Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tiger Talk 7/28/11

The Tigers are currently losing 12-7 to the Angels in the 9th and a shouting match broke out on the mound between Victor Martinez and Brad Penny.

  • Lynn Henning on the Tigers central division grit
  • The Bleacher Report has 5 lingering questions for the Tigers
  • Ken Rosenthal reports the Reds are shopping Edinson Volquez and the Tigers as an interested team
  • MLB Trade Rumors list the pitchers the Tigers remain intersted in
  • If your an ESPN Insider, check out the article on why a few of the Tigers players believe JV should win the Cy Young
Trade Watch
  • You probably heard by now but the Giants acquired Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran
  • The Indians trade two prospects for Kosuke Fukudome
  • A three team trade between the Blue Jays, Cardinals, and White Sox send Edwin Jackson to the Cards, prospects to the Sox, and Colby Rasmus to the Jays.

Series Preview: Los Angeles Angels (57-48, 2 GB) vs. Detroit Tigers (55-49, 2 GA)

Series Preview: Los Angeles Angels (57-48, 2 GB) vs. Detroit Tigers (55-49, 2 GA)
The Angels are picking it up as of late, gaining ground on division leading Texas by winning their last 2 and 6 of their last 10. Yesterday Ervin Santana no-hit the Indians to lock up that series win (Thank you!) but now come in to Detroit for a four game series against a Tigers team who struggled against the Sox. Make sure to clear your schedules for Sunday's matchup of Cy Young contenders Justin Verlander and Jered Weaver toeing the slab and be sure to keep an eye on Mike Trout in the outfield; Trout was the #2 rated prospect in the Pepper Top 100 Prospects for 2011 and is just 19-years old. The Angels are one of the more complete teams in the American League where they have winning records both at home (28-23) and on the road (29-25) as well as a +23 run differential. 

The Tigers staff threw pretty well against Chicago the last couple of days and if it wasn’t for playing the in the bandbox that is U.S. Cellular might have had a few less runs scored against them but that’s how it goes. Detroit remains the only division leading team with a negative run differential (-8) and the AL Central only has one team with a positive run differential (the White Sox +1). The Tigers have played well at home where they are 29-22 but take out the wins vs. the AL Central and they are 17-16. One thing is clear, if you take out the AL East, the Tigers have the 2nd most potent offense (runs scored) in the AL and the 2nd worst pitching staff as far as run allowed.

Pitching Matchup @ Comerica Park
Thursday/1:05 – Joel Pineiro (5-5, 4.61 ERA) vs. Brad Penny (7-7, 4.51 ERA)
Friday/7:05 – Tyler Chatwood (6-6, 3.64 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (10-6, 4.67 ERA)
Saturday/4:10 –Dan Haren (10-6, 3.01 ERA) vs. Duane Below (0-1, 4.66 ERA)
Sunday/1:05 – Jered Weaver (14-4, 1.79 ERA) vs. Justin Verlander (14-5, 2.34 ERA)
Season Series: Angels lead series 2-1
Cleveland’s Opponent: 3 vs. Kansas City Royals

Comerica Park
Who to Watch (Los Angeles/Last 7 Days)
  1. Howard Kendrick, 2B – Kendrick had a resurgence this year and continued this past week hitting .438 in 5 games with 7 hits including a double and 5 runs scored.
  2. Jered Weaver, SP – Weaver continues his bid for the Cy Young picking up 2 wins in the last 7 days and allowing 1 run in 14 innings of work (0.64 ERA) and struck out 11 while walking 4.
  3. Dan Haren, SP – Haren 3 hit the Indians for a victory, allowing a run and striking out 10 in 7.2 innings.
Who Not to Watch (Los Angeles)
  1. Jeff Mathis, C – Mathis, picking up most of the time at catcher these days added only 1 hit this past week to his season totals good for a .077 batting average.
  2. Mark Trumbo, 1B – The power hitting rookie is scuffling a bit lately where he had just 3 hits (.133 avg) including a double but did knock in 4 runs.
  3. Jordan Walden, CP – Walden has blown 7 saves this season including 1 this past week against the Indians. In Jordan’s 2.1 innings of work in the past week, he’s allowed 2 runs for a 7.71 ERA and .455 batting average against.
Who to Watch (Detroit)
  1. Jhonny Peralta, SS – Peralta remains hot hitting .407 in the last 7 days with 2 home runs and 10 runs batted in and 3 more doubles.
  2. Miguel Cabrera, 1B – Miggy hit .346 the past week with a home run on Tuesday and drove in 4 runs in 7 games.
  3. Justin Verlander, SP – JV picked up 2 wins in the past week beating both the White Sox and Twins, allowing 5 runs in 16 innings (2.81 ERA) and striking out 16.
Who Not to Watch (Detroit)
  1. Brennan Boesch, OF – Brennan has a homerun in the past week but that’s about it, carrying a .208 average and only 4 singles to go with the dinger
  2. Carlos Guillen, 2B – Guillen’s bat cooled off quite a bit in the series vs. the White Sox and is now hitting just .227 over the past week with no extra base hits.
  3. Duane Below, SP – The rookie was hit around in his last outing exiting the game in the 4th (4.2 pitched) allowing 4 runs giving him a 7.71 ERA and only striking out 1.
Series Prediction: Angels win 3 games to 1
Next Series: 3 vs. Texas Rangers

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tiger Talk 7/27/11

Aren't you glad we have Justin Verlander?  Tigers are again 2 games up as the Indians lose. 

Tigers -, Indians -2, White Sox -4.5, Twins -7, Royals -12

  • This was destined to happen.  Brandon Inge's stat line from first game with the Toledo Mud Hens: 3-4, Double, Home run, 4 RBI.  He'll probably get brought back up at some point and suck all over again.  Fun.
  • Uni Watch remembers the Turn Ahead The Clock MLB promotion from 1999.  Here were the Tiger's jerseys that they wore twice:

  • Braves and Pirates ended a 19 inning affair like this (YouTube video below) Yes, the ball is in the catchers glove.  Yes, he is no where near home plate.  Yes, the umpire is right on top of the play.  Yes, he called him safe. Braves Win.  As Tigers fans we would burn something (proudly) if we lost a game this way.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tiger Talk 7/26/11

After the loss last night to the White Sox this is where we stand:  Tigers -, Indians -1, White Sox -3.5, Twins - 7, Royals - 11.
  • Stealing home is one of the coolest plays in sports.  This isn't a straight steal of home by Padres Chris Denorfia, but still pretty cool.
  • Not a great debut by Chance Ruffin.  In 1 2/3 innings he gave up 2 home runs.
  • Anyone who has ever pitched a baseball, ever, is rumored to be acquired by the Tigers at the trade deadline.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tiger Talk 7/25/11

The Tigers take 3 of 4 from the Twins and now have their largest lead of the season in the A.L. Central, 2 games over Cleveland.  The White Sox are 4.5 games back of the Tigers, and taking the series from the pale hose could be important by knocking them further down the standings, right before the trade deadline.
  • From MLB Trade Rumors:  The Tigers could be the favorites to trade for Hiroki Kuroda and not have to give up Jacob Turner, Andy Oliver, or Nick Castellanos.
  • Add Derek Lowe to the list of pitchers the Tigers are interested in.  Add that to MLB Trade Rumors list of Ubaldo Jimenez, Aaron Harang, Jeremy Guthrie, and Jason Marquis
  • The Tigers are calling up 2010 draft pick RP Chance Ruffin to take a spot in the bull-pen.
  • Hall of Fame weekend is tough for Tiger fans, here more discussion on 1980's MLB starts who haven't received enough consideration for the Hall. 
  • Lynn Henning on why the Tigers will pay heavily for a pitcher before the trade deadline
  • Duane Below's settled down and ready for his next start (tonight)
  • Clear your schedule Sunday as we could see a potential Cy Young matchup between JV and Jered Weaver
  • The Bleacher Report on if the Tigres will make a trade for a starter at the deadline
  • The Tigers jump up 4 spots to 9th in this weeks ESPN Power Rankings
  • Interesting evidence that Hank Greenburg's 183 RBI in 1937 was actually 184 RBI.  That would tie him for the single season record currently held by Lou Gehrig (184 RBI, 1931).  It would be nice to see the name of a Tiger on the top of such a historic record.

Series Preview: Detroit Tigers (54-47, 2 GA) vs. Chicago White Sox (49-51, 4.5 GB)

Series Preview: Detroit Tigers (54-47, 2 GA) vs. Chicago White Sox (49-51, 4.5 GB)
The Sox just won’t go away but did help the Tigers out taking 2 of 3 from the Indians this past weekend but make it quite baffling understanding how when they hit just .194 in last 7 days and scored only 15 runs. The Sox are 6-4 in their last 10 and but play under .500 ball at home with a 21-25 record at U.S. Cellular and carry a -2 run differential.
Detroit is coming of a 4 game series victory against the Twins and increasing their division lead to the biggest of the season at two games. Like Chicago, Detroit is 6-4 in their last 10 and have not gotten their road record up to .500 (25-25). Detroit’s -5 run differential is the only negative by any team in the Majors that’s leading their divisions (next closest Pittsburgh +4, most Boston +127)

Pitching Matchup @ U.S. Cellular Field
Monday/8:10 - Duane Below (0-0, 1.80 ERA) vs. Mark Buehrle (7-5, 3.38 ERA)
Tuesday/8:10 - Justin Verlander (13-5, 2.24 ERA) vs. Jake Peavy (4-4, 5.19 ERA)
Wednesday/2:10 – Max Scherzer (11-5, 4.35 ERA) vs. John Danks (3-8, 3.92 ERA)
Season Series: Detroit leads 6-3
Indians Schedule: 3 vs. Los Angeles Angels

U.S. Cellular Field
Who to Watch (Chicago/Last 7 Games)
  1. Carlos Quentin, OF – Quentin hit .350 over the past week and accounted for 5 of the teams 13 runs batted in for that span. Of Carlos’s 7 hits, 2 left the yard.
  2. Juan Pierre, OF – Pierre hit a double and triple on his way to a .300 average over the past 7 days and scored 3 of Sox 15 runs.
  3. John Danks, SP – Danks shutout the Royals for 7 innings, picking up the win and striking out six.
Who Not to Watch (Chicago)
  1. Paul Konerko, 1B – Konerko seems to be effected by the All-Star break, hitting .111 with 2 hits in 18 at bats and just two runs batted in.
  2. Gordon Beckham, 2B – Beckham hit .143 this week with just two hits in 14 at bats with one runs scored and one run driven in.
  3. Jake Peavy, SP – Peavy, not entirely back from arm surgery gave up 3 runs in 6 innings (4.50 ERA) while striking out 5 and walking 1.
Who to Watch (Detroit)
  1. Jhonny Peralta, SS – Peralta was on fire this past week hitting .444 with 2 home runs and 9 RBI vs. division rivals Chicago and Minnesota. To go along with his 2 homers, Jhonny also had 3 doubles.
  2. Carlos Guillen, 2B – Guillen’s come back from injury is amazing to me as I had expected nothing from him, but he’s stinging the ball right now hitting .389 over 5 games with a home run and 5 RBI. WELCOME BACK CARLOS!!
  3. Justin Verlander, SP – Verlander bounced back nicely vs. Minnesota after giving up 5 earned in his previous start against the pale hose. JV pitched 8 strong innings striking out 9 and allowing one earned.
Who Not to Watch (Detroit)
  1. Alex Avila, C – I think we’re all waiting for a prolonged slump out of Alex and mid-summer it can be expected as the heat and length of the season takes its toll on a catcher. Over the last week Alex hit .125 with just 2 hits. Let’s hope he can get back on track soon.
  2. Austin Jackson, OF – Ajax has struggled to hit consistently this year and seems to be in a slump once again with just 5 hits in 23 at bats (.217).
  3. David Purcey, RP – Purcey walked the bases loaded against the Sox and Benoit let ‘em score. In the end, Purcey was tagged for 3 runs in two-thirds of an inning this past week, good for a 40.50 ERA.
Prediction: Tigers win series 2-1
Next Series: 4 vs. Los Angeles Angels

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tiger Talk - 7/22/11 - Weekend Edition

This is getting exhausting.  The Tigers up a half a game on the Cleveland Indians in the A.L. Central.
  • The Tigers take an important game from the Minnesota Twins.  The Twins have been surging lately, and taking 3 of 4 game from them this series would go a long way to knocking them back down the standings.
  • Career options for Brandon if he doesn't make it back to the Tigers, and do have to say he handled this all very professionally and gained my respect in that manner as he could have taken his $8m+ owed to him and walked.
  • If you're an ESPN Insider, check out the profile on Jacob Turner as part of the series Top 11 for '11
  • A statiscian is claiming that Harmon Killebrew should share RBI mark with Lou gerhig
  • Wilson Betemit choose a new number with the Tigers, #20.  He also went 1-4 in his debut. 
 Wilson Betemit #20 Of The Detroit Tigers Hits

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tiger Talk 7/21/11 - New Third Sacker Edition

The Tigers lose 7-5 to the A's, but Indians also lose, so both are still tied atop the A.L. Central.
  • After trading for a third baseman, and DFA'ing Brandon Inge, the next move for the Tigers will be to acquire a starting pitcher.
  • The Tigers were rather high on David Purcey when they acquired him from the A's for Scott Sizemore, but so far he sucks.  Thankfully my house was without power last night (okay, not thankfully) and I wasn't able to see Purcey walk the bases loaded.
  • Wilson Betemit should make his debut tonight against the Twins.  No word yet on which number he will wear.  He was wearing 24 with the Royals but Miguel Cabrera wears the number for the Tigers.  In his career Betemit has worn these numbers:  30 & 24 (Braves), 10 (Blue Jays), 14 (Yankees), 15 (White Sox), 46 & 24 (Royals). 
  • ESPN's Jerry Crasnick on Alex Avila's big step forward
  • Betemit trade shows Tigers win now mantra
  • The Tigers have announced the Wilson Betemit will hit 9th tonight against the Twins

Tigers Trade For Betemit, Inge Accepts Triple-A Assignment

As announced late in the afternoon yesterday, the Detroit Tigers traded two minor league players for Kansas City third baseman Wilson Betemit.  At the press conference announcing the trade, Double D announce that Betemit will immediately replace Brandon as the starting third baseman and Don Kelly will be his back up leaving Inge as the odd man out and the media and fans speculating the Inge would be released. 

After the loss to Oakland last night, the Tigers than announced that Brandon Inge would accept the reassignment to Triple-A Toledo if he clears waivers.  Inge had the right to decline and be released.

Betemit,  a switch-hitter was hitting .281 on the year with 3 homers and 27 runs driven in but saw his playing time dwindle when the Royals decided to start their youth movement and called up Mike Moustakas to start at third.  Betemit, 29 has played in the Majors for 9 seasons and will be a free agent after the season.

The Tigers gave up left hander Antonio Cruz and catcher Julio Rodriguez, neither of which were on Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects for the Tigers at the beginning of the season.

From my perspective, this is a good trade in value as Betemit is not a sexy name but he'll hit .270 or better at the bottom of the order and offers a bat from both sides of the plate and offers a solid glove at third.

ESPN offers more on the prospects traded below

Julio Rodriguez, C, age 21
"Rodriguez was the key to the deal for the Royals. He is a catch-and-throw type catcher who was an All-Star last year in the short-season Class A NY-Penn League and an All-Star this year in the high Class A Florida State League. He hit .283 for Lakeland but had just one home run. He has a strong arm behind the plate but is not always accurate, and he has thrown out 34 percent of runners trying to steal this year. His bat is the question and he profiles out to be a bottom-of-the-order hitter. However, acquiring a catcher with his defensive chops is always a worthwhile gamble because if he hits, he’ll play in the show.

Antonio Cruz, LHP, age 19
Cruz throws the ball 88-91 from the left side with a slurve-type breaking ball and a developing changeup. In a deal like this, he’s a good throw-in because he’s left-handed and only 19 years old. He posted a 3.11 ERA and 1.27 WHIP for West Michigan of the low Class A Midwest League while striking out 6.9 men per nine innings. He’s a borderline prospect."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tiger Talk 7/20/11

Tigers handle biz-nass vs. the Athletics, back in a tie for 1st place with the Indians.
  • It's nice to have Carlos Guillen back.  He looks healthy and hit a 2 run homer last night.
  • Now the Tiger's just need a third basemen.  Don Kelly is in the line-up tonight against the A's.
  • Rick Porcello hit Scott Sizemore in the face with a pitch. That will teach him to not get traded from the Tigers.
  • If you're a Brandon Inge hater and are on Facebook you may want to check out the group: Brandon Inge's Magical .100 or Less Season
  • A lot of high hopes for small town Michigan kid Duane Below who's making his Major League debut tonight.
  • A proposed moratorium on the John Smoltz trade comparisons
  • The Bleacher Report explores Tigers trade options from laughable to possible
  • Victor Martinez made the number one spot on ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays with this nifty slide...
The Tigers' Victor Martinez looks up to see the call after he dove back to touch home plate, beating the tag of Oakland catcher Kurt Suzuki. Martinez went around the bag, then reached in to touch the plate. The call was disputed by Oakland interim manager Bob Melvin.

"Mid-way" Check On 2011 Pepper Blogger Predictions


Who Would Have Guessed the Pirates Would Be In First Place?
Back in early April, the Pepper Bloggers (sorry Carl) made predictions on division and award winners, lets check in just after the half way point in the season to see how they’re fairing…

NL East
Voss: Philadelphia Phillies
DeMarco: Atlanta Braves
Kay: Philadelphia Phillies
Mid-Season Leader: Phillies lead Braves by 3.5 games

NL Central
Voss: St. Louis Cardinals
DeMarco: Chicago Cubs
Kay: Milwaukee Brewers
Mid-Season Leader: Pittsburgh Pirates lead Milwaukee by .5 games. Cardinals are 1.5 out and Cubs are 13.5 back

NL West
Voss: Colorado Rockies
DeMarco: San Francisco Giants
Kay: Colorado Rockies
Mid-Season Leader: The Giants lead the D’backs by 4.5 games and Colorado by 10.5

NL Wildcard
Voss: Cincinnati Reds
DeMarco: Philadelphia Phillies
Kay: Atlanta Braves
Mid-Season Leader: The Atlanta Braves lead the Diamondbacks by 5 games

NL Pennant Winner
Voss: Phillies over Rockies
DeMarco: Braves over Giants
Kay: Phillies over Braves

NL MVP*
Voss: Albert Pujols, STL
DeMarco: Albert Pujols, STL
Kay: Troy Tulowitzki, COL
Mid-Season Leader: Prince Fielder, runner-up Matt Kemp

NL Cy Young
Voss: Roy Halladay, PHI
DeMarco: Cliff Lee, PHI
Kay: Roy Halladay, PHI
Mid-Season Leader: Cole Hamels, runner-up Roy Halladay

NL Rookie of the Year
Voss: Freddie Freeman, ATL
DeMarco: Freddie Freeman, ATL
Kay: Brandon Belt, SF
Mid-Season Leader: Danny Espinosa, runner-up Craig Kimbrel

AL East
Voss: Boston Red Sox
DeMarco: Boston Red Sox
Kay: Boston Red Sox
Mid-Season Leader: Boston leads the Yankees by 1.5 games

AL Central
Voss: Detroit Tigers
DeMarco: Detroit Tigers
Kay: Chicago White Sox
Mid-Season Leader: The Indians and Tigers are tied for first; the White Sox are 4.5 back

AL West
Voss: Oakland Athletics
DeMarco: Los Angeles Angels
Kay: Texas Rangers
Mid-Season Leader: Texas leads the Angels by 5 games

AL Wildcard
Voss: New York Yankees
DeMarco: New York Yankees
Kay: Tampa Bay Rays
Mid-Season Leader: The Yankees lead the Rays by 5.5 games

AL Pennant Winner
Voss: Red Sox over Tigers
DeMarco: Red Sox over Yankees
Kay: Red Sox over Rays

AL MVP
Voss: Carl Crawford, BOS
DeMarco: Adrian Gonzalez, BOS
Kay: Adrian Gonzalez, BOS
Mid-Season Leader: Adrian Gonzalez, runner-up Jose Bautista

AL Cy Young
Voss: Jon Lester, BOS
DeMarco: Jon Lester, BOS
Kay: Justin Verlander, DET
Mid-Season Leader: Justin Verlander, runner-up Jered Weaver

AL Rookie of the Year
Voss: Mike Moustakas. KC
DeMarco: Jeremy Hellickson, TB
Kay: Michael Pineda, SEA
Mid-Season Leader: Michael Pineda, runner-up Jeremy Hellickson

World Series Winner
Voss: Boston Red Sox over Phillies
DeMarco: Red Sox over Braves
Kay: Red Sox over Phillies

World Series MVP
Voss: Adrian Gonzalez, BOS
DeMarco: Carl Crawford, BOS
Kay: Carl Crawford, BOS


*Mid-Season award winners based on SI.com article

Making A Case For Alan Trammell – The Last 3, Plus the Next One

Now that we’ve taken a look at how Alan Trammell stacks up against other shortstops in the Hall, let’s take a look at how he stacks up against Shortstops in the Hall from his era which include Robin Yount, Cal Ripken Jr., and Ozzie Smith. Once again I am going to add Barry Larkin in as it seems he’ll be the next shortstop elected.

I took a look at standard Hall of Fame stats as well as some simple Sabermetrics and then others like awards, games played at other positions, etc. Finally I took a look at Baseball-Reference.com’s who are they most like for their career. Take a look at how Tram faired…

Batting Average
Yount - .285
Ripken - .276
Smith - .262
Average of the 3 - .274
Trammell - .285
Larkin - .295

On-Base Percentage
Yount - .346
Ripken - .340
Smith - .337
Average of the 3 - .341
Trammell - .352
Larkin - .371

Slugging Percentage
Ripken - .447
Yount - .430
Smith - .328
Average of the 3 - .402
Trammell - .415
Larkin - .444

OPS (On Base+ Slugging)
Ripken - .787
Yount - .776
Smith - .665
Average of the 3 - .743
Trammell - .767
Larkin - .815

Hits
Ripken – 3,184
Yount – 3,142
Smith – 2,460
Average of the 3 – 2,929
Trammell – 2,365
Larkin – 2,340

Home Runs
Ripken - 431
Yount - 251
Smith - 28
Average of the 3 – 237
Trammell - 185
Larkin – 198

Runs Batted In
Ripken – 1,695
Yount – 1,406
Smith – 793
Average of the 3 – 1,298
Trammell – 1,013
Larkin – 960

Runs Scored
Ripken – 1,647
Yount – 1,632
Smith – 1,257
Average of the 3 – 1,512
Trammell – 1,213
Larkin – 1,329

Stolen Bases
Smith – 580
Yount – 271
Ripken – 36
Average of the 3 – 296
Trammell – 236
Larkin – 379

WAR (Wins Above Replacement Career)
Ripken – 89.9
Yount – 76.9
Smith – 64.6
Average of the 3 – 77.1
Trammell – 66.9
Larkin – 68.9
Positions Played Elsewhere
Yount – 1,240
Ripken – 667
Smith – 0
Average of the 3 – 636
Trammell – 63
Larkin – 3

Seasons
Ripken - 21
Yount - 20
Smith - 19
Average of the 3 - 20
Trammell - 20
Larkin -19

World Series Record
Ripken - 1-0
Smith – 1-2
Yount – 0-1
Average of the 3 – 1-1
Trammell – 1-0
Larking – 1-0

Awards
Ripken – ROY, 2 MVP
Yount – 2 MVP
Smith – 13 Gold Gloves
Trammell – World Series MVP, 5 GG
Larkin – MVP, 3 GG

Player They Are Most Like For Their Career
Ripken – Dave Winfield
Robin Yount – Paul Molitor
Ozzie Smith – Luis Aparicio
Alan Trammell – Barry Larkin
Barry Larkin – Alan Trammell

Any conclusions drawn yet?

To catch up on the other Alan Trammell Hall of Fame blog entries, click here

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tiger Talk 7/19/11

Indians win two yesterday (cheating) to go a full game up on the Tigers. 
  • Add SP Aaron Harang to the Tigers trade rumor mill.
  • MLive.com with speculation on why Charlie Furbush was pitching yesterday.
  • Players linked to the Tigers in the latest trade rumors include pitchers Ryan Dempster, Hiroki Kuroda, Ted Lilly, and Aaron Harang,
  • TFoster on why true sports fans aren't just cheerleaders
  • Tigers promote Britton, Michigan's Duane Below and not Jacob Turner to start tomorrow's game against the A's.

Series Preview: Oakland Athletics (42-54, 13 GB) vs. Detroit Tigers (50-45, 1 GB)

Oakland Athletics (42-54, 13 GB) vs. Detroit Tigers (50-45, 1 GB)
Texas Rangers by 13 games, however they did split with the Los Angeles Angels 2-2 in their last series and were 4-6 in their last 10. Oakland has score close to 100 runs less than the Tigers but allowed about 80 runs less and sports a better run differential than Detroit with a -15. Oakland in 16-32 on the road.

The buzz amongst the Pepper bloggers is the speculated surprise start of Jacob Turner who ESPN.com reported as the probable starter for Wednesday’s game. Turner is Detroit’s top prospect and ranked #24 on Pepper Top 100 Prospects for 2011. The Tigers come off a disappointing series with the White Sox where they lost 2 of 3, Verlander was hit hard for the first time in a while and although Scherzer pitched well, he received no run support. In Detroit’s last 10 games they’ve won 5 and lost 5 but carry a strong 28-21 record at home but run differential of -18. The Tigers will miss Oakland’s two best pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill in this series and Brett Anderson landed on the DL so feasibly there’s the opportunity at a short series sweep.

UPDATE: The Tigers announce that Duane Below and not Jacob Turner will make his Major League debut tomorrow against the A's

Pitching Matchup @ Comerica Park
Tuesday/7:05 – Guillermo Moscoso (3-4, 2.16 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (8-6, 4.78 ERA)
Wednesday/7:05: Brandon McCarthy (2-5, 3.64 ERA) vs. Duane Below (MLB Debut)
Season Series: Tied 2-2

Comerica Park
Who to Watch (Oakland/Since the All-Star Break)
  1. Jemile Weeks, 2B – Weeks (Rickie Weeks brother), continued his hot debut season collection 9 hits (all singles) in 14 at bats against the Angels in four games, good for a .563 batting average and 3 RBI.
  2. Connor Jackson, 1B – Jackson hit a home run and drove in 5 while hitting .333 in the A’s series against the Angels.

Who Not to Watch (Oakland)
  1. Scott Sizemore, 2B – Struggled against the halo’s, hitting just .125 with 2 hits and an RBI
  2. Coco Crisp, OF – Mr. Fro himself, had 3 hits in 16 at bats (.188 batting average) all of which were singles and drove in just a run.

Who to Watch (Detroit)
  1. Jhonny Peralta, SS – Peralta led the Tigers with 4 hits (all singles) in the White Sox series, good for a .364 average.
  2. Miguel Cabrera, 1B – Cabrera proved he was healthy after his All-Star game scare collecting 3 hits including a home run and 2 RBI in vs. the pale hose.

Who Not to Watch (Detroit)
  1. Brandon Inge, 3B – 0-4 against the Sox and tarnished his public image talking about the fans.
  2. Jose Valverde, CP – We all know by now not to throw Valverde in a non-save situation, but Jimmy Leyland still does it and gets burned just about every time as Papa Grande gave up 3 earned in an inning and two-thirds.

Prediction: Tigers sweep 2-0
Next Series: 4 @ Minnesota Twins

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tiger Talk 7/18/11

The Tigers salvage a win against the weekend series vs. the White Sox, still tied for first place in the A.L. Central.
  • Carlos Guillen is back!  And provides a key hit in just his second game of the season. 
  • Brandon Inge is 0-4 so far after the All-Star break.
  • The latest Tiger trade rumor: Braves SP Derek Lowe.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tiger Talk 7/13/11

IF (big if) the Tigers make it to the World Series will someone bring up the fact that Justin Verlander didn't pitch in the All-Star Game, and the A.L. lost, and it cost the Tigers homefield advantage?  (whoops did I just bring it up?)
  • Another trade rumor, from Mlive.com, this time with the Astros.  SP Wandy Rodriguez and 2B Jeff Keppinger for Rick Porcello and Casey Crosby.  Boo to that sir. Not ready to give up on Porcello.
  • Here is another trade rumor:  Brandon Inge for a muddy walnut.
  • More evidence that Joe Buck sucks.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tiger Talk 7/12/11 (All Star Game Edition)

The All-Star game is tonight and they have promo spots on the radio using a Joe Buck call ("What a play by Alex Rodriquez") and that depressed the hell out of me.  The Joe Buck part.  Fox should let the local guys call the All-Star game on the national broadcast.  That would be much better than having us listen to Buck and Tim McCarver.
  • I don't have the ESPN Insider, but if you do check out the 5 AL Trades that should happen:  Aramis Ramirez and Kerry Wood for minor league players RP Bruce Rondon (A) and 3B Wade Gaynor (A).  Done and done.  The only down side is we would be paying Ramirez $16MM and Brandon Inge $6MM to play (or not play) third base next season.  But here's the rub:  IT'S NOT MY MONEY! So I'd do it.
  • Aramis Ramirez:  .298 BA / 15 HR / 51 RBIs  Brandon Inge: .184 BA / 1 HR / 17 RBI

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tiger Talk 7/11/11 (J-Honny Edition)

The Tigers sneak back into first place in the A.L. Central just before the All-Star Break.  Up a half game on the Indians.
  • JV (Justin Verlander) gets his 12th win and JV (Jose Valverde) gets his 24th save as the Tigers beat the Royal 2-1. 
  • Does Ryan Raburn use his second-half bat immediately when they come back from All-Star break?  Or does he just slowly start to rotate it in for a week or two?
  • Jhonny Peralta makes it 5 Tigers in the All-Star game as he replaces Derek Jeter on the roster.
    • 2011 Peralta:  .312 BA / 14 HR / 50 RBI / 52 Strike Outs
    • Peralta Career with Tigers (2010 + 2011):  .287 BA /22 HR / 88 RBI / 86 Strike Outs
  • The greatest, or the worst, thing about writing a baseball blog is that all of your previous thoughts are available to find and reflect on.  First instance, let's see what the experts were saying when we acquired Jhonny Peralta (for A-baller Giovanni Soto and cash) in July of 2010...
    • CV: Really Jhonny Peralta? Really? Too funny...
    • CV: Jhonny Peralta and whoever they get today doesn't interest me much. The Peralta deal was a nothing for nothing deal and we have a minor leaguer who could also be part of one today.
    • sK:  "There's not a lot to be said about this trade other then it puts a so called major leaguer in the line-up on a daily basis for Inge and will give the skipper some flexibility as Jhonny can play shortstop and 2ndbase as well. Don't expect much however out of Peralta his power seems to have been zapped hitting only 11 dingers last year and on pace to just beat that this year. The other thing to note is Peralta strikes out a bunch averaging 136 a season over his career and only boasting a lifetime .264 batting average." 
    • JD:  "Jhonny Peralta!  And we only gave up an A baller?  I'll bet the change of scenery does him good and (if he plays short) he'll be in the running for an All-Star spot next season.  Solid defense and an anchor in the middle of the line-up is what I expect.  My guess is he will probably be batting around .312 with 14 HRs pre-All Star break next year."*
*JD was not officially a blogger July of 2010, so these thoughts are from (selective) memory.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Making A Case For Alan Trammell - The Hall Facts

As stated the other day, over time Pepper and its bloggers will post original entries and others opinions on why Alan Trammell belongs in the Hall of Fame and maybe some on why not.


Today, we explore briefly the career leaders in key stat areas, the lowest in that area, the average, and then how Trammell and Barry Larkin compare. I’m adding Barry Larkin as he looks to be the next shortstop elected as he received 51.6% of the vote in 2010, his first year of eligibility and 62.1% in 2011(remember Alan Trammell’s most votes were this year at 24.3%). The Hall of Fame requires a player to receive 75% of the vote to get in.

Batting Average                           On-Base Percentage
Best: Honus Wagner .327               Best: Arky Vaughn .406
Worst: Robert Maranville .258        Worst: Joe Tinker .308
Average: Robin Yount .285             Average: Dave Bancroft .355
Trammell: .285                              Trammell: .352
Larkin: .295                                   Larkin: .371

Slugging  Percentage                  Hits
Best: Ernie Banks .500                  Best: Honus Wagner 3,415
Worst: Ozzie Smith .328               Worst: Hughie Jennings 1,527
Average: Luke Appling .398          Average: Bobby Wallace 2,309
Trammell: .415                            Trammell: 2,365
Larkin: .444                                 Larkin: 2,340

Home Runs                                Runs Batted In
Best: Ernie Banks 512                  Best: Honus Wagner 1,732
Worst: Hughie Jennings 18          Worst: Phil Rizzuto 563
Average: Pee Wee Reese 126      Average: Joe Sewell 1,055
Trammell: 185                            Trammell: 1,013
Larkin: 198                                 Larkin: 960

Runs Scored                             Stolen Bases
Best: Honus Wagner 1,736         Best: Honus Wagner 722
Worst: Joe Tinker 774               Worst: Cal Ripken Jr. 36
Average: Joe Cronin 1,233         Average: Robin Yount 271
Trammell: 1,231                        Trammell: 236
Larkin: 1,329                             Larkin: 339

WAR (Wins Above Replacement)
Best: Honus Wagner 134.5
Worst: Hughie Jennings 48.4
Average: Pee Wee Reese 67.9
Trammell: 66.9
Larkin: 68.9

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Today's Tiger Talk 7/7/11

Today's Tiger News
  • Did you vote for VMart yet?  No, well click on the link to see his son's pitch
  • Lynn Henning picking up on a previously reported story about the great divide between the top 4 Tigers hitters and the bottom 4.
  • Verlander extends his 100 pitch game streak to 37.  Is that good or bad?

Series Preview: Detroit Tigers (46-42, 2.5 GB) vs. Kansas City Royals (36-51, 11GB)

Series Preview: Detroit Tigers (46-42, 2.5 GB) vs. Kansas City Royals (36-51, 11GB)
Things look a lot different the last time the Tigers played the Royals back in the 2nd week of May with the Royals falling like a brick due to their poor starting pitching, never the less KC still plays well at home with a 23-24 record and is scoring about the same as Detroit but carrying a -47 run differential due to giving up the most runs in the American League.

Detroit, once again has regressed as a team by not only pitching bad (costing Rick Knapp his job) but hitting bad lately as well and taking their run differential to -6. The Tigers are 4-6 in their last 10 and have done nothing to prove they can win on the road this season playing 4 games under .500 with a 19-23 record.

Pitching Matchup @ Kaufman Stadium
Thursday/8:10 – Max Scherzer (9-4, 4.90 ERA) vs. Danny Duffy (1-3, 5.09 ERA)
Friday/8:10 – Rick Porcello (7-6, 4.96 ERA) vs. Kyle Davies (1-7, 7.77 ERA)
Saturday/7:10 – Charlie Furbush (1-2, 3.08 ERA) vs. Luke Hocheavar (5-8, 5.17 ERA)
Sunday/2:10 – Justin Verlander (11-4, 2.26 ERA) vs. Jeff Francis (3-9, 4.69 ERA)
Season Series: Detroit leads 3-2


Kauffman Stadium
Who to Watch (Kansas City/Last 7 Games)
  1. Melky Cabrera, OF – Melky racked up 11 hits for a .407 average in the past 7 days including 2 home runs and 5 RBI.
  2. Eric Hosemer, 1B – The rookie stud first baseman is turning it on as of late hitting .346, going yard twice, and racking up 6 runs batted in.
  3. Jokim Soria, CP – Soria added two saves to his record in Kansas City’s 3 wins giving up a run in his 3 apperances.

Who Not to Watch (Kansas City)
  1. Chris Getz, 2B – The U of M product is struggling this past week with just 4 hits in 26 at bats (.154 avg) and no extra bases.
  2. Mike Moustakas, 3B – The other stud rookie position player on the team is having a difficult time adjusting to Major League pitching hitting .217 in the past week with a couple doubles.
  3. Kyle Davies, SP – Davies was shelled for 7 runs (4 earned) in 3 innings in his last outing against Colorado walking 2 and striking out 2.

Who to Watch (Detroit)
  1. Brennan Boesch, OF – The only Tiger hitting over .300 during the past week, Boesch hit .400 before missing yesterday’s game with an injury, hitting two home runs and two RBI.
  2. Jhonny Peralta, SS – J-Honny, besides Boesch is the only other Tigers hitter to tally double figures in total bases in the past 7 days with a home run contributing 4 bases to his 10 total.
  3. Justin Verlander, SP – The must see pitcher of the year takes his show on the road and will finish the first half of the season on Sunday for the Tigers. Verlander was a tough luck 1-0 loser in Anaheim on Tuesday, giving up just a run before being tossed from the game after 7 and 2/3 innings pitched. In the past week, JV was 1-1 allowing 2 runs in 14.2 (1.23 ERA) innings and striking out 14.

Who Not to Watch (Detroit)
  1. Brandon Inge, 3B – Shocking I know but Inge didn’t hit well this past week with .118 average and 4 total bases (one a triple)
  2. Alex Avila, C – Avila has cooled off considerably the past week hitting just .125 with 2 hits in 16 at bats. All good hitters have slumps; it’s just a matter of how often and how long those slumps last.
  3. Max Scherzer, SP – Scherzer’s tough times continued in his last start against the Giants on Saturday giving up 9 runs in 2 innings and allowing runners to hit .462 off of him.
Prediction: Tigers split 2-2, They should sweep but a poor road record, bat pitching as of late, and bad hitting all play in to my prediction.

Next Series: All-Star Break

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tiger Talk 7/6/11

Today's Tigers News Includes:
  • Pepper taking up the Trammell Hall of Fame case
  • Jim Leyland on the increased tension between teams and umpires after he and Verlander are tossed from game last night
  • In case you missed last nights game, Dan Haren 2-hit the Tigers to keep Verlander from collecting his 12th win.
  • Rick Knapp dumbfounded on his firing and realizing he's the scapegoat
  • The Tigers look to activate Carlos Guillen after the All-Star break

3000 Hit Watch
  • Derek Jeter is 4 hits shy of 3000 and faces the Cleveland Indians and Justin Masterson tonight

Making A Case For Alan Trammell

It’s Pepper Baseball’s mission to find as many articles, stats, etc to bring out the facts on why we believe Alan Trammell should be in the Hall of Fame and have dedicated a page on Pepper Baseball to house such findings. In the upcoming weeks, months, and years we’ll continue to post whatever we find to help build a case for Tram’s bid for the Hall.


Tram’s Bid – The Beginning
Going in to his 11th year of eligibility, Alan Trammell’s chances of making the Hall of Fame may lie in the Veteran’s Committees hands with only 4 years left to be voted in by the traditional manner. Trammell has received more support in recent years by both Bill James who rates Trammell better the 14 current Hall of Fame Shortstops and by the Sabermetric community. Trammell’s voting percentage is as follows over the years (75% needed to get in): 15.7% (2002), 14.1% (2003), 13.8% (2004), 16.9% (2005), 17.7% (2006), 13.4% (2007), 18.2% (2008), 17.4% (2009), 22.4% (2010), 24.3% (2011).

Tram’s Resume
Seasons: 20      Games: 2,293      Plate Appearances: 9,375
Avg: .285         OBP: .352            SLG: .415
Hits: 2,365       Runs: 1,231         Runs Batted In: 1,003
2B: 412            3B: 55                  Home Runs: 185
Steals: 236       BB: 850                SO: 874

Awards
  • 1984 World Series MVP
  • 6-Time All-Star
  • 4-Time Gold Glove Winner
  • 3-Time Top 10 MVP
  • Comeback Player of the Year
  • 3-Time Silver Slugger
Keep an eye out for more Pepper based blog entries around Trammell as well as other articles regarding reasons for Alan to be in the Hall.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tiger Talk 7/5/11

Your Detroit Tiger News:
  • The Tigers slip from 9th to 11th in this weeks ESPN Power Rankings
  • Detroit is 1.5 games behind Cleveland but only 2 games ahead of the surging White Sox
  • Andy Oliver makes Baseball America's Not so Hot list, going 1-3 in his last 4 starts for Toledo with an 8.63 ERA.
  • Fox Sports John Morosi tweeted yesterday that the Tigers have interest in the Dodgers Hideki Kuroda and Bret Myers could be plan B.  Kuroda is owed $6m still and is a free-agent after the season.
  • The Tigers fire pitching coach Rick Knapp and could be a message to Jim Leyland to win now and some are calling a panic move.
  • Tonight's minor league matchup of the night with be Jacob Turner vs. a recently promoted Bryce Harper.
  • Lynn Henning on why the Tigers are still the team to beat in the AL Central
  • The Bleacher Report covers other deals the Tigers should make.
  • A great ESPN Insider article on the top heavy Tigers lineup

Fantasy Baseball Notes:
  • Albert Pujols received clearance from the team doctor and is expected back in the lineup on Tuesday.
  • Bryce Harper has recovered from a thumb injury that sidelined him for a few games and was even promoted to Double-A

Four Detroit Tigers Make All-Star Game, Vote Now to Make it Five

In case you missed it on Sunday, the All-Star teams were announced and four Tigers were named to the team include Alex Avila who will be the American Leagues starting catcher.  Joining Avila will be Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, and Jose Valverde. 

Final player voting is ongoing currently with Victor Martinez as one of one of five AL candidates that you can vote for here and can do it as often as you'd like.  Help VMart become the 5th Tiger representative at the game next Tuesday in Arizona!!

Victor is currently hitting .328, with a .375 on-base percentage, 6 home runs, 46 runs batted in and 37 runs scored in 71 games of action.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Series Preview: San Francisco Giants (46-36, 2 GA) vs. Detroit Tigers (44-38, 0.5 GA)

Series Preview: San Francisco Giants (46-36, 2 GA) vs. Detroit Tigers (44-38, 0.5 GA)
Pitching, pitching, and pitching is how San Fran is going to beat you. The Giants rank in the bottom third of the NL in both runs scored and home runs with not one player with over 10 at this point in the season and injuries to Pablo Sandoval and season ending injury to Buster Posey didn’t help. If you told me the Tigers were going to miss Jonathan Sanchez, Matt Cain and Tim Linecum I’d have high hopes for this series until you look at Ryan Vogelson’s numbers and realize the lack of run support that Madison Bumgarner gets and what his record should really be. San Fran plays well at home but struggles on the road with a 22-23 record and lost their last two, however they have won of 10.


The Tigers pitching was horrendous against the Mets who absolutely beat the Tigers down before Detroit could salvage a win yesterday in the series finale. Detroit still playing .500 ball in the last 10 and saw their run differential shrink to just +8 but still are 9 games over .500 at home.

Pitching Matchups @ Comerica Park
Friday/7:05: Madison Bumgarner (4-9, 3.84 ERA) vs. Brad Penny (5-6, 4.66 ERA)
Saturday/7:05: Barry Zito (1-1, 4.95 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (9-3, 4.47 ERA)
Sunday/1:05: Ryan Vogelsong (6-4, 2.09 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (6-6, 5.06 ERA)
Season Series: N/A

Comerica Park
Who to Watch (San Francisco/Season)

  1. Ryan Vogelsong, SP – Vogelsong pitched his way in to rotation and further cemented a spot with Jonathan Sanchez hitting the 15-day DL. Hitting has become a factor however as Vogelsong only has a decision in just over half of his starts where he’s 6-1 with a 2.06 ERA and is striking out 3 hitters to every walk just about (63/23).
  2. Brian Wilson, CP – Should be on here just for his beard but Wilson is leading the NL in saves with 24 in 27 opportunities and carrying a 2.67 ERA and striking out 36 in 38 innings pitched.
  3. Pablo Sandoval, 3B – Watch out for the Big Panda as he’s returned from injury and slugged a home run last night. Pablo is leading the team in average but has only played in just over half of the teams games.

Who Not to Watch (San Francisco)
  1. Barry Zito, SP – Zito has only pitched in 4 games this season and is 1-1 with a 4.95 ERA where he has walked more hitters then he’s struck out.
  2. Miguel Tejada, SS - Billy Beane’s whipping boy seems washed up hitting .227 this year with 2 home runs and 20 RBI and is platooning at best at this point
  3. Pat Burrell, OF – One of the hero’s from the World Series last year has yet to get it going as Burrell is hitting .236 with 7 dingers and 20 RBI

Who to Watch (Detroit/Last 7 Games)
  1. Jhonny Peralta, SS – Two home runs and 7 runs batted in to go a long with a .444 batting average and 22 total bases this past week.
  2. Miguel Cabrera, 1B – Remained hot hitting .435 with 2 homers and 6 RBI and 6 runs scored.
  3. Max Scherzer, SP – Threw well against Toronto on Monday but didn’t pick up the win as the Tigers pulled it out late. Max gave up his share of hits but limited the damage by striking out 9 and walking 1.

Who Not to Watch (Detroit)
  1. Brandon Inge, 3B – 2 whole hits in his last 20 at bats, enough said.
  2. Rick Porcello, SP – 7 runs against in 3.2 innings his last outing against the Mets, just horrible.
  3. Ryan Raburn, 2B – Hitting a little better with a .250 average this past week but his defense has been pitiful and has helped both the Mets and Diamondbacks extend innings and ultimately the Tigers lost those games.
Prediction: Based on the offensive struggles of the Giants the Tigers take the series 2-1 and could possibly sweep.
Next Series: 3 @ Los Angeles Angels