Like many Detroit Tigers, Joe Jimenez has struggled mightily in 2017. While he has been lights-out with Toledo, he’s given up 19 runs in 13 1⁄3 innings in Detroit. Those are Francisco Rodriguez-like numbers — certainly not the debut that Jimenez was hoping for during his first two stints in the majors.
There has been a lot of talk about Jimenez’s dip in velocity possibly contributing to his struggles. After all, he consistently sported mid-to-upper nineties in the minors but has been clocked at only 93-94 mph in his last two games. But Jimenez isn’t worried about the speed of his pitches. He put it bluntly: "I have to do my job and I didn't do it.”
At the heart oft he matter, this is a young pitcher adapting to the best hitters in the game. Jimenez is only 22 years old and just scratching his potential. The good news is I see a lot of low-leverage situations over the next couple years for him to get his stuff sorted out. That and we actually have prospects now so he doesn’t have to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders any longer.
Go to Comerica Park
Got some free time? Like baseball? Boy, do I have a deal for you:
Ticket prices for Comerica Park sections 125-130 are running as cheap as $6-7. If you want to go all the way down to the on-deck circle, you can get a ticket for as cheap as $17-20. Tickets directly behind the Tigers' dugout are around the same price, at the cheapest, though most of them go up a little the closer you get.
That is absurd. I get that the team is terrible and traded away most of the remaining excitement, but that is some seriously affordable entertainment. Been putting off taking your family to the ballpark? Now’s the time.
Comerica also has a perfect score for its staff. In all 160 times our algorithm flagged a mention of Comerica Park’s staff, a reviewer was talking about them positively.
The remaining vets
The youth movement is in full effect and it brings into question what will happen with the few remaining veterans on the team (outside of Miguel Cabrera of course.)
Victor Martinez is likely done as a Tiger. Even with $18 million still owed on his contract, his poor 2017 numbers, age, injuries, health concerns, and the roadblock he provides at DH means he is not long for Detroit.
The more interesting case is Ian Kinsler. He also had a down year in 2017 but still is a valuable player and will likely bounce back in 2018. He has shown a willingness to mentor and play for a losing team. That being said, he will be heavily shopped both at the winter meetings and during the 2018 season if he remains on the team. He’s a fan favorite, but for his sake I hope he ends up on a winner.
For your free time
Check out Ashley’s podcast for Fangraphs! Seriously, it’s awesome. Go listen. ... J.D. Martinez is feeling the love in Arizona ... The Tigers get pulled into the sign-stealing controversy. Guess what, everyone steals signs. Get over it. ... Sporting News ranks Michael Fulmer as the 26th best young player. ... Doug Fister back from the brink.