Good Monday morning, friends. As the Detroit Tigers close out the season by continuing their march toward a better draft pick — thanks for doing your part, Anibal Sanchez — we can find some solace in the opportunity to watch the team take some tentative steps towards evaluating what the future might hold.
Inside the Justin Verlander deal
FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman broke down the decision processes that lead to both the Justin Verlander and Justin Upton deals. The takeaway here is that the Tigers may not have gotten as much as they wanted for Verlander, but the trade was necessary for a team looking to rebuild, and the sentiment is echoed for Upton. Overall, execs around the league seemed impressed that general manager Al Avila managed to pry talent away from a Houston Astros team that treats prospects like gasoline in the Mad Max universe.
Your banged up pitcher update
Jordan Zimmermann received yet another neck injection and remains out of commission until this week in Cleveland. Also, Michael Fulmer is still slated to see Dr. James Andrews on Monday. Keep those fingers crossed, everybody.
Hicks could stick
George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press wrote an interesting piece on how impressed the organization has been with the offensive performance of John Hicks. It’s not the biggest sample size, but through 49 games he is hitting .303 with a .517 slugging percentage. Hicks has a little defensive versatility as well, which could help him find a spot as a cheap yet effective hitter on a rebuilding team. Not bad for a guy Al Avila snatched up with a waiver claim.
The next phase of the Nick Castellanos experience
The latest shot at figuring out what to do with Nick Castellanos has begun, and it’s happening in right field. Why not? This seems to be as good a time as any to see what the Tigers have in Castellanos. They are two games in and he has no errors. So far, so good?
You can’t escape your stats
As baseball winds down and we move into football, Tim Tebow is moonlighting as an ESPN analyst. Let’s appreciate the fan who is keeping us focused on what’s important.
For your free time
Rick Porcello’s post-Cy Young season is one of the worst ever. Heyman names some possible landing spots for Giancarlo Stanton. Detroit is not on it, and if you expected they might be you are in for a disappointing few years. How the recent sign-stealing incident could effect pace of play, and what role technology could play in improving it. Before Bo Jackson there was Amos Stagg.