It’s an off day for the hometown team. Having just completed a nine-game road trip where they managed to drop three To the Tampa Bay Rays in the cursed voodoo trash palace that is Tropicana Field, finishing with a record of 4-5 seems pretty satisfactory. While we await the first series of the home stand against the Seattle Mariners, we have some things to discuss.
If I’m wearing the Olde English D I’m looking over my shoulder right now because it seems the injury fairy has taken up residence in the Tigers clubhouse and is showing little intention of leaving. Jose Iglesias is recovering from a head injury, J.D. Martinez is still rehabbing a foot injury, Miguel Cabrera has a balky groin, and JaCoby Jones looks like he stepped in the ring with a late eighties version of Mike Tyson.
The good news is that none of these injuries seem to be ones we’ll suffer through much longer. Martinez should be starting a rehab assignment in the very near future, Iglesias is looking to be back as soon as his 7-day DL stint is up, and Miguel Cabrera has never been one to take any more time than is absolutely necessary when dealing with an injury. I for one will welcome them back with open arms after watching a few games with the majority of the starting lineup siting comfortably below the Mendoza line.
With all the injuries of late we as fans have had the wonderful opportunity to play the “how is that last name pronounced” game, as some names we didn’t expect to see have made their way to the big club. As we saw on Saturday and Sunday, the gentlemen brought up have little intention to function solely as warm bodies. Outfielder Jim Adduci and John Hicks both contributed with 3 hits apiece on Sunday — one of which being Hick’s first major league home run — en route to destroying the Minnesota Twins. They may not be guys you can count on to contribute long term, but it’s fun as hell to watch a couple of call ups get the chance to make some noise.
Rules of the unwritten variety
After pitcher Justin Haley bounced a fastball off JaCoby Jones’ face in Saturday’s game it was probably inevitable that things might get a little chippy, especially after pitcher Matt Boyd threw a pitch on the wrong side of Twins third baseman Miguel Sano. Benches cleared, altercations ensued, and takes were had.
Haley threw a mistake. Boyd maintains that he did as well. James McCann took exception to the human giant that is Miguel Sano finger wagging at his pitcher.
James McCann on Sano: "I saw him wag his finger at my pitcher, and as far as I'm concerned, you're not going to do that when I'm catching."— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) April 22, 2017
Sometimes I wish someone would write down all the unwritten rules of baseball, but if they’re written then they would cease to be unwritten and then newly unwritten rules would inevitably be created, because this is baseball. A whole new set of unwritten rules would be even more inexplicable than the current ones and I, for one, am not sure I would want to see what that would bring.
What’s the catch
With his third home run of the season on Sunday, Alex Avila continued a torrid start that has him sitting with a .412/.524/.882 slash line.
He and James McCann have combined for seven round trip tickets in this short season. I think I’m safe in saying that no one expected this level of output from the catcher position. Plenty of room on the the Avila party bus, ya’ll.
The end of Sanchez?
At this stage of things Anibal Sanchez can really only be described as the living breathing version of a Jugs machine. Some folks speculate we saw his last outing on Sunday.
That's probably it for Anibal Sanchez as a Tiger. Off-day tomorrow will be the convenient time to cut him. A sad finish for a good dude.— Tony Paul (@TonyPaul1984) April 23, 2017
I guess we’ll see what today brings.
How Gose it
Anthony Gose did himself some pitching in extended spring training on Friday, and it looked pretty pretty good. He pitched one inning. His fast ball sat in the low to mid nineties and after giving up a hit to the first batter he faced, he struck out the side.
Center field free for all
After some pretty promising starts offensively, Andrew Romine and JaCoby Jones are proving out to be pretty much what we expected. That leaves some room for improvement in center field. With that in mind it’s a little interesting that Leonys Martin and Kirk Nieuwinhuis have both recently been designated for assignment. Could it hurt for the Tigers to go after either of these guys? Probably not. Will they? Probably not, although Nieuwenhuis would certainly satisfy the the club’s penchant for signing guys with last names that are hard to spell.
Around the Central
After this weekend we kinda know what’s up with the Twins. Elsewhere around the division, the Kansas City Royals just got swept in four by the Texas Rangers (feels nice to see that happen to somebody else), and it looks like the Indians are warming up. They were on a five game streak until a Danny Salazar stinker on Sunday ended with a loss to the Chicago White Sox. All this leaves the Indians and Tigers tied atop the division at 10-8.
Baseball is awesome
Logan Morrison puts words to many of our feelings about how umpires are calling balls and strikes so far this season. This one is the NSFW territory.
For your free time
Visiting team’s effect on ticket sales. Tony Gwynn Jr., like his father before him, brews beer. Mike Trout becomes just the third player to eclipse 50 WAR at the age of 25. How Madison Bumgarner channeling his inner Hot Rod (I’m assuming this is pretty much what happened) affects the Giants hopes this year.