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The Ex-Tigers

In a routine and unexceptional game this afternoon, Florida beat Milwaukee 11-3. I found something quite remarkable about it, though: the starting pitchers were Brian Moehler for the Marlins and Victor Santos for the Brewers, both former Tigers, teammates on the eminently forgettable (though evidently remembered by me) 2001 squad. I decided to take a look at the other ex-Tigers kicking around the major leagues, assembling the best 25-man roster of ex-Tigers I could find. The players must have appeared in the majors for Detroit (so no John Smoltz) and they must still be on someone's 40-man roster (so no Danny Bautista). The results are an interesting little squad, with some decent arms and some pop in the lineup.


Jeff Weaver, Dodgers
David Wells, Red Sox
Mark Redman, Pirates
Brian Moehler, Marlins
Victor Santos, Brewers

Not a terrible starting rotation led by the tater-riffic Weaver and former gout-sufferer Wells. The rotation looks a lot better when Brian Moehler's surprising return to effectiveness in 2005 is accounted for. Santos, who started his Tiger career with 27 1/3 scoreless innings but is 2-9 this year with an ever-increasing ERA, could be replaced by Hideo Nomo or Jose Lima if things get really bad.


Francisco Cordero, Rangers
Ugueth Urbina, Phillies
Todd Jones, Marlins
Mike Myers, Red Sox
Buddy Groom, Yankees
Adam Bernero, Braves

Perhaps the strength of this fictional squad. Cordero, Urbina, and the reborn Jones would form a trio as strong as any in the league. They're probably stronger than the Tigers' top three of Percival, Farnsworth, and Walker, if pricier. Myers and Groom can pitch to lefties, and Bernero, the latest Leo Mazzone reclamation project, can do the mop up work. Roberto Novoa or Dan Miceli could be added should the manager (Phil Garner, of course) choose to go to 12 pitchers. Trace the roster spot: Jones was traded for Redman who was traded for, among others, Nate Robertson.


Frank Catalanotto, RF, Blue Jays
Damian Jackson, 2B, Padres
Luis Gonzalez, LF, Diamondbacks
Phil Nevin, 1B, Padres
Juan Encarnacion, CF, Marlins
Tony Clark, DH, Diamondbacks
Joe Randa, 3B, Reds
Brad Ausmus, C, Astros
Deivi Cruz, SS, Giants

Again, not terrible. This team's real problem would be defense. It's got two leftfielders (Catalanotto and Gonzalez), and a right-fielder in center. Nevin is old and slow, as is Cruz. There's some pop, though: Gonzalez, Nevin, and Encarnacion are all legitimate power threats, and Clark and Randa have shown flashes of past (minor) glories in 2005. Ausmus is, of course, a black hole.


Robert Fick, C-OF, Padres
Jose Macias, UT, Cubs
Damion Easley, IF, Marlins
Ruben Sierra, DH, Yankees
Alex Sanchez, OF, Giants

Flexibility won the day here, with Fick, Macias, and Easley in there to backup each position in the field, Sierra on the squad to take big swings and platoon with Clark, and Sanchez there for pinch-run caught stealings. Many other choices here, from the permanently disabled (Juan Gonzalez) to the potentially decent (Cody Ross) to the deaf (Curtis Pride) to actual backup catchers (Bako, Flaherty).

As a whole, the squad might be competitive in the major leagues today, perhaps jostling with the Reds, Rockies, and Rays for .400. Because of the way this exercise was structured, almost every player on the squad is past his prime, and most of them would be supremely proficient at playing opponents' ground balls into extra-base hits. Still, the ex-Tigers might be able to make a tiny roar. In any case, it's amusing to commemorate this day in Miami: Santos and Moehler squaring off with the legacy of the 96-loss 2001 Tigers on the line.