufresne said, "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things". In the name of Jason Beverlin and Wendell Magee, I remind you of this.


Anonymous said...

Zoiks! Those names are scary from 2002. Granderson has looked good, certainly an upgrade over Logan, but he'll settle in after the scouting reports are out on him, and he got burned on defense pretty bad today by a line drive. I have high hopes for him, but I know he'll have some short term setbacks as well.

Regarding Verlander, maybe the hype will die down a little bit. He certainly doesn't appear ready, and should spend the rest of the season split between Erie/Toledo.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Matt wholeheartedly, not ableheart-edly (Grendel's mother). Granderson should stay and Verlander needs to go to Toledo to get ready to be the #4 starter next year.

I can't imagine where the team would be without Bonderman. I said he would be great in 2003, I watched cautiously last year, and now I wouldn't trade him for anyone except Albert P in San Louis. This team is on the cusp of being very good and as my favorite professional sports franchise, I must say I'm pleased. If they make the playoffs anytime soon I'll be beside myself and I can't wait. GO TIGERS!

robert paulson said...

The Tigs lineup can be pretty good, but I can't call it the best in the league. Look at what Boston can throw out there with Damon, Nixon, Ramirez, Ortiz, Varitek, etc. And Texas with Soriano, Young, Texeira, Mench, Blalock, etc.

Good yes, great no.

But it's a start.

Next year's locks in the lineup:

CF - Granderson
RF - Ordonez
DH/1B - Shelton
SS - Guillen
3B - Inge
C - Pudge

Polanco will likely be back at 2B. I'm hoping they can bring in a lefty bat for LF or 1B.

The News reported rumors of a Nate Robertson for Adrian Gonzalez deal which would be interesting. Gonzalez is the former #1 overall pick of the Marlins who is now backup 1B on the Rangers behind Texeira. He's got some pretty good potential, but after the Carlos Pena debacle I'm not sure how gungho Dombrowski would be to snag a sweet swinging lefty 1B that has been up and down in the minors.

Tony said...

The main knock on Granderson is his strikeouts. He struck out something like 112 times in 97 games in Toledo. Just like it was said earlier about the scouting report on him, I will hold my overall judgement on him till he goes through the league a bit more. My only hopes are that he settles in and cuts down on his k's. He is a guy who could go over 20 hr and 30 sb, something like a nice hybrid of Johnny Damon and Bernie Williams (talking in their prime) in the majors, and imagine, someone hitting 297 with so many k's, take some of those k's away, and turn them to hits, and he's well over 300! He will be the CF next year, not Logan.

When you look at next year, guys that are locks are, like mentioned earlier,

C - Pudge
RF - Mags
SS - Guillen

Guys that should be locks are,

3B - Inge
1B/DH - Shelton
2B - Polanco
LF - Monroe

I leave Granderson out till we see more proof. But I added Monroe. This guys is so underrated! He's hitting 292 at the moment, and far and away leads the team in rbis with 63. For anyone that wants to bring up well that's because Mags has been hurt, calculate how many rbi's Ordonez would have with Monroes ab's, and you get 63.2, just barely over Craig. I'm obviously not saying Monroe is the best rbi guy on the team, but this guy is solid, going to add 10+ sb's this year, and still in his prime and at a moderate price.

The only reason I say guys like Monroe and Inge aren't locks, are for the above mentioned idea of a power left handed bat. Ideally I'd like to see Monroe and Inge stay, and for us to add the power lefty at 1b, so hopefully someone will want to outeat Dmitri for his contract.

I am hoping we resign Polanco, and Infante can be an uber utility man as I think he still will get better as he gets older. In fact, I feel bad for Rondell and Dmitri, there just isn't anywhere for them on the roster. Add a left handed power bat to go with Shelton (man, is this dude for real or what!) and the Tigers are set.

How about Carlos Pena! He has a 326 average with 9 hr and 38 rbi in 48 games in Toledo. I do jest, I think Pena is doing nothing but increasing his trade value as we look to send him to whatever team wants a young left handed 1b without paying Ryan Howard or Gonzalez price.

Verlander is going to be awesome. He went inside early with his fastball, something I knocked him for in his first start. But I'm still not seeing that plus change and curve. They can be good, I guess I'm just looking for the consistency. I mean, he through 61 strikes on 87 pitches, that's a nice high percentage, it's just a couple of pitches got smacked or got away from him. The difference between a mlb player, good player, and great player could be just a handful of pitches a game.

Basically, all this babbling is just agreeing with one of Jakes original comments - I have been feeling Tiger-Mania!!!

Tony said...

I think DD was the guy that drafted Gonzalez for Florida a few years back, so he probably has an interest. Gonzalez was doing well this year, hitting 316 with 13 hr in 285 ab's, and a good 27-38 bb to k rate (remember granderson had 112 k's in 381 abs). Though when I looked at the past few years with Gonzalez, he hasn't displayed the type of power I guess I thought he had.

In 2004, at 22 years old, he only had 12 hr in 457 ab's (around 600 ab's would be a middle of the lineup major league season). Comparing him to his Texas teammate, Teixeira, who at 22, hit a combined 19 hr in only 321 abs in the minors. Of course Teixeira was in A and AA ball, rather than AAA like Gonzalez. Though, Gonzalez has never hit more than 17 hr in any season, even though registering 500+ abs. Sure he is only 23 right now, and has shown he has hit for a solid average, but he is showing less power than Sean Casey did at that age and level in the minors. I'm not about to trade a guy like Robertson for a prospect that hasn't shown the power of the Mighty Casey.

In fact, Gonzalez's numbers are in line with the Tigers AA 1b, Juan Tejeda. I doubt we could get a pitcher like Robertson for him. How many people even know of Tejeda? He had 23 hr in 457 ab's last year as a 22 year old. The same age as Gonzalez, same number of ab's and 11 more home runs! If we didn't have Pena and Shelton, Tejeda would be in AAA right now, and on the verge of making the club next season. He may even get a September call up. Then again, with the red-hot red-head in Motown, Tejeda could be one of those minor league prospects sent away to get someone to eat up Dmitris contract or traded away if the Tigers are buyers.

Before I looked at Gonzalez's numbers, I was interested. Now I'm a bit leary. I want Ortiz or Delgado, not Sean Casey or Travis Lee (man, those two guys were huge prospects that ended up blah)

Jake said...

I've heard the Adrian Gonzalez-Nate Robertson rumors but trading Robertson makes me nervous. I applaud Dombrowski for his constant willingness to make a move if it improves the team. The problem is that Tiger fans (at least most) want Maroth or Johnson sent packing, NOT Robertson. Lefties are so valuable. Robertson has improved so much in the last two years that it would be crazy to sell him now. I don't even know why/how his name came up. I don't know much about Adrian Gonzalez other than his numbers but I do know a lot about Robertson and what I know is that I like him.

Anonymous said...

Do Tiger fan's want Maroth sent "packing?" I worked at FOX doing sports in the area and never heard anything of the sort. I do agree with the trading of Robertson being a a bit suspect. It's nice to talk of such things but talented left-handed pitchers that have a semi-proven track record at the major league level are much harder to find than a good 1B prospect.

As others said, they already went through the Carlos Pena stuff and if you ever watched him, he couldn't hit an above average fastball or a good curve (Nathan made him look like me last year and many otehr did the same). Can Gonzalez? I don't think anyone knows. I'd rather have Robertson and take the chance that Shelton might actually be pretty good if unspectacular in the field at 1B. But I have many opinions and I have been wrong once.

Jake said...

I think most knowledgeable fans understand that the Tigers are in a position to deal for more prospects without hurting the present. Under no cicumstances would I advocate giving away Maroth, or anyone else. The idea is that Maroth is limited as I'm sure you've seen. With Verlander coming up next year, and the Tigers going "top of the rotation" starting pitching in free agency, the Tigers don't need Maroth or Johnson. Contending teams usually overpay for average starting pitching come the trade deadline. This is a perfect time to cash him in. I don't dislike Maroth. However, I certainly don't think Maroth or Johnson will have any significant impact on the Tigers future success. Sell the parts you don't need and keep building. I think that would be the consensus opinion or at least it is from Tiger fans that I've talked to.


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