We’re one day removed from the end of the first month of baseball season and the Tigers sit at 11-11. Considering they’ve dropped eight of their last ten, that start is a little disappointing. We all knew this team had it’s share of holes but I didn’t think they’d be exposed this quickly. That doesn’t mean we should be panicking because the Tigers are still just a game back of first place. The baseball season is a marathon and let’s hope some of these early moves that we’re questioning now seem to make sense in the second half of the season.
When the Tigers traded Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson, I was very happy to get Max Scherzer in return. Of course since then his time with the Tigers has been, well, erratic. At times he’s looked like Justin Verlander and at other times he’s looked like, well, not nearly as good as Justin. He’ll turn 28 in July and by now, I would have expected him to have turned the corner to stardom but instead, he’s taken several steps back. His strikeout rate is still there but his walk rate is also up and he’s been very hittable. You’d expect his .453 batting average on balls in play to come down but that still wouldn’t push Scherzer into even the “good” column. His velocity still seems to be there because he was consistently in the mid-90s so you hope he rights the ship soon.
By now everyone has heard of Delmon Young’s transgressions and for now, he’s on the restricted list. I haven’t heard too much of the details on what happened other then that there were racial slurs involved and he was extremely intoxicated. For now I’ll hold off on any judgement until the facts are straight but for now, the Tigers have replaced him with Brad Eldred who was lighting up Toledo. Eldred has spent a lot of time in the minors and has little success in the majors. After tripling in his first at bat, he’s gone one for twelve with five strikeouts since.
Brandon Inge is now an Athletic and we’ll see him in about a week and a half when the Tigers go out for a west coast swing. I’ve always been a fan of Inge’s but he has become a distraction and of course, it’s been a while since he’s hit the ball well. As it stands, he’s the Tigers all time leader in strikeouts and up until recently, he had hit more home runs in Comerica Park then anyone else (Miguel Cabrera is now the leader). I hope he finishes out his career in a good way (other then when he plays us).
This is another big series because, like the Mariners last week, the Tigers have a good chance to run the table. Wednesdays pitching matchup is particularly favorable with Verlander going up against Luis Mendoza. If I were into sports betting, I’d be putting my money on the Tigers in that one.
Tonight, Duane Below makes his first start of the season. We’ll see if we can get this one in with all of the rain we’ve gotten.