So, the season is off to a roaring start, eh? Three rainouts in a week. For a team already entering the year feeling like an afterthought, the first week of baseball has been kind of a buzzkill. Of course none of this is unusual in April. And on the bright side, the schedule turns to night games a little earlier in 2018. For those of you whose experience of the 2018 Tigers has been characterized by snippets of Dan and Jim at work or on lunch breaks, or by furtive glances at that MLB.tv window you have open at work, relief isn’t far off. It won’t be long before warmer weather and weeknight baseball return to us. We promise.
Of course, the Tigers aren’t the only team playing in this mess.
The Tigers flew out to Chicago Wednesday night, but they won’t be escaping the weather there either. The weather report calls for rain and possible snow flurries. Good times. A veteran duel between Jordan Zimmermann and James Shields may feature moments of “I’m getting too old for this ****,” when they lock horns on Thursday. Forecasts aren’t much more promising through the weekend. Beyond that there appears to be some hope.
Daniel Norris: Destination unknown
The only news on Wednesday was the fallout from the postponement. The Tigers will take Daniel Norris to Chicago as a reliever, but with Mike Fiers scheduled to start on Sunday, the team appears set to send Norris to Toledo this weekend. While they could also option to keep Norris in the bullpen as a hybrid reliever, it seems much more likely they’ll want him stretched out and pitching on regular rest with an eye to rejoining the Tigers’ rotation at some point.
In the short-term, it isn’t such an issue. Norris may get a little momentum and confidence in Triple-A while continuing to work on some of the delivery changes he and Chris Bosio have implemented this spring. But you do have to wonder whether the Tigers have moved on from Norris as a priority. He should still have his opportunities this year, but this isn’t exactly a vote of confidence.
Ohtani and the Angels are putting on a Sho
I’m sorry, but it had to be done.
A day after belting a big fly in his first major league at bat, the sensation that is Shohei Ohtani continued to seize the spotlight in Los Angeles. He rang up three hits and crunched a wayward Corey Kluber two-seamer over the wall in center field. This was later followed by smart signing Zack Cozart smacking a walk-off home run in the 13th inning of Wednesday’s contest with the Indians. Ian Kinsler hasn’t even played yet. They have Mike Trout and some trade-able assets. The Angels power and defense should make them a fun team to watch, though the pitching staff remains a little too fragile to feel comfortable with it.
AGAIN!— MLB (@MLB) April 4, 2018
Shohei Ohtani knows a thing about encores. pic.twitter.com/Lmmw5HNecq
Walk-off! Zack Cozart wins it for the Angels in the bottom of the 13th!pic.twitter.com/tHBufc2c2H— Juiced MLB (@JuicedMLB) April 5, 2018
Around the horn
Here’s a smooth move on the part of one cool Giants fan.
The Colorado Rockies inked center fielder Charlie Blackmon to a six-year, reported $108 million extension on Wednesday. Jeff Passan reflects on what the deal says about the changing landscape of free agency. Meanwhile the Twins aren’t getting any bites on their extension offers.
For Twins fans discouraged by Buxton, Kepler, Berrios, etc., turning down extensions: Don't be. Scott Kingery, Paul DeJong and Ketel Marte were the only pre-arb player to sign ones this year. Twins have plenty of time to lock up their core long-term. Players were smart to wait.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 5, 2018
A day after striking out five times in a game, and getting booed for it, Giancarlo Stanton showed what he was about, crushing a monster shot to left-center. Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge also homered in that one, and yes it’s time to loathe the Yankees again, if you’d stopped.
Baseball is awesome
This umpire's definitely watched The Naked Gun.— Cut4 (@Cut4) April 3, 2018
(via encadwin/IG) pic.twitter.com/B3IwYeLTMo