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Bless You Boys Podcast 126: Starting pitcher bingo

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Big Al and HookSlide welcome another special guest - Jason Beck of MLB.com joins us for a discussion of the AL Central, the rash of Tigers' injuries and his love of obscure jerseys.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Bless You Boys Podcast 126 was recorded August 29, 2014, has a running time of 68 minutes and features Al Beaton and HookSlide.

Special guest: Jason Beck, Detroit Tigers beat writer for MLB.com. You can find the latest from Jason at the aptly named Beck's Blog, and follow him on Twitter at @BeckJason.

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Topics:

Jason Beck interview: Jason tells us how working as a beat writer for MLB  is no different from any other journalist, the differing, unfiltered views he can get from a player compared to the Tigers' organization (such as Jose Iglasias and Anibal Sanchez telling the media their seasons were over, the Tigers saying otherwise), when we might expect Joakim Soria to return, how Miguel Cabrera's ankle injury may have sapped his power, the rash of injuries the team has suffered in general, and his take on the AL Central race. We also learn more about Jason's love of obscure Tigers jerseys! 

Chat:

Catching heat: Dave Dombrowski has been catching heat from media members who are calling him out for not have enough pitching depth (or depth, period) in the system. But how many teams could deal with numerous injuries to their prime time players? The list is staggering in the talent involved.

  • Bullpen: Bruce Rondon - season ending, Joakim Soria - no one is saying how long, but it's not looking good for a return any time soon, Luke Putkonen - out for 3 months, may be back in September.
  • Starting left fielder: Andy Dirks - season ending.
  • Starting shortstop: Jose Iglesias - season ending.
  • Starting pitchers: Anibal Sanchez, injured twice, the second looks to be season ending, Justin Verlander, missed two weeks and it's doubtful he's been 100% at any time this season.
  • Starting first baseman: Miguel Cabrera, between off season surgery and bum ankle, it's unlikely Cabrera has been at 100% any time this season.

No team in baseball could withstand that many injuries and continue to play well or have enough prospects to take up the slack.

Tigers treading water, Royals playing out of their minds: Detroit has played .500 ball for 2 months straight, 13-13 in July, 14-13 in August and are three games under break even for the second half. The Royals have been up and down all all season - by month they have gone .560. .414, .630, .480, and a ridiculous .731 in August. Honestly, considering how hot the Royals have been and how banged up the Tigers are, it feels as if they should have more than a 1 1/2 game lead.

Pitcher bingo: Robbie Ray has been a huge disappointment and Buck Farmer came back to earth after one start. Kyle Lobstein has impressed in his two appearances (5 2/3 IP in long relief to save the bullpen in a blowout loss, six innings in a solid start the Tigers won) but he was sent down to Toledo to make room for the return of Evan Reed to the bullpen. After being sent down, Reed was below average to bad at Triple-A Toledo for two months, until improving in August (1.50 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 12 IP). Lobstein will likely return early next week to make another start. Getting the start in the game one of Saturday's double header is lefty Kyle Ryan. (WHO?) The 22-year-old spent most of the year at Double-A Erie (7-10, 4.55 ERA, 126.2 IP), but in five starts at Toledo, he is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA in 33 innings.

Still on the prowl for relief: The Tigers put in a claim on Houston Astros' closer Chad Qualls, who had been placed on revocable waivers. Given 48-hours to make a deal, nothing came to fruition.

Looking for a starter instead? With Sanchez out, as implausible as it seemed a month weeks ago, could the Tigers be in the market for a starter? Names like Bartolo Colon of the New York Mets and the Houston Astros' Scott Feldman have been thrown about, both of whom are owed a significant amount of money - Feldman gets $18 million over the next two years, Colon has one year left on his contract at  $11M. Teams know the Tigers are in dire straits, and will ask a king's ransom in return.

Joe Nathan and the fan base calling a truce? Tuesday night, the fans at Coemrica Park chanted "Let's go Joe!" before Nathan earned his 28th save of the season in a 5-2 win over the Yankees.

Alex Gordon is not an MVP candidate: Sorry Royals fans. Despite your chants, Gordon as a legitimate AL MVP candidate is laughable.

All that, plus tangents galore!

Upcoming guests:

September 12: Mario Impemba, Tigers play-by-play man for Fox Sports Detroit
September 19: Rod Allen, member of the 1984 Tigers, color analyst for Fox Sports Detroit

Find the BYB staff on Twitter: @BlessYouBoys, @BigAlBYB, @BYBKurt, @HookSlideBYB, @BYBRob, @Tigerdog_1, @JGoro8, @MelissaHeyboer, @CSlonksnis, @NoRunSupport, @Yooper_IA, @GregEno, @SBNationMLB.

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HookSlide's Detroit Tigers audio clips archive at Chirbit.com and Facebook page.

For more MLB news, check out SBNation's MLB page. For the latest rumors, head to SBNation's MLB Daily Dish.

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