All hail Brandon of house Dixon, slayer of Royals, ruler of left field, destroyer of hanging breaking balls, first of his name. Just when you thought another improbably great start from Spencer Turnbull might be ruined, young Brandon Dixon came in and salvaged a win to give the Tigers a weekend series victory to bring them within a game of .500.
As we await the Tuesday series against the Los Angeles Angels, let’s get a look at the relevant Tigers news around the interwebs.
Who’s to blame?
Miguel Cabrera’s bat is starting to come around... kind of. While his batting average is creeping up to .300, his OPS still stands at a pretty mediocre (for him) .724. This, Cabrera lays on the hands of the lineup. When asked why he’s not hitting for power, he simply pointed to the rest of the lineup, indicating that he isn’t seeing good pitches because he doesn’t have a thumper hitting behind him.
“You know who’s hitting behind me right now? That’s a big difference, too,” Cabrera told the newspaper. “How am I going to hit 40 home runs? In the past, I got Prince Fielder, Victor Martinez, Jhonny Peralta. I got a big bat behind me. You see the way guys pitch me? That explains everything.”
Ron Gardenhire referred to Cabrera’s comment as being “a little crazy”. I just hope he hasn’t hurt Niko Goodrum’s feelings.
Breaking news: slumps suck
For all his ability in center field, JaCoby Jones is currently a liability at the plate. His current slump has him hitting .148 with a .454 OPS. Striking out over a third of the time he comes to the plate isn’t helping much either.
In a recent interview, Jones discussed the changes he has made to try and improve, and acknowledges the blatantly obvious: it sucks to not be able to contribute offensively.
MLB.com has put together a list of 11 players who have exceeded expectations to start the 2019 season. Two Tigers make the list in Matthew Boyd and Shane Greene. I would have put money on Spencer Turnbull, but I’m not going to complain.
David Laurila of FanGraphs recently asked Grayson Greiner to compare the first two home runs of his major league career, and Greiner gave a solid explanation as to why the similarities between the two situations are why he was able to net the same results. Greiner has since added a third to the total. While his numbers on the offensive side leave a fair bit to be desired at this stage of the season, there is hope that he finds a little pop in his bat. That’s all that he needs to do.
Bojarski’s big stick
Australian prospect Ulrich Bojarski wields some big lumber. It’s hard to say if he owes any of it to the fact that he used a wood bat in high school when everyone else was using metal. Wherever it comes from, he is seen organization-wide as possessing one of the most powerful swings among Tigers prospects. When talking about his power, Whitecaps hitting coach John Vander Wal mentions names like Barry Bonds and Jose Canseco... which seems far-fetched.
While Bojarski isn’t a known quantity in the prospect world, his bat is certainly making enough noise.
Eduardo had a dream
With just 13 innings pitched above A-ball, Eduardo Jimenez probably didn’t expect to be in Detroit in early May. But with the departure of Drew VerHagen, Jimenez finds himself a member of a major league bullpen. Chris McCosky of The Detroit News shares the story of how Jimenez got to where he is today.
We’re roughly a month away from the draft. The early consensus is that the Tigers are going to be looking to take a position player with the fifth overall pick. This would be a move that would shock me to my core, seeing as this is an organization with a penchant for hard throwing righthanders from southern schools.