September was a busy month in the Bless You Boys FanPost community. You guys had lots to talk about, and whether it was responding to prompts or coming up with your own angles, there was no shortage of material to go around.
Some of the best posts we saw in September included, the awesome “Projecting the 2022 Detroit Tigers” piece by Miggy24Cabby. Though it was technically posted August 30, it inspired its own September FanPost prompt, so we’re going to give it September credit. The piece outlined and explained the entire dream 2022 roster and I’ve gotta say I’m a big fan of this part:
This is the one signing that I think will help make this group of Tigers the next wave of contenders. Verlander’s current contract with the Astros ends after the 2019 season and what a better homecoming than to sign him so he can end his career here. This may be a pipe-dream, but could be realistic as well. He stated that leaving Detroit was hard for him and ending his career where it started and helping kick-start the new generation of Tigers’ arms could help further cement his legacy among the Detroit sports greats. He could be to Mize, Perez and Manning what Kenny Rogers was to him and help be the veteran presence and anchor this rotation needs to be great. At $17.5 M/yr , this is a good enough gamble to roll on, even on his age 36-40 seasons. Prime time JV is coming back to Detroit with a vengeance.
User ExtinctSpices chose to reflect on the year that was, in their piece “Biggest 2018 Surprises” and looked at what went right for the Tigers this year in some very unexpected places. I particularly loved this line:
Remember the parade of bitching and whining at the beginning of the season about Gardy batting Leonys lead off? It worked out okay and way better than just about anyone anticipated.
On the topic of 2018 surprises, user Adam Rivard took time to look at what happened to the early promise shown by Jeimer Candelario in his 2017 season, and posed the question “Where has Jeimer Candelario’s bat gone?” Rivard dove deep, looking at Candy’s injury history, and just what might have lead to his slump. Really great work here.
Despite (or perhaps because of) his early success with the Tigers, Candelario’s 2018 season has felt a little disappointing. In 2017, Candelario had a 138 wRC+ and began 2018 just as hot, slashing .272/.359/.497 through May 12th, good for a 134 wRC+. But on May 14th he was placed on the disabled list with wrist tendinitis, and since his return on May 25th, Candelario has hit just .210/.299/.370, equivalent to a decidedly below average 83 wRC+. Whenever a player seems to stop hitting following a wrist injury, the decline is usually blamed on the lingering effects of said injury, and Candelario may have been dealing with pain after he came off the DL. But Candelario’s contact quality has been so bad since his DL stint that further investigation is warranted.
And user JajaBojangles did a masterful job recapping the season that was when they summed up 2018 in “The Best (Least Terrible) and the Worst (Cavalcade of Crap) of 2018.” Talk about taking a list of Best/Worst suggestions and turning it into something with real depth. Or at least something with a lot of hilarious gifs.
BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR
I’ll give it to Niko Goodrum. No expectations, poor previous performances with the Twins, he looked like he was on his way out of baseball. Instead, he’s likely earned himself a modest payday next season with some team.
There is always something really inspiring to see a guy who’s spent years languishing in the minors not only get his chance to reach the bigs and stick, but to thrive.
Good on you Goodrum.
There were plenty more to go around, and more to come I’m sure (waiting on part three of three in BigMaxN’s “Reasons to Hope” series).
Just because the season is over doesn’t mean the FanPosts are. We look forward to reading more of your offseason speculation and discussion over the season that was.