Well, if we thought Mike Ilitch hiring Al Avila as vice president and general manager meant the Detroit Tigers were going to continue in "business as usual" mode, there certainly are a lot of changes taking place. Chris McCosky of the Detroit News details the new personnel Avila is adding to scouting, player development and analytics.
What we don't know, yet, is what kind of impact these changes will have on the Tigers as an organization. One of the key takeaways from the recent book, Big Data Baseball, by Travis Sawchik, details how the use of advanced analytics impacts a baseball team from top to bottom. The challenges aren't just in developing an edge on the field, identifying players to target, etc. The most difficult task is often turning the numbers into the kind of data that your average baseball player can understand and apply effectively.
The challenge for this new regime will be to find a balance between metrics, scouting and forge an approach that uses all these things without drowning in them. Plenty of teams have adopted a very strong analytics department in recent years, and still have nothing to show for it. Figuring out how to use all these voices in concert is a task of its own. Obviously, it remains to be seen if the Tigers can take all this new information and make real hay out of it.
K-Rod Thriving with a Changeup and a Prayer - GammonsDaily.com
Gammons takes a look at the adjustments Rodriguez has made to remain one of the premier closers in the game.
Baseball's best pitch: Francisco Rodriguez's changeup? - ESPN SweetSpot
Francisco Rodriguez, just acquired by the Tigers, used his changeup with incredible success this past season -- just look at the numbers.
If you haven't seen K-Rod at work, here's a little highlight clip from 2014.
I’m Different. I’m the Same. - The Hardball Times, Alexis Brudnicki
What is it like for women breaking into the male dominated world of baseball?
Report: Liberty Media preparing to sell Braves? - Talking Chop, Scott Coleman
Recent "back-fence talk" suggests the team could be sold prior to the move to Cobb County.
The Most Fun, Shareable Moments of 2015 – The Hardball Times
It has been a long offseason already Tigers fans. If you're feeling nostalgic for baseball already, enjoy this trip through some of 2015's most entertaining moments.
The Year James Shields Was Different - FanGraphs, Neil Weinberg
James Shields is reportedly a piece San Diego Padres GM, A.J. Preller, would dearly like to move. Is it worth gambling on a rebound?
MLB, NBA, sports investment groups among those targeted in daily fantasy sports class-action suit in Florida - ESPN, Dave Purdum
A class-action suit filed in the Southern District of Florida is targeting not just fantasy sports operators DraftKings and FanDuel, but also sports leagues and high-profile investors. Charges go all the way to violations of the RICO statutes.