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Detroit Tigers links: Dave Littlefield named Tigers' VP of player development

Littlefield, a former Pirates GM, was one of the many front office changes GM Al Avila made on Tuesday.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers announced more front office promotions as new general manager Al Avila rounds off his staff. It is interesting to note that all of these positions so far have been filled internally. Dave Littlefield is now the vice president of player development, Dick Egan is now a special assistant and Scott Reid is now a senior advisor. To summarize, here are the other new positions.

  • David Chad, assistant general manager
  • Scott Bream, vice president of player personnel
  • John Westhoff, also named assistant general manager, along with vice president and legal counsel
  • Sam Menzin, director of baseball operations

Speaking of Al Avila, Lynn Henning points out the tough job that the new GM faces in 2016. If the Tigers intend on contending as soon as next season, he may have to do it with little payroll increase, decide whether Brad Ausmus is the right man to lead the team, decide the best way to use new pitchers Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd and Dombrowski's achilles heel, fixing the bullpen. That's a lot of work for an experienced general manager, let alone a rookie one. However, Avila has been in the game for a long time, so if anyone is up to the challenge, it's him.

Meanwhile, with Davis Chadd's promotion, it means that he no longer will be involved in the draft, a role that he's been doing since 2002. He has drafted players such as James McCann, Nick Castellanos, Drew Smyly, Rick Porcello and Andrew Miller for the Tigers. He says he'll miss it, but is "very excited" to be the new assistant general manager, Al Avila's old role.

Miguel Cabrera eager to play, could return to Detroit Tigers lineup as early as this weekend -, Chris Iott
Miguel Cabrera took batting practice and could return as soon as Friday. He'll be a welcome addition to the Tigers' lineup that has been scuffling as of late.

Detroit Tigers will not skip Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd starts despite off days -, Chris Iott
This is a good move on the Tigers part as they need to evaluate Norris and Boyd for next year. Ausmus mentioned that he could simply insert someone for a spot start in September as rosters expand to rest the youngsters so they don't get overworked.

The curse of small sample size in bullpen stats - The Detroit News, Ed Feng
Nice work by Ed Feng to show how small samples can skew someone's perception of relievers, particularly with Bruce Rondon this year.

Anibal Sanchez: Embodiment of the 2015 Tigers - FanGraphs, Craig Edwards
Anibal Sanchez has not lived up to expectations this year, with the long ball his biggest issue.  He gave up three more in Tuesday's game to bring his season total to 28. Craig Edwards tries to find out why this is a major problem for Sanchez now when he was so good at home run prevention his previous two seasons.

Brad Ausmus of Detroit Tigers says Johnny Cueto's delivery often illegal - ESPN
Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But he hasn't been called on it in the eight years he's been in the Majors.

Eyewitness Accounts: August 11, 2015 - Baseball Prospectus, Jeff Moore
Jeff Moore gives a run down of new Tigers' pitching prospect Jairo Labourt, who was acquired in the David Price trade.

Offensive Batted Ball Statistics and Their Optimal Uses – The Hardball Times, Bradley Woodrum
Good analysis on how to use the new batted ball data from Baseball Info Solution.

Avisail Garcia props open the door - South Side Sox, Jim Margalus
Former Tiger Avisail Garcia has been a disappointment so far with the White Sox, but a new approach is already paying off dividends in August.

David Price makes a change, gets even better - Beyond the Box Score, Dan Weigel
And another former Tiger continues to make adjustments to his pitching repertoire and continues to get better and better.