After taking a 95 mph fastball to the left wrist last Thursday night from Kansas City Royals starter Jorge Lopez, a CT scan revealed a fracture the next day, effectively ending JaCoby Jones’ season. Originally thought only to be a bruise after initial x-rays returned negative, the athletic outfielder now faces at least six weeks of recovery time from the injury.
However, just because the void has opened in Comerica’s vast centerfield does not necessarily mean that Jones is out of the job. Or does it? On Tuesday, manager Ron Gardenhire was quoted in saying, “People are here to take his place. That’s what baseball does. It’s always here to take your place.” He then went on to somewhat contradict what he had said earlier.
“Somebody’s going to have to come knock him out of there. Unfortunately, he got hurt. We have people that are coming, we have outfielders that are coming so that’s why, like I said, he’s gotta cut down on strikeouts and he’s gotta get consistent with his at-bats. … You have to maintain it. I thought he did enough this year.”
From the sounds of it, Jones’ job as the Tigers’ center fielder is secure for now, as long as he has no long-term complications from his most recent injury. But what threatens his spot on the 25-man roster even more is his mercurial nature, both at the plate and in the field. The past couple of seasons have seen more than their share of Jekyll and Hyde transitions, ranging from red-hot at the plate and providing highlight reel catches in the field to ice-cold stretches with the bat and some boneheaded blunders with the glove.
The best case scenario is that at least one of the kids on the farm — be it Daz Cameron, Jacob Robson or even Derek Hill — gives Jones a run for his money and challenges him for the spot next spring. While his high times have been fun, the low times have been too frequent for a starter, and he would most likely be a bench player on a contending team.
Riley Greene out to a fast start
Speaking of the future, Detroit Tigers’ fifth selection in the 2019 amateur draft Riley Greene has started off his pro career on fire, and continued his torrid pace with the Low-A West Michigan Whitecaps. This article from MLB Pipeline has the recently graduated high schooler ranked third among first-round hitters, hitting .303/.383/.465 in 37 games so far in his nascent professional career. His previous team’s manager also had some great things to say about him as well.
Brayan Pena @cuban2727, who was manager of 2019 #Tigers 1st-rounder Riley Greene while Greene was w/ the Connecticut Tigers (short-season Class A), had this to say about Greene: "Greene is a born leader, an excellent human being and the sky is the limit for him."@DetroitPodcast— Vito Chirco (@VitoJerome) August 12, 2019
Blaine Hardy is also done for the season
Blaine Hardy, a consummate professional who has served as a swingman pitcher for the Tigers the past six years, has likely thrown his last pitch for the 2019 season. After being optioned to Triple-A after some recently underwhelming performances, it appears he was dealing with some issue with his throwing arm. After getting a second opinion from the infamous Dr. James Andrews, it seems the year is over for the persistent southpaw.
The good news for Blaine Hardy is that while his season is likely over, he does not need surgery.— Jason Beck (@beckjason) August 13, 2019
The finer details are covered in this article by our own Rob Rogacki, but the long-story-short version is that Hardy will undergo a platelet-rich plasma injection, which is still a bit on the cutting edge of sports medicine as its efficacy has not been fully demonstrated. The general logic behind the decision is very likely to avoid surgery, if at all possible, and to be fully ready for spring training next year. Many of us among the fanbase will be rooting for him in his recovery.
Tigers telecasters rank poorly
According to Awful Announcing, the Tigers’ television announcers rank No. 28 among major league baseball broadcast crews. The group was graded based primarily on the performances of Matt Shepard, Jack Morris, and Kirk Gibson, though there is not much of an explanation for the placement other than the “most popular grade” — which in this case was a ‘C’ cast by over 35 percent of the voters.
The full data can be found here if one is so inclined, but confirmation bias aside, these results do not come as much of a surprise to the fanbase. If it is any consolation, the No. 29 Pittsburgh Pirates crew had a “most popular grade” of ‘F’ coming from 31 percent of respondents, and the St. Louis Cardinals, who were one spot ahead, got the ‘C’ grade from just under 27 percent of voters. Still, the Tigers’ TV broadcast lineup is simply, “Not great, Bob!”
It has been over five years since the Flint, Mich. water crisis officially began. In his short time with the Tigers these past two seasons, Niko Goodrum has made tremendous efforts to help those still in need in that troubled town, and this time he got a lot of help from his teammates. Even in a season as difficult to watch as this one has, off-the-field actions like these are what keep our community together.
This morning Niko Goodrum & Dave Clark joined volunteers from @UWGeneseeCo & @foodbankemich to distribute bottled water to Flint residents.— Detroit Tigers Foundation (@TigersCommunity) August 13, 2019
Donations from Niko, @mattboyd48, @gordonbeckham, @jordy_mercer & @MiguelCabrera sponsored over 3,000 cases of water. #BiggerThanBaseball pic.twitter.com/MhJXtSblVu
Around the horn
Detroit Tigers public address announcer Jay Allen is fighting cancer. Detroit Free Press newsletter: one man’s “replacement-level” is another man’s “vintage”. Why 1968 Tigers reserve Wayne Comer still receives fan mail every day. The Twins tumble out of first place. An oral history of the 1994 strike. If everything goes to plan: can the best player development teams fix everyone? Eno Saris discusses what makes a slider good. On attacking the first-pitch strike. Baseball’s 20-something sluggers are saving the sport.
Baseball is awesome: Kinsler Kurveball edition
He also cranked a two-run home run in the ninth inning.