As the sun rises on another Monday morning, a middling Detroit Tigers team finds itself four games under the .500 mark and kicking, halfheartedly, at the hand of the Chicago White Sox, which is placed firmly on their ankle trying to drag them down into the cellar of the American League Central Division.
On Monday, the Tigers are on the road facing the Seattle Mariners to begin the back half of a stretch of games on 13 consecutive days. Anibal Sanchez gets the start for reasons that are unbeknownst to me but must exist. The inevitability of this uninspired season seems, for many fans, to be wrapped up in this odd decision. I’ll be hoping for a win, even if it may have to be in spite of Sanchez getting the start.
What’s up with the big club?
Moves are being made, and the roster is still being tinkered with in attempts to tune this team into something that can compete. One constant source of adjustment is the bullpen. Manager Brad Ausmus is of the opinion that Francisco Rodriguez is the third best option in the bullpen. I get his concern that leaning too heavily on his more consistent arms is going to cause trouble in the long run. No one wants to watch Shane Greene and the Wilsons wither under the weight of a heavy workload, but when K-Rod is your next best option... well, it’s troubling.
Brad has also indicated that he may consider a relocation of Victor Martinez in the batting order. As we all know, Victor is dealing with some concerning health issues and we all look forward to his recovery. That said, Victor hasn’t exactly been tearing the cover off the ball when healthy this season. As frustrating as the question seems to be for Ausmus, he has indicated that they have had some discussions about moving Victor to a different spot.
Down on the farm
If you’re looking for something to get a bit more excited about, pitcher and top prospect Matt Manning gets his season underway on Monday as he takes the mound in Connecticut. In other pitching prospect news, Jairo Labourt has made a recent move to the bullpen that looks like it might be paying off.
I get by with a little help from my friends
It seems like we have reached peak themed jersey-ness in minor league baseball. Below is the latest atrocity the Toledo Mud Hens were forced to wear [Ed.: John has bad opinions]. How much do you want to bet somebody had to tell JaCoby Jones who the Beatles were?
In case you haven't heard, we're celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Sgt. Pepper album tonight. pic.twitter.com/P6n3mJEf8w— Toledo Mud Hens (@MudHens) June 16, 2017
The old skipper speaks
Jim Leyland was back in town over the weekend to throw out the first pitch, and he shared some thoughts. Jim thinks the Tigers have lost some of their fanbase, and they need to get those people back. I agree with Jim, and I’m not sure who wouldn’t.
Your reminder that center field is still a big fat hole
In their AL Central round-up, MLB Trade Rumors decided to remind us that our center field situation sucks by pointing out that the Tigers were interested in Mallex Smith, who is now doing well.
Maybe they were kicking it with Buster Olney and decided to make it a group effort, as Olney took a moment to remind the world that Cameron Maybin does not suck.
Cameron Maybin continues to do great work for the Angels. https://t.co/NCJIkroA8H .376 OBP.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) June 18, 2017
Meanwhile, the Tigers have started roughly 500 different people in center field this season. The guy with the most time at the position who is still in Detroit is Andrew Romine, the first name you think of when you think center field.
Closer to the brink
As we get closer to the trade deadline, and it looks more and more like the Tigers could be sellers. For one, there are more Detroit players popping up on trade deadline lists. The latest from MLB Trade Rumors has J.D. Martinez and Justin Wilson sitting on their list of the top 50 guys who could move. Personally, I think they’re missing the boat on a few fellas.
Old friend expecting a new edition alert
Max Scherzer and his wife are expecting. I’m happy for them, but I wish that was a little Detroit jersey they were holding up.
Happy Father's Day! 1st child is a baby girl and can't wait to join the club this November! pic.twitter.com/PaAX8AbnFb— Max Scherzer (@Max_Scherzer) June 18, 2017
Baseball is awesome
Nolan Arenado hits a walk-off homer to complete the cycle.
You can't make this stuff up. Nolan Arenado hit a walk-off homer to complete the cycle! pic.twitter.com/TvuBnr3vTT— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 18, 2017
For your spare time
Hardball Times has their 2017 dopplegangers article out, and the Detroit comp isn’t great. A look at the season for Rick Porcello. The Freeze finally loses. What baseball in the Los Angeles Coliseum looked like.