Good morning, good morning! It's a few days too early for Christmas presents just yet, but I'm here to stuff your stockings with links anyway. Here are a few of the best stories I came across in my sojourns across the Internet territories over the weekend:
I've only got one thing to say about this: Miggy's all over the place near the top of these lists, and Don Kelly's all over the place near the bottom of these lists.
Don Kelly: politely leaving the spotlight open for others, now and forever.
Writes McCosky: "With Phil Coke out of the mix, Ian Krol, Blaine Hardy, Kyle Ryan and possibly Kyle Lobstein will be fighting for one, possibly two, left-handed reliever spots. And with Joba Chamberlain out of the mix, there could be as many as 10 right-handed relievers fighting for one or two spots."
I don't know, I'd kinda like to see them televise that fight, wouldn't you?
Wait, wait, before you completely discard this notion like a stack of unused AOL installation CDs, Firstman is talking about something more than just making Verlander a closer: "I'm wondering if the Tigers would consider using Verlander in a 'super-reliever' role beginning in 2015. In the 1970s and 1980s, it was relatively common for a reliever to throw more than 100 innings in a season. There were even six instances of a reliever qualifying for the ERA title."
I say it's the right idea, even if it's the wrong person for the job. My kingdom for a former-starter-turned-80's-style-super-reliever in 2015.
A reason for hope? After comparing Simon's 2014 first-half (All-Star worthy) numbers to his second half (much worse) numbers, Strandberg says, "I haven’t heard anyone bring up the fact that he very well may have simply been worn out. Simon pitched 148.2 innings in 2012 and 2013 combined; it would be a bit ridiculous to assume there wouldn’t be some serious fatigue-based noise in his 2014 data, seeing as he hurled nearly 200 frames."
It's something to chew on for a few months while we're waiting for the 2015 season to start.
The general thrust of the argument, for the TL;DR folks: Cespedes is in his contract year, and for a pitcher like Porcello, the Tigers could have gotten an outfielder (e.g., Marcell Ozuna) who would have given them value while remaining under team control for a lot longer.
And finally, here's your polarizing statement of the day:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>It's pretty simple. If Dodgers and Yankees are really out on Max Scherzer, he's gonna be back with the Tigers.</p>— Tony Paul (@TonyPaul1984) <a href="https://twitter.com/TonyPaul1984/status/546707462628589568">December 21, 2014</a></blockquote>
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Does this fall into the category of "obviously correct," or "couldn't be more wrong"? You decide.
Until next time, stay warm, dry, and flu-free.