Asked on Wednesday whether he’s looking forward to putting the 2017 season behind him, Miguel Cabrera looked to the heavens. "Tell me about it," he said, shaking his head. "It's like a nightmare."
The greatest hitter in Tigers’ history has been laid low by a pair of herniated discs, among other issues, but he has a plan laid out this offseason to get himself healthy. He’s already lost some weight, but he plans to go further this offseason. More important is strengthening his core muscles to support his back and improving his flexibility. Cabrera delves into how the back issues are keeping him from covering the outside half of the plate with his usual dominance, among other topics.
Daniel Norris needs to change his offseason routines as well
It’s been a lost season for the Tigers’ mercurial left-hander, after two seasons of excellent promise. And Norris is aware that he’s got to try something different this offseason. As part of his plans, he’ll spend three weeks at P3, the Peak Performance Project in Santa Barbara, California, where Anibal Sanchez also spent time last offseason.
“There’s a difference between working hard and working the right way,” Norris said. “There’s no doubt I’m working hard, but maybe there’s something I’m doing wrong in my workouts to where when I’m getting ready for the season something’s not clicking.”
My amateur prescription? Better leg strength and hip mobility, and a big case of chill.
Restocking the supply of Martini
The Tigers already have a pair of young prospects in second baseman Hector Martinez, and outfielder Julio Martinez. Now they’ve added a third, but this one comes with quite a pedigree. The Tigers inked Pedro Martinez Jr., son of the Hall of Fame pitcher of the same name, to a deal on Wednesday. The 17-year-old, power hitting third baseman signed for $800,000, plus a $300,000 scholarship, the second biggest deal of the Tigers’ international spending period after the $2 million they spent on teenage shortstop, Alvaro Gonzalez back in July. Let’s hope that taking BP from a genius bodes well for his future.
Romine on first base, Romine at catcher, Romine on the mound
In an effort to inject a little fun as the Tigers play out the string in Minnesota this weekend, utilityman extraordinaire, Andrew Romine, will in fact play all three positions in Sunday’s game. Manager Brad Ausmus confirmed this on Wednesday, but didn’t lay out how this was going to play out in terms of substitutions during the game. Probably the most interesting part will be in seeing how they accomplish this, but it will put Romine in a fun little category which Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs will someday explore in a podcast.
The Legend of J. Dingerz
No one is less surprised than Tigers fans to find that the dry desert air agrees with one Julio Daniel Martinez. The former Tigers star and fan favorite is thriving in Arizona. With 45 bombs, and a higher home runs per plate appearance rate than any qualified player, Martinez has finally landed on national radar as perhaps the most prodigious masher of baseballs in the game. In fact, there’s even been MVP talk for Martinez. However, there are a few issues to unpack that make it unlikely.
Fewest PA in 45+ HR season— Mike Garrigan (@MikeGarrigan23) September 27, 2017
McGwire 548 (1996)
BBonds 550 (2003)
HAaron 573 (1971)
(JD Martinez has 45 HR in 479 PA w/3 games left)@Dbacks
Astros fans finally know who the Man is
When Justin Verlander was traded to the Houston Astros, a fanbase brainwashed to accept a modest payroll, and hoard prospect talent, wasn’t entirely on board with the move. A 5-0 record, and a 1.06 ERA across five starts appears to have shut all that nonsense down. The long-time Tigers’ ace punched out 11 on Wednesday, allowing a pair of solo shots as the Astros gleefully crushed their rivals, the Texas Rangers, for the third consecutive game on Wednesday. Yeah, he’s worth it guys.
Around the horn
Aaron Judge is a beast, but also not clutch at all. He did, however, break the rookie home run record, and may well land himself an MVP award. Awards season is coming, and the Ringer is out in front with their picks for the game’s biggest awards. Byron Buxton talks defense. Brian Dozier’s days as an extreme pull hitter may be over. And Greg Bird may prove the Yankees secret weapon in the postseason. Meanwhile, the Red Sox have problems money can’t fix as the postseason looms.
Baseball is awesome
I miss this so much.