Over at MLB.com, Jason Beck has penned the latest entry in the Detroit Tigers offseason of analytics, or at least their lip service to it. In this latest addition is an observation on the blending of traditional scouting with the ever-growing analytics department within the Tigers organization. General manager Al Avila is careful to say that any decisions that get made won’t be boiled down to an “analytics” or a “scouting” decision, but that there will be an emphasis on both sides of that coin.
Interestingly, the article opens with a reference to the signing of Mike Pelfrey, and how that was a signing based on the fact that the team’s scouts thought he still had something to offer. If terrible pitching is what they thought he had to offer, then chalk one up for the scouting department. If signings like the Pelfrey one are what we have to thank the scouting department for, then I, for one, welcome our new analytics overlords.
All our major moves are minor
In their latest signing, the Tigers have inked corner infielder Edwin Espinal to a minor league contract.
Corner infielder Edwin Espinal has signed a minor-league deal with the Tigers, per his Instagram. He came up in the Pirates system. His career numbers: https://t.co/HUyFztq7OE— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) November 19, 2017
It’s yet another in a spurt of minor league signings we’ve seen the organization make in recent weeks. This, for all intents and purposes, is what the offseason is going to look like as far as free agent signings are concerned, so I would recommend you get used to saying “Who the (insert expletive of choice here) is that guy?” until late in the offseason when the team starts signing cheap past-their-prime veterans who other teams have passed on, and you can switch to saying “Oh, (insert additional choice expletive), not that guy.”
Feeling a little left out
At the back-end of a MLBTR article about whether the Rays might look to move Evan Longoria, there’s an interesting little snippet about the right-hand dominant Tigers squad. Apparently, Al Avila is interested in bringing a little more balance to the lineup in that regard. Before you get all fired up about Mike Moustakas in the Old English D, the article makes sure to point out that any moves that get made are likely to be minor ones.
Tram is a class act
Not to beat a dead horse here, but Tony Paul talked with Alan Trammell for the Detroit News. When asked if he would rather be inducted this go around or wait two years so he could possibly go in with his long-time double-play partner Lou Whitaker, Trammell said "My dream has always been to go in together, and I stand by that." My love for Alan Trammell grows deeper. If you still aren’t sick of reading about it, Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated has a good article about Trammell’s nomination with some words on the Whitaker snub.
If you don’t follow Tigers radio personality Dan Dickerson on Twitter, I recommend you remedy that situation post haste. He’s a good follow. Recently he went on a bit of run about some Tigers deficiencies and got into baserunning, among other things.
…the best baserunning teams will be +50 or better – or in the case of the D’backs this year, +106. They gained 106 bases more than an average team. Cleveland was second with +83. The #Tigers? Last in the ML with -61….— Dan Dickerson (@Dan_Dickerson) November 17, 2017
…again, you can translate that into runs – and wins. You can argue the #Tigers poor baserunning has cost the Tigers roughly 90 runs in that time, and 9-10 wins. And I just feel strongly this will change next year under Ron Gardenhire and his staff….— Dan Dickerson (@Dan_Dickerson) November 17, 2017
If the only thing to come out of a Ron Gardenhire tenure as Detroit’s manager is a better baserunning team, I’ll take it.
Around the horn
An in depth look at a guy I will go ahead and guarantee the Tigers won’t be signing, free agent center fielder Lorenzo Cain. ... The 2018 top-100 high school draft prospects. ... An estimate of every team’s 2018 payroll. ... Who could be the next "superace"?
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Even when it’s bowling...