After a weekend that saw the bullpen attempt to give away a game on Friday and then succeed to do so on Sunday, we enter Monday with a very familiar feeling as Detroit Tigers fans. Mostly, it’s wondering when (or if) we will feel safe with a lead in the final innings of a game.
Normally, I would suggest that it might be premature to be concerned about the relief pitching corps after just five games, but this all feels like the continuation of an ongoing problem. It would be nice to find a solution.
At least the offense seems to have it together. We saw first baseman Miguel Cabrera’s first hit this weekend, and third baseman Nicholas Castellanos has been absolutely murdering the ball. Sometimes it’s right at somebody, but I don’t think I’ve seen a ball off his bat that hasn’t been tattooed.
My kingdom for a bullpen
This bullpen is not as sound as we would hope. As Marty Huggins would say, It’s a mess. There are some very good arms there, but too many question marks remain. Lynn Henning pulled out his jump to conclusions mat after the game on Friday and posited that pitching prospect Joe Jimenez is going to be headed to Detroit sooner rather than later. After watching how the rest of the weekend went, it’s hard to disagree. Jimenez may not be fully polished, but there are some arms currently in Detroit that he should probably be ahead of on the pecking order.
After a few shaky outings from reliever Bruce Rondon, manager Brad Ausmus talked a bit about Rondon’s diminished velocity and the possibility of using him in some lower leverage situations in lieu of an outright demotion.
One pitcher who looks to be solid is Justin Wilson. CBS Detroit’s Will Burchfield talked with him a bit about his development of some off-speed pitches in the offseason. If his appearances so far are any indication of how he will pitch this year, we should feel comfortable when Wilson takes the bump.
Manfred resurrects teh stupid
In a New York Daily News article over the weekend, Bill Madden talked with commissioner Rob Manfred about further potential for change and some of the changes already made. Manfred appeared to double down on the following quote which he first stated about nine months ago.
The article is largely a piece bemoaning what it calls the new six-inning starter that has been created. In my humble opinion, it reads like somebody took a mixture of “get off my lawn” and a misunderstanding of how the game has evolved and spit it out in print.
Around the central
The Minnesota Twins are in first place in the division. Yes, it’s very early, but it’s still kind of unexpected. Twinkie Town takes a look at the hot start with an eye toward explaining how something like this could be happening.
Not to be outdone by the Tigers, the Kansas City Royals decided to give one away on Sunday in their own special fashion by walking in the winning run. Maybe watching it will help you feel a little bit better about the situation in Detroit. Maybe not.
Down on the farm
When I started writing this on late Sunday afternoon, Tigers outfield prospect Christin Stewart had already had himself quite the day.
He decided to have a little more fun and add one more dinger to the tally.
Stewart can hit the long ball alright. The more important question is: can he pitch?
For your spare time
How baseball has shaped the English language. Otis Nixon is missing. Bill Murray tries to bribe the ump. MLB says no violation occurred when a ball got stuck on Yadier Molina’s chest protector. Francisco Lindor is baseball’s next big thing.
Baseball is awesome
All things considered, we got this out of Sunday’s debacle so it can’t be all that bad, right?