An ode to Mike Pelfrey
Just kidding, there will be no ode. He was terrible with the Detroit Tigers and was trashed by the fans. It’s not his fault that someone thought it was a good idea to pay him $16 million to be bad at pitching, though. With even Anibal Sanchez being a much better option and no luck in the bullpen last year, the Tigers spent $8 million to say goodbye to Big Pelf. To his credit, Pelfrey was pure class on the way out.
Mike Pelfrey said he understood the move, apologized for putting the organization in a position where they had to release him.— Jason Beck (@beckjason) March 30, 2017
He’s not wrong, but it’s still an incredibly classy way to exit the organization. I wish him nothing but the best moving forward and chalk this up as something Pelfrey couldn’t create. A total swing and miss by general manager Al Avila.
That escalated quickly
Pitches thrown 100 MPH+ in #MLB by year— Daren Willman (@darenw) March 30, 2017
In JaCoby we trust
With Opening Day just days away, center field is JaCoby Jones’ to take. Tyler Collins will probably work in right with the J.D. Martinez injury, and no one has much hope that Mike Mahtook will be above replacement level. This is Jones’ job to lose and he’s acting like it.
“I feel in my heart and my mind that I’m the centerfielder,” he said. “Every day I wake up, I come to this field knowing I’m the Tigers’ centerfielder. That’s how I think.”
If Jones could beat expectations in center, that would be a huge lift to the team as a whole. He’s still way too young and unseasoned to have this much pressure on him, but the Tigers don’t have any more seasons to waste.
Pessimists are either always right or pleasantly surprised
If the Mikie Mahtook talk above didn’t have you sad enough, boy have I got a article for you! Lynn Henning of the Detroit News lays out just about every concern this team has heading into the season, just in case you need a refresher.
But there are issues. Roster issues. Pitching issues. Competitive issues. The Tigers, who would happily have begun a retooling/rebuilding plan this spring, ran into a shutdown trade market and are forced to chase a playoff spot when the team appears, mostly from a pitching perspective, to be lacking.
To be fair, he mentions plenty of positives immediately after this. But if the Tigers start slow after a stagnant offseason, there isn’t going to be a lot of sympathy floating around.
This will fix everything
Anthony Gose threw a bullpen session earlier this week, all fastballs. Ausmus watched, said he was "very impressed."— Jason Beck (@beckjason) March 30, 2017
Ichiro on mortality
It is often forgotten that Ichiro Suzuki is one of the funniest players in baseball. I don’t know if it’s because he seems so serious or because of the language barrier, but he doesn’t get nearly enough credit. Remember that he has been quoted as saying “If I ever saw myself saying I’m excited going to Cleveland, I’d punch myself in the face, because I’m lying.” And his favorite American expression is...
So when Ichiro says that he plans to play baseball until he is 50 and then “I think I’ll just die,” it’s not a surprise. Everyone laughs and writes a fun story about it, then moves on.
But the best part about that quote is everyone is also slightly concerned that he’s being serious. Ichiro’s singular focus is baseball; the man hasn’t taken a vacation in 12 years. Let’s assume he’s kidding, but also keep him employed until he’s 80 just to be sure.
For your free time
Tigers tickets rank as the seventh cheapest in the MLB, which I find quite surprising. Is the clock running out on Yadier Molina? At least he got paid. Cool feature on a number of baseball stalwarts. Ken Rosenthal’s award predictions including Jose Quintana for Cy Young(?). Greg Maddux, kind of a weird guy. The 2017 all MLB.TV team.