Hello, and happy Monday. After a Saturday rain out and a Sunday start from Daniel Norris that was supported by just enough offense for the bullpen to not give it away, the Tigers exited the weekend with a series win over the Chicago White Sox and a return to .500. As the team prepares for a substantial road trip that will take them to Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia, we take a look at what’s going on around TigerTown.
Norris makes his case
The talent has never been in question for starting pitcher Daniel Norris; it’s the realization of that talent that has. All jokes regarding what artisan coffee he drinks on the way to the dojo for offseason taekwondo training aside, he has shown flashes of talent that are maddeningly promising, only to drift back into a mode of operation that leaves one to believe he has little idea where the ball is going to go with any given pitch. Jules Posner of Forbes believes this latest chance may be Norris’s last to prove he can harness that talent. Daniel’s mechanics and lack of a consistent role have not been helpful to this point, but there is hope that he can pull it together.
Sundays start is a strong step in the right direction. For the first time since 2017, Daniel Norris got a win, and he did so pitching five scoreless innings with six strikeouts. Let’s hope he can find some consistency.
Agent of change
After spending the entirety of his career with the same agent, Nicholas Castellanos has decided to hitch his wagon to a new horse. While this might seem like a promising move that may bring some kind of resolution to a possible extension of his contract, the thing to keep in mind here is that the horse Castellanos has hitched himself to is Scott Boras, a horse that eats money and shits player friendly multi-year deals. If that extension happens, it most likely just got more expensive.
Take it slow, Joe
Reliever Joe Jimenez has not had the most promising start to the 2019 campaign. After another rough eighth inning appearance last week, the team decided to walk him back a bit and let him figure some things out in a lower leverage situation. For what it’s worth, Joe feels good, but John Hicks reported that he thought Jimenez was working too fast in his last outing. Jimenez has been working with the staff and has pinpointed a few things to focus on. To his credit, he’s not worried about what he is working through. He’s anxious to get back on the mound, work through his difficulties, and get back into that eighth inning set-up role.
Ace in the hole
With the early season-ending injuries to Matt Moore and Michael Fulmer, the Tigers have been looking for a consistent ace to emerge from the crop of hurlers operating without injury. It looks like Matthew Boyd has risen to the occasion. Through his first few starts of the season, Boyd is putting up numbers that put him among the major league leaders for starting pitching. While he was supposed to see his next start on Sunday against the White Sox, he’s seen that pushed back thanks to Saturday’s rainout.
Now looking to face the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park, Boyd’s approach changes in the fact that it’s a new team, but his overall philosophy remains constant. Flexibility is the key. Being prepared to adjust to what is working from what isn’t in any given start is what Boyd points to as a reason for his success. As for the strikeouts, he maintains that he hasn’t changed his approach from previous seasons in that regard. He’s just hitting his spots a little more.
Miggy adjusting to DH
Leading into the season Ron Gardenhire maintained that we would see Miguel Cabrera play a significant number of games at the designated hitter position. At this point in the season, that number has totaled to over half of his games. It’s an adjustment for Cabrera, who has to figure out how to stay loose and ready when he’s not seeing any time in the field. The workload is certainly leaning more DH now, but as the weather improves, we should plan to see Cabrera get more starts at first base.
Baseball is awesome
If I hit a home run, I would trot around the bases backwards firing finger guns into the crowd. As I ran down the third base line, I would pull two roman candles out of my trousers, light them, and fire them toward the opposing team’s dugout.
What I’m saying is, do what you like, Tim Anderson.
Around the horn
MLB honors Tim Anderson the same way it honored Jackie Robinson: By telling him to shut up. The latest on Vlad Jr.’s major league arrival. Six secrets you never knew were hidden inside MLB logos. Players did a little better in free agency this year than in previous years.