This hasn’t been a good week for the Detroit Tigers in terms of injuries. Other teams have greater cause for complaint, but the Tigers now have two notable pieces in their 2022 plans out for the long haul in Spencer Turnbull and Jake Rogers. The young Tigers’ backstop underwent UCL replacement on Wednesday, and is most likely out for the entirety of the 2022 season.
They got some more bad news on Friday. Matthew Boyd was scheduled to make his third start since his return from the injured list for elbow soreness, but was scratched prior to game time. The elbow pain and inflammation has persisted, and we can assume Boyd is probably done for the season. The Tigers will have him re-evaluated, but the pattern is obviously pretty ominous.
Perhaps this won’t end with Tommy John surgery, but right now the likelihood that we’ve seen the last of Boyd in a Tigers’ uniform feels uncomfortably high. He was off to a nice start through 12 starts, and we really would have liked to see if he and Chris Fetter could continue to tune his stuff and his approach. We’ll hope for the best, particularly as Boyd is such an easy guy to root for, but he’s headed for his last arbitration year prior to free agency and is likely due $9-10M. A serious issue in the elbow presumably means he won’t be tendered a contract.
Miguel Cabrera is so hot right now
With the 500 home run mark achieved, attention around Miguel Cabrera has now shifted to the chase for 3000 hits and 600 doubles. He would be only the third hitter in history to reach all three marks. However, baseball, and Cabrera, can always surprise you. Over the past three games, Cabrera got a hit in nine consecutive plate appearances, the longest stretch of his career, and the longest such streak in over 50 years by any Tigers’ hitter.
MLB Film Room put together a supercut for our enjoyment. Look at these swings. We don’t see the power enough these days but Miggy remains one of the most beautiful pure hitters we’ve ever seen in the game. I do not expect to see a better Tigers’ hitter in my lifetime.
Shohei Ohtani is the best thing in sports
Likely the greatest single season by any baseball player in history continues to unfold with the Los Angeles Angels. Shohei Ohtani drilled his 44th home run against the Houston Astros on Friday night. That leads the major leagues, while his 154 wRC+ is fifth best in the game. He also holds a 2.97 ERA through 20 starts. Oh and he has 23 stolen bases for crying out loud.
As for the rest of the best in the game, MLB also has a compilation of the top 25 plays around the league in August.
Friday night we also got this kid emulating Craig Kimbrel at the Chicago White Sox-Boston Red Sox game on Friday night. He’s got it down. Good intensity as well. Tell you the truth, you might catch me doing something similar in the living room during a game.
It’s pretty hard for a Detroit Tigers fan to enjoy Mr. Kimbrel’s presence on the South Side. We can perhaps still appreciate him as one of the all-time great relievers, still in his prime, and continuing the long and glorious tradition of distinctive reliever deliveries. Opposing fans have had a lot of fun over the years mocking Kimbrel’s stance as he looks in for the sign. Their teams have had zero fun against him.
Around the horn
Matt Snyder at CBS Sports breaks down the Cy Young races, and the odds that Max Scherzer and Robbie Ray’s late runs will get them the hardware. Sean Nolin, lefty reliever for the Washington Nationals, was fined and suspended five games for intentionally hitting Freddie Freeman on Wednesday night.
Dan Szymborski at FanGraphs takes a look at Freddie Freeman, possible free agent. Kevin Goldstein tries to unpack the Tampa Bay Ray weird ability to absorb injuries, deal talent away to restock the farm, and not miss a beat. Emma Baccallieri for Sports Illustrated looks at Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s brilliant, potential Triple Crown season and why it still won’t win him an MVP award in the year of Ohtani.
The race for second place in the AL East and a wild card spot has been an absolute rollercoaster.
I think people see this and go, how could TOR go from 5% to 50% in two weeks, these things are broken!— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) September 10, 2021
Well, ask yourself two weeks ago how likely you'd have thought the Jays would win 11 of 12 while NY lost 10 of 12? I think this accurately shows how nuts that is. https://t.co/3zOSssgonA
Heal quickly Jake!
Bally Sports Detroit put together a little three-part biopic on commentator and former Tigers’ starter Dan Petry. Hearing the stories of guys who weren’t stars, but became valuable major leaguers who put together fine careers is always interesting. As someone who was 10 years old for the 1984 World Series team, Petry was always a low-key favorite and its been nice having him back in the Tigers fold as part of the television broadcast.
The future is bright
Just give me that sound on repeat.
Riley Greene with a massive 2-run blast to center. This one left the bat at 109MPH and traveled 424 feet. pic.twitter.com/1EZ6I4JWQk— Tigers Minor League Report (@tigersMLreport) September 8, 2021