Happy Monday everybody, and what a weekend it was. Saturday was a long ball extravaganza this team is quite capable of, but hasn’t been able to produce as often as we would like this season. Sunday was less fun. As this Detroit Tigers team dances furtively around the .500 mark, they roll into a series against a formidable Houston Astros team. We’ll see if the Tigers can slow them down.
Nick out of the two spot
Recently, a struggling Nick Castellanos has seen a move out of the two spot. Manager Brad Ausmus talked a bit about who the Tigers might want to place there, mentioning names like Justin Upton, but also saying Upton wasn’t so great there last year. I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t put too much stock into lineup position having that great of an impact on how well a player hits. But, after moving down, Nick popped his first dinger since April 22, so what do I know.
Henning doesn’t think they have it
Lynn Henning of the Detroit News pretends to hedge a little bit here, but at the 40-game mark he all but says this isn’t a team that’s going to contend this year. I get what he is saying, but the optimist in me sees about 120 games of baseball yet to play, and a team that isn’t playing at it’s full potential. I can’t say I’m singing Lynn’s tune, but I also can’t say I don’t hear it.
Miggy wants to play eight more years
In the process of promoting some sort of new item that I think is supposed to be edible, first baseman Miguel Cabrera talked a little bit about his future. Specifically, Cabrera said he would like to play at least eight more years. He would be 42 years old at that point. If I were a betting man, I’d put money on a 42-year-old Miguel Cabrera still being plenty capable with the bat.
Jose Iglesias brings the glove
Shortstop Jose Iglesias is a bit of a polarizing player. His bat has gone from surprisingly better than expected in his first few seasons with the team to down right awful more recently. His saving grace, and his primary calling card, has always been his defense. It appears as though he has improved a touch on that side of things this season. I’m not ready to go quite as far as Anthony Fenech, who says Iglesias is possibly the best defensive shortstop in baseball, but he does appear to have upped his game. That’s saying something considering how good he already is.
Chris Sale seems to like stats as much as alternate jerseys
Pitching, Mental Game, Stats. Chris Sale. pic.twitter.com/JpYXCU5Rfu— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 20, 2017
Bird is the word
I don’t know quite how to explain this, but a Mourning Dove -- Not a pigeon; don’t at me, I’m a former wildlife biologist -- flew into the booth during a Cincinnati Reds game on Sunday, and things got silly.
For your free time
Buster Olney on the the stupidity of retaliation in baseball. FanGraphs discusses the best double play combos, and Jose Iglesias and Ian Kinsler make the list. Ryan Zimmerman delivers an unsatisfying explanation behind his success (there’s a J.D. Martinez mention in there). Major League Baseball is bringing virtual reality to the MLB At Bat experience, so you can now get frustrated with their spotty service in a virtual environment. The Cleveland Indians have the highest local TV ratings in Major League Baseball which makes sense when you think about it. Considering the American League World Series representative from 2016 has the third-worst overall attendance of all 30 major league teams this season, their fans have to be watching somewhere. Apparently it’s at home.