Good Monday morning, and welcome to what will be the final week of Major League Baseball for the 2019 season. It took a couple of games, but the Houston Astros have awakened just in time to bring us a competitive series. Max Scherzer was scratched from Game 5 with neck problems, and the outcome was about what you would expect given that news. It’s hard to say how long this neck issue will keep Scherzer sidelined, but if it’s something he can get under control pretty quickly, he may still be able to pitch in the series.
While we wait to see if that happens, let’s check-in on your Detroit Tigers.
The folks over at milb.com seem to be pretty big fans of the Tigers minor league system, and more specifically the Double-A Erie Seawolves. For as miserable as Detroit’s major league product was this season, they see an equal amount of excitement for the upcoming resurgence of the organization.
There is certainly some puffery going on here, but the lower levels do hold major league promise. Most of this lies in pitching, as they point out with nods to Casey Mize and Matt Manning, but there are a few bats to like here as well. Isaac Parades is certainly one. They just need to get more.
Beyond injuries and doubts
In his fourth full year with the Tigers organization, Daniel Norris may have finally put his injuries and doubts about his abilities behind him. MLB.com’s Jason Beck took some time to examine Norris’ 2019, what went well, and what could have gone better.
What went well? Norris’s ability to stay healthy and develop a routine as a starter was a huge positive. He showed improvement in off speed pitches and posted the best strikeout-to-walk ratio of his major league career. What seemed to be a problem was Norris’ ability to pitch deep into games. Looking forward to 2020, Beck sees potential for Norris to slot in as the team’s No. 2 starter if things break right. That seems quite optimistic.
Jump in the pool
Making it as a professional baseball player is highly improbable, and even if you do manage to play at some level professionally, the pay — as has been pointed out quite often in recent news — is quite often not enough to live on. Some minor league players are taking part in a new system that might help improve their odds: income pooling. A company called Pando has organized a system where players all join a pool and if one of them reaches a point where they are earning $1.6 million or greater, he gets 10 percent knocked off the top and it gets distributed to the other members of his pool. This plan raises quite a bit of questions — not the least of which is if anyone will sign up. The company is currently at 140 players and is expanding to other sports and businesses.
If Forrest Gump played baseball
Highlight of the baseball Halloween game! Run Forrest Run!!!!! pic.twitter.com/dTTHCr0MVK— TJC Apache Athletics (@ApacheAthletics) October 23, 2019
Around the horn
Want the next Gerrit Cole? It might be this guy. The president who hated baseball. Boston Red Sox hire Chaim Bloom as head of baseball operations. Joe West sues over claims he expanded the strike zone for borrowing a pitcher’s car.