The Detroit Tigers are going to miss the playoffs for the fourth season in a row. While they just nearly missed out in 2016 after an offseason spending spree, most clubs would consider four years without October baseball a full-blown rebuild. Yet, many Tigers fans recognize this as the true Year 1 of the build, as they were trying to compete as recently as last season.
Over at The Athletic, Jordan Horrobin takes an in depth look at the 2017 season: the year that marked the beginning of the Tigers rebuild. He looked at the perspective of the players who were traded, like Ian Kinsler and J.D. Martinez, the latter who acknowledges, “You can only be good like that for so long.”
Horrobin suggests the root of the rebuild can be traced back, at least in its genesis, to the July 2015 trades of David Price and Yoenis Cespedes, dropping two aging and expensive contracts to get the likes of Michael Fulmer, Matthew Boyd, and Daniel Norris.
In some ways, the process began in 2015, when Detroit pulled off a pair of late-July blockbuster deals. Prime-aged impending free agents David Price and Yoenis Cespedes were traded for packages that included Michael Fulmer, Matthew Boyd and Daniel Norris (Joakim Soria, who was also heading to free agency, was dealt for JaCoby Jones). The Tigers were only three games below .500 at that point, but already well out of the division race. They finished last in the AL Central.
It’s a paid read, but as always the work of The Athletic staff is worth the investment. You can read the rest of Horrobin’s piece here.
Father vs Son
Looks like there will be a duel of the Gardenhires in a September game between the Twins and Tigers. During the September 17-19 series, Toby Gardenhire will be on Paul Molitor’s coaching staff. The younger Gardenhire is getting a September call up of his own, joining the big club from his regular role as the manager of the Class-A Cedar Rapids team.
Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty bad
No, it’s not just your imagination, the Tigers have not been great lately.
Assuming the Royals hang on, the Tigers will be:— Chris McCosky (@cmccosky) August 29, 2018
--7-17 in August
--12-22 since the All-Star break
--19-45 on the road.
--6-11 in this recent stretch of 17 games against Central Division teams not named the Indians
Everyone is doping (okay not really)
Sports Illustrated has an extended interview with Tony Bosch, the founder of Biogensis, about the environment that created a need for doping, and how his clients got away with it at the time. “The least of my worries was [players] pissing dirty. The ones that did piss dirty were those that thought I was invincible and that I could fix everything, and they didn’t follow protocol.”
He goes into some truly bonkers details, and the whole piece is very worth reading.
“Ryan Braun had something called troches—they called it gummy bears—they’re actually lozenges. They had testosterone in them—fifteen percent. I already had these guys juiced, so all they had to do was, this was an activator. A little testosterone. They would drop it in the first inning—it was gone by the fifth inning—and unless you pulled him out of a game and tested him, you would never find out. So you could test him before and test him after and never know.”
Bits and Bites
Tyler Glasnow is blossoming with help from a change of scenery, team confidence from the Rays, and a new pitching coach. Fangraphs has a really wonderful interview with him that focuses on the art of pitching and is a must-read for anyone that wants insight on the development of young talent (*ahem* those looking ahead to Daniel Norris’s future)
Phillies lost after trading for Jose Bautista, so clearly that wasn’t the solution to all their problems. JK, but last night’s game between the Phillies and Nationals is absolute proof that baseball is not boring.
And speaking of not boring, when was the last time someone on one of the worst teams in baseball was garnering serious Cy Young consideration? Because Jacob deGrom is doing just that. He has a 1.68 ERA for the season, and is a poster child for precisely why (gonna shout it for the folks in the back) WINS DON’T MATTER.
Jacob deGrom continued to build his Cy Young case— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 29, 2018
The Mets continued to not score for their ace https://t.co/PLFev7SWta
Question of the Day
Do you think deGrom deserves the NL Cy Young or does perpetual beast Max Scherzer score his fourth nod?