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Tigers Pick Up a Game on Chicago This Weekend, Dmitri Young Experiment Continues

The White Sox dropped two games to the Rangers this weekend, so the Tigers have extended their AL East lead to 6 1/2 games.  They have the Indians and Devil Rays coming up over the next 10 days so they definitely have a shot to pad their lead if the White Sox should slip.  Crammed in there is a series with the now relevant Minnesota Twins.  Francisco Liriano pitched today, so he’ll be due to throw in the series.  We’ll miss Johan Santana though.  What will be nice is the White Sox and Twins go head to head early this week.  One of them has to lose, so one of them will hopefully lose ground as long as the Tigers take care of Cleveland.

Dmitri Young went hitless today, but he reached on an error and scored and later had an RBI on a sac. fly.  He didn’t look horrible at first base either.  Most importantly, he didn’t cost us any games.  This is kind of weird time for the Tigers to experiment but they have to know what they have with the trading deadline just over a week away.

Nate Robertson gave up two homeruns today, and while he never came close to giving up that six (and eventually eight) run lead the bats gave him in the first inning, he was hardly stellar.  Hopefully he was pitching to the score but it was his first win in the month of July.  His WHIP and batting average against are almost where they were last year, so it’ll be interesting to see whether his ERA regresses to the 4.48 he had last year or whether he can buck the trend and keep it under 4.00.  He’s now won one more game then he did in 2005.

I’m surprised Leyland left Joel Zumaya in there for two innings with such a big lead.  Maybe he didn’t want to see a repeat of Friday’s game when Roman Colon made things interesting and the tying run eventually reached the plate.  I figured Grilli would have been better in there with a four run lead, saving Zumaya for tomorrow against the hard hitting Indians.

Good matchup of young pitchers.  Jeremy Bonderman goes head to head against Cliff Lee.  I wonder what’s going on in Cleveland on Wednesday, because it’s a 12:05 start.  Pretty early.

Well, it’s starting to seem like the Young experiment is going better than most people expected (put me in that category for sure). It also seems less and less likely that Abreu is a trading option; furthermore, Soriano is saying that he’s pretty intent on staying in Washington for the season. Even with the pleasant surprise of Young’s play so far, I still feel like it’s too early to bank on him the rest of the way. How is everyone else thinking of Dellucci? Seems like he’d be easier to trade for than Abreu or Soriano, and he could provide valuable playoff experience during the stretch run. I know he wants to be an everyday player, something he doesn’t have in Philadelphia, but that just makes me think of Doug Mienkiewicz, who performed admirably in a platoon role for the ’04 Red Sox (and we all know how that turned out). Thoughts?

Posted by Mark on July 24th, 2006 at 7:12 am

3-11 with 1 run scored and 0 extra-base hits? That’s actually about what I expected, and I think Dmitri Young is awful. What did you expect?

Posted by Dan on July 24th, 2006 at 1:57 pm

Also, regarding the Dmitri Young “experiment” – his last good season was 2003, he’s a 32-year old subpar defender at LF/1B, and his last 1000 or so plate appearances have ranged from passable to positive awful, and he just returned from the Betty Ford Clinic.

This would have been an “experiment” in any other year, but this season it’s wishcasting for a cheap fix.

Oh that’s right, I forgot. None of his stats matter because he can bat lefthanded, and that’s the most important thing, right?

If the Tigers are going to talk a big game about overpaying free agents to come to Detroit, they might as well not stop doing it RIGHT BEFORE IT’S TRULY IMPORTANT. I understand that Abreu and Soriano will be dear, but we have a golden opportunity to grab a pennant here. This is precisely when you’re supposed to overpay. Just because the trade deadline is like 10 days away doesn’t mean you need to wait 10 days to decide something. The White Sox are closing in on Soriano, and that could be a major problem for us.

There is no experiment”. Dmitri Young used to be a decent player, but he isn’t anymore. If the White Sox get Soriano they’ll instantly be favored to catch us.

Posted by Dan on July 24th, 2006 at 2:07 pm

Well, they’ve been better than I expected–I thought he would be DFA by the middle of this week, and they’ve still been winning (besides that bizarre Saturday game which was blacked out here in favor of the Cubs). Besides, my comment was less of a “check it out, Young’s not too bad!” and far more of a “since it looks like Abreu and Soriano aren’t doable, how about Dellucci?” Like it or not, Abreu isn’t going anywhere. If, as ESPN is reporting, Soriano to the Chisox is just about a done deal, then the front office had better have a few alternatives in mind, and it seems to me like Dellucci is the most plausible alternative.

Posted by Mark on July 24th, 2006 at 4:32 pm


I just don’t see how Dellucci is that much of an upgrade over Thames. I know he’s left handed, but I just can’t see parting with even a midlevel prospect for a guy who’s not that much of an upgrade over who we already have.

Posted by Brian on July 24th, 2006 at 4:37 pm

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