It is a tough time of year for Tigers fans — the summer heat has become unbearable, as has the product the club has put on the field these past few months. To add insult to injury, the Motor City Kitties have dropped 11 in a row to their intradivision rivals from the city of burning rivers and are currently 11⁄2 games out of “first place” for the top pick in the 2020 amateur draft, just behind the Baltimore Orioles.
Not to sound like a broken record, but there is not much else to get excited about these days Detroit baseball-wise other than the trade deadline and the rising prospects. At least manager Ron Gardenhire is keeping it cool. Right? Riiiiiight.
Ron Gardenhire is not fretting about the trade deadline
Despite the trade rumors swirling around the clubhouse, Ron Gardenhire is keeping his head clear and focused on what he has control over. What he does not have control over are the decisions made by general manager Al Avila and the rest of the front office over the next two weeks as the team approaches the trade deadline.
The backbone of Gardy’s calm demeanor is his trust in Avila’s decision-making. He was quoted in saying in regards to Matthew Boyd:
I know Al’s not going to just give anybody away... We’re going to get people back. That’s part of this build. We don’t have to trade him. Boyd is under control (for three more years). He’s got a really good pitcher here and I know he’s very cognizant of that. If we could load up on position players, or something like that, I think he’d do it. But it’s going to have to be a good package.
Gardenhire acknowledged the intangibles that Boyd brings to the club, especially in the form of leadership, and believes that the front office knows what they are doing in dangling Boyd out on the market. If they do not get a good enough offer, the lefty hurler could provide some much-needed clubhouse stability over the next few years.
Nicholas Castellanos’ trade value is rising
While it appears both by the eye test and through standard metrics that Nicholas Castellanos is having an underwhelming 2019 campaign heading into free agency, he just may be trending back in the right direction in recent days. Mind you, he does lead the majors with 32 doubles so the baseline has still been there, but he has shown a bit more pop in his last few games much to the relief of the fanbase and the team management.
The problem is while his defensive metrics have improved, he is still quite the cumbersome glove out in right field, and his bat just is not making up for that deficiency sufficiently as demonstrated by his current 1.3 fWAR. However, it appears that Castellanos is playing a bit looser and is showing some signs of enjoying the game, which seems to correlate directly with his offensive production. Hopefully this latest upswing can add a little bit of value to the Tigers’ former top position player prospect and help provide a more appreciable return in a potential trade.
Top 30 Tigers prospects: a midseason review
Not only is it the heart of the trade season, it’s also that time of year when everyone and their grandfather puts together their mid-season rankings for prospects. Emily Waldon over at The Athletic has published her updated top 30 prospect list, with a lot of player rankings right where one would expect, but a few controversial ones as well.
The top of the list features the usual suspects in a familiar order: Casey Mize, Matt Manning, Riley Greene, Daz Cameron and Isaac Paredes leading off the top five. After that, things get a bit interesting. There are a lot of similarities between our in-house rankings here at Bless You Boys and Ms. Waldon’s, but there are plenty of discrepancies as well.
Around the horn
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