After a one-week hiatus involving some of the finer things northern Michigan has to offer — one of them being a lack of internet access — I have returned to the civilized world. With limited knowledge of what was going on with the Detroit Tigers I assumed it involved a fair amount of losing. I wasn’t entirely incorrect, although it would appear that a two-game winning streak was put together in my absence.
Following what was a brutal stretch that saw the team play 11 games in 10 days, the Tigers have been afforded a merciful interlude prior to the Seattle Mariners coming to town for a three game tilt. While we await the start of that series, let’s get caught up on what’s going on with the team.
Until next year, JaCoby
Following what was, by all accounts, a decidedly dismal start to the season, center fielder JaCoby Jones tweaked his approach at the plate. The results of this were positive, as he started tearing the cover off the ball. Confidence had returned to his at-bats, and it looked like we had ourselves an everyday center fielder on our hands.
That’s what makes this (likely) season-ending wrist injury so frustrating for Jones. As he deals with that, the good news is that the training staff doesn’t anticipate the injury having any lasting effect on JaCoby’s ability to pick up where he left off once it heals.
The ascent of Riley
Between the trade deadline and recent injuries, the reasons to be engaged with the organization at the major league level have been disappearing like Avengers at the end of Infinity War. Bright spots are more likely to be found at the lower organizational levels, and one of those bright spots is outfielder Riley Greene. Greene has been performing quite well in his short time in the organization. So well, in fact, that early last week he was given the news — by Connecticut Tigers Manager and one of our all time favorites, Brayan Pena— that he would be movin’ on up to West Michigan.
So far, Greene is handling his business for the Whitecaps, as he has at all three levels he has played at in his short career. He has tuned up pitching everywhere he faces it, but his defensive play may be what has the organization the most excited. They are giving him the chance to show that he can handle center field, and so far he’s doing just that.
Royals ahead of Detroit on and off the field?
Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press continues his criticism of the current front office in his most recent article where he opines on the Kansas City Royals and their dominance of Detroit on the field and in the rebuilding process. While acknowledging the different challenges facing the two organizations, Fenech points out what the Royals have done well, and that is develop a “championship core of young players.” That is a position this Detroit organization — in his opinion — has yet to reach.
It would appear this is a tale of two approaches. The Tigers are relying on developing pitching while the Royals have focused on bats and have more recently drafted college-level pitchers who are more polished and further down the road toward being major league ready. Fenech believes that while the Royals may not have as high a caliber of pitching talent, they will nonetheless have pitchers ready to hit the majors at the same time as Detroit, and they will already have the offense that the Tigers are waiting on.
If you want to sit in a dark room and cover yourself with a big heavy blanket of sad, this Chris McCosky article in the Detroit News should do the trick. McCosky considers the idea that we might be watching a team of destiny. The kind you don’t like.
Is there a legitimate chance that this is the worst team in the history of Major League Baseball? We’ve all been watching (mostly) and I think anyone who has been paying any kind of attention would not have a problem saying yes. McCosky goes on to explain that this is the natural course of a total destruction before a rebuild and it’s expected and blah blah blah. That’s the way it is, but it’s not the way it had to be.
Blaine Hardy to have elbow examined
It’s those three little words no pitcher ever likes to hear: Doctor James Andrews. For reliever Blaine Hardy, it would seem that after a decent stretch of chugging along, the Blaine train is experiencing some mechanical difficulties. Hardy has pitched most of the season with elbow inflammation which robbed him of his ability to utilize one of his most effective pitches, and it seems to have caught up to him in an unfortunate way. If major surgery is required, it could jeopardize Hardy’s career. I think it’s fair to say that no one wants to see that. I know I’m not alone when I say that we are all hoping we see Hardy back on the mound for the Tigers doing what he loves.
Baseball is a battle for last place
Showing Delmon Young a thing or two about throwing baseballs poorly.
The Baltimore Orioles, 2019: pic.twitter.com/ardpuZbmKR— Connor Newcomb (@ConnorNewcomb_) August 11, 2019
Around the horn
How the new ball being used at Triple-A has effected how scouts evaluate raw power. Katelyn Davis chased a dream to Washington. Each teams position player who needs to pitch — spoiler: it’s Miguel Cabrera. Baseball’s future: Declining attendance and shrinking stadiums.