Happy Thanksgiving week to you and yours. As we prepare to put more food than is medically recommended into our bodies this week, we can only hope that it brings forth a deep enough torpor to carry us through to the Winter Meetings, where we might awaken to something actually happening.
For now, here is what’s happening around Detroit Tigers baseball (spoiler: it’s not much).
Yay, more trade talk
Another day, another article speculating who the Tigers could be looking to move this offseason. This latest edition comes courtesy of Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. Fenech pegs Nicholas Castellanos as the number one trade target, followed by Matthew Boyd and Shane Greene.
Castellanos’ market isn’t great, almost entirely because of his defensive ability in right field. Without the designated hitter, a National League team would have to take a leap of faith to acquire him, which almost halves the field. Still, his offensive ability is enough that a team should take a chance.
The Astros had interest in Castellanos last summer. They might represent the best fit: Castellanos could play left field in Houston, which counts as the most shallow in baseball.
The coming weeks will tell what happens with this team and the trade market, but there are few players they could move that would surprise me.
Jake Rogers pushing for offensive improvement
After a year in the Tigers organization, the book on Jake Rogers remains the same. He is ready to catch at the major league level, but questions still linger around his abilities with the bat. He showed some improvement after a slow start at Double-A Erie, and his work with hitting coaches Mike Hessman and Scott Fletcher has people hoping he can continue to make progress.
“Just trying to square the ball up pretty good. The approach is kind of toning it down a little bit and working on putting the ball in play more,” Rogers said. “When I do hit, it goes for doubles and home runs, but I need a little bit more consistency and try to avoid the big holes that I was in earlier in the year. There’s going to be ups and downs, but the name of the game is minimizing the downs as much as you can. I really need to get more consistent in my swing and go from there.”
If the Tigers decide not to bring James McCann back for the 2019 season, that would put Rogers third on the current depth chart, and not too far away from the big club. If he can hit, even a little bit, he will be there sooner rather than later.
Predicting the next Tigers to be award winners
In further offseason navel gazing, Fenech takes a few moments to consider which members of the organization might be the next to win major awards of some kind. Following a season where not one Tiger received votes in any of the major categories for the first time in close to 15 years, it would be nice to think we could get back on the train quickly.
Our best bet here, according to Fenech, is with Miguel Cabrera and the AL MVP. It would take a return to form we have not seen in a few seasons, but everyone knows what a healthy Cabrera is capable of. Outside of that, we’re waiting on a Casey Mize or Matt Manning to round into Cy Young form, or for one of those two (or Isaac Paredes) to win Rookie of the Year honors. Those aren’t happening any time soon.
It’s not going to be Lewin in the booth
As the Tigers continue their search to replace Mario Impemba and Rod Allen in the Fox Sports Detroit booth, one name that may be familiar to some fans quickly popped up and then disappeared in recent days. Josh Lewin, who was the regular play-by-play guy from 1998-2001 (God bless him for that) until Impemba took over, recently left a gig with the New York Mets. While it appears Lewin has inked a new deal somewhere, that place is not Detroit. So, the search continues, and a decision may be expected in December or January.
Ronny Rodriguez bringing the hits
If you’ve been waiting for that new Ronny Rodriguez single to drop, well my friend, you are in luck. Mi sueño — “my dream,” in Spanish — is now available on Youtube. The lyrics are semi-autobiographical, and the song tries to give voice to the hopes and dreams of kids in the Dominican Republic.
- The video opens with Rodriguez hugging his mother at Comerica Park, and the rest involves kids playing baseball and Ronny and some other gentleman I do not know standing in front of two very clean vehicles.
- Sometimes the doors on these vehicles are open. Other times they are not.
- There is a lot of pointing of fingers that goes on, intermixed with lesser amounts of prayer hands and putting their hands on their heads like they just remembered they forgot to turn off the oven when they left the house
- Mostly it’s pointing, usually at the sky, but often in other directions as well. I feel Al Alburquerque — and possibly a Phil Coke appearance — would have fit in quite well here.
Around the horn
Crazy rules baseball could adopt from other sports. It’s hard to watch Mookie Betts and think baseball is in trouble. Michael Wilbon weighs in on Jacob DeGrom with a bad baseball take.