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We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2013 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2013 Tigers Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy  Kevin Vela from Detroit Tigers Weblog.

1) There have been trade rumors swirling around Rick Porcello all off-season.  Is Rick Porcello out in Detroit at some point this year and if so, who takes his spot in the rotation?  Will either Porcello or his replacement be fantasy worthy for the 2013 fantasy baseball season?

What people are asking is “how much time can we give this kid?” His core stats have been disappointing each of the past three years, but if you look at his peripherals, he made a nice step last year. His K/9 saw a healthy increase (though it’s still alarmingly low) resulting from a 2 MPH jump in his velocity, and his FIP dropped below 4. Further, his walks were low (2.25/9), his HR rate dropped, and he had an unlucky .344 BABIP (that’s largely due to the fielding behind him). He was a very serviceable starter in 2012. As a ground ball pitcher, it doesn’t help that he’s got a range-less left side of the infield, and then several Delmon Young instances to put up with. Many in the Detroit media seem to think that Drew Smyly is the guy, if nothing else because he’s a lefty. I’d love to deal Porcello because I think he still holds some value, and we need a lefty in the rotation. Remember, he just turned 24. If Porcello doesn’t figure it out soon, his value may plummet. To answer your question, I can’t see him being very valuable unless it’s a deep combined league, or you get points for lots of ground balls even with his great spring.

2) Fantasy baseballers just love a hyped rookie prospect and Nick Castellanos fits that description perfectly.  Are we going to see Nick up with the big league club this year and if so, what is the timeline and do you think he’ll be fantasy relevant out of the gate?

I’m as excited as everyone else – I’ve been keeping him on my Scoresheet team for 3 years now. But no, I don’t expect to see him anytime soon unless Cabrera misses extended time. There’s not enough ABs for him up here and he needs to continue to develop as a corner outfielder. Though I wish they could convert him into a second baseman. I don’t think he’ll land full time until 2015.

3) With Jose Valverde no longer on the roster, the closer spot is open to the Tigers relieving public.  The original thinking was Bruce Rondon would be closer when the Tigers break camp but he got sent down.  So you tell us Mr. Expert: who’s the guy for the Tigers and if so, do you think he takes the job and runs with it for all of 2013?

Expert is a far-fetched characterization, but I’ll take a stab at it. I can’t say that Rondon still isn’t the guy eventually. Eno Harris of Fangraphs summed this up nicely in a post on Feb 22nd (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/bruce-rondon-and-unlikely-likely-closers/), and called this a great financial move by Dombrowski. I completely agree. Here are the rest of my thoughts. First of all, for any fantasy owners who play in sim leagues, they know that “closers” are useless because you can plug in anyone. And most astute baseball fans recognize that the 9th inning usually isn’t the most high leverage situation, so closers may not necessarily be the best reliever on the staff, or the most valuable. But Jim Leyland is a traditionalist and he’ll probably name a closer within the first month of the season. Now, the only reason why this is happening (IMO), is because we have Dotel and Benoit on the staff. Heck Al Alburqurque (yes that’s his real name) probably has the best closer stuff on the staff assuming he can get the strike zone down. The rest of the staff is one of the best in the AL (remember how good Phil Coke was in the playoffs) and thus allows the defending AL champs a chance to nail down the job pretty quickly.  If I had to pick one…well I really can’t but no one really can right now but whoever it is will probably be decided on within the first month given Leyland’s inklings.

4) Name this player: 8.3 K/9, 2.94 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, with a 4.61 K:BB ratio since joining the Tigers in mid-2011.  Ok, that’s not fair, you know who it is, that’s Doug Fister.  Despite these numbers, Doug is going outside the top 30 starters in yahoo leagues at 121 and is ranked 43rd as a starter in ESPN leagues.  Do they see something the stats don’t say or is Doug Fister a fantasy sleeper for 2013?

I don’t get it either. That K/BB ratio is so impressive that I looked it up, he was 10th in the AL in 2012 (min 160 IPs). I think that people overlook him because of his low K/9 (6.08 for his career), and because he’s only pitched over 180 innings once in his career. On the flip side, the guy has ice in his veins, he has very little pressure as the #3 guy in Detroit, and he’s still learning how to pitch (he’s had 4 full seasons in the show). Don’t forget that ridiculous game last September when he K’d 9 in a row. I expect 13-17 wins and a sub 4 ERA. About right for the #3 on a team expected to go deep into the playoffs.

5) The Tigers are back in the World Series in 2013.  What is the main thing that got them there?

A) Andy Dirks finishes in the top 5 in batting average on the year, hitting 15 HRs and sparking the lineup as he slides into the two spot by May.

Dirks’ greatest upside is winning a batting title – lefty hitter, hits to all fields, speed…but I don’t think he’s ready quite yet.

B) Anibal Sanchez is motivated by by getting the nickname ‘Liger’ which is short for ‘Lady Tiger’ due to his girly first name and returns to 2011 form.

Didn’t Napoleon Dynamite trademark that?

C) Victor Martinez plays like he never left, garnering 500 at-bats, batting .300 and driving in 100 RBIs

This is the reason right here. Look for Prince Fielder to put up monster numbers in 2012. V Mart is going to have a nice twilight as a professional hitter. Thank goodness for the DH.

D) Verlander – devastated by losing Kate Upton – comes into camp focused and wins 25 games, doing the Dougie in a bikini after every win in her honor.

From what I’ve seen, he’s a fun and wild guy. This is a real possibility.

E) Austin Jackson finally puts it all together, putting up a 20/30 season while hitting .300 and scoring 100 runs.

He came close to this last year other than the SBs. Honestly, I just don’t get why he doesn’t steal more bases.

36 Responses


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    Mike says:
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    Michigan 47 Florida 30 at half. Go Michigan. Oh yea I think Porcello well have a great year. Walks this spring are non existent and he is throwing more curveballs for strikes and his fastball is 94 to 95. I have him on all 8 of my teams. Love going to baseball games in Detroit and going to Greek town before the game.


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      Sky

      Sky says:
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      You are having an awesome day, I won’t take away from it by disagreeing about Porcello ;)


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      Jack Full of Hate says:
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      @Mike: I will disagree, might take a small step forward, best case scenario. But will be a streamer at best. A trade to San Diego would be the only way to make him universally ownable.


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      steve says:
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      @Mike: bazookies!!


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    Raj says:
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    Leyland doesn’t give Austin Jackson the green light to run more, or so that’s what a lot of Tigers fans tell me.


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      Sky

      Sky says:
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      I’m not surprised. I don’t think Leyland would give it to Dee Gordon. He’s a stodgy type when it comes to base running.


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    Jack Full of Hate says:
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    That was of absolutely no help for the bullpen situation. i still think Coke or Dotal win it, but thats just me


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      Sky

      Sky says:
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      I had to backfill on that one. He responded about a month back saying he figured it would be Rondon like everyone else thought it would be. I didn’t wanna put words in his mouth and we were too close to posting deadline to request a revamp of the answer.

      I believe it’s a shituation and even the winner is a loser but you’re probably right in terms of who Leyland will trust the most.


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        Jack Full of Hate says:
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        @Sky: Thanks, im going to use shituation in my everyday life. I will always give credit when i say it.

        You might appreciate this, I used a nice wheat beer with orange notes to make the best carne asada i have ever done. Good beer has more than just a drinking usage.


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          Sky

          Sky says:
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          I’m pretty sure I’ve used it outside fantasy baseball BG (Before Grey) but I think he has it in the Razzball glossary…

          That sounds delicious. Man, and I’m hungry too. Just took the dog out to the park to play ball – Sunny day – and now am sitting at my computer at work trying to do a few things before Monday hits me square in the kiwis. There needs to be a restaurant that allows your dog to come in with you.

          Apropos to nothing, my keeper which is – sadly – H2H starts tonight with Chris Carter, Nelson Cruz & Brett Wallace. I don’t think I’ll be this excited about an Astros vs Rangers game ever again.


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            Jack Full of Hate says:
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            @Sky: I have not been keeping up with my vocabulary or I guess my razzulary.

            It was, even my resident mexican, babys mama, was amazed. OJ, Lemon and lime juice, couple dashes of soy sauce, agave syrup, lots of trader joes cili pepper sauce, adobo seasoning, cayanne, lots of chopped garlic,couple dashes of worchester and lots of kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, get that tasting strong and good, then add some good orange wheat beer and put it in a bag with some flap meat. Marinate about 4 -5 hours, sprinkle a little more salt after removing from marinade then grill.


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              Sky

              Sky says:
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              Alright, I thought I was gonna get work done but now I need to head out for some chow. Thanks Jack! That sounds ridiculously good and now I have to go find something palatable to live up to the potential and won’t be able to find it.


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                Jack Full of Hate says:
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                @Sky: we also made mexican style grilled corn with it…..

                Good luck in Oregon, if it makes you feel any better, I get jealous over the salmon quality you have up there :)


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                  Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  Ha true! Being from the east side of Washington originally, I miss good Mexican food a lot.


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                    Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @Sky: how are those two things related?


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                      Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Agriculture my man. I’d say when I left, the area was probably 40% Hispanic decent who were either first or third generation. Now I’d estimate it closer to like 65%. Good restaurant in town though nothing like some of the homemade stuff they’d sell out of the side of a foodcart


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                    Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @Sky: I always thought of that area like deliverance, but I might be thinking of eastern Oregon.

                    The cart guys can be some of the best, i would be at daytime family parties in East LA and get some amazing food sold out of shopping cart, tamales and raspados. One of my watering holes has had tamale guys over the years that pull up with a van and sell us all bags of tamales.

                    For all the things in my life that I have eaten from a guy selling out of a shopping cart or van, i am surprised i never got food poisoning. Oh, and there’s also the danger dogs, LA street bacon wrapped hot dogs, that are laways a crap shoot, but oh so delicous.


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                      Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      I think you have never visited the East side of I-5 with those statements!

                      Nice! Yeah, college town here with a large Asian population we have decent Thai and good Sushi (or so I’ve heard on the last part, never been). Chinese is American style; surprised there’s not a more accurate one given the demographics. That said, it’s overall not bad at giving a bit of everything minus the Hispanic flair.

                      Reminds me of the last time I ate dok Bo ki in SK. It had the fish equivalent of chicken mcnuggets in it. Nasty feeling when you’re throwing up and feel like your insides are made of ice.


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                    Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @Sky: my impressions come from my dad’s friends who are big fishermen and have spent a lot of time all over oregon and washington, but there’s is also from going back 20-30 years ago to the present


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                      Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Ha, yeah don’t get me wrong. There are some rough parts but it’s not the Bible Belt! My hometown was small and just had a lot of farmers and people who thought looks that were 15 years behind the times was the hip way to be. Mainly because that was the last time they were relevant in life but whatever.


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                    Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @Sky: just as a point of reference, what year were you born?


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                      Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Late 70s


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                    Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @Sky: wow, thats hilarious, when you were born, doo wop was really big there. Did they get gangster rap for the first time in 1999?


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                      Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Yeah, I was hanging with a bunch of hoodlums wearing Raiders gear driving Ford trucks!


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                    Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @Sky: I could this one for hours, I was born in the mid 70′s


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                      BrewFreeOrDie says:
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                      @Jack Full of Hate: Trust me Sky, as a Portland local, you can get great Thai food here but the sushi is lacking. You have to go up to Seattle to get anything decent – not a huge Japanese population here. Great beer helps to make up for it though!


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                      Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Ah well now I don’t feel so bad for not going out for it here, then.

                      Imagine that, a guy with BrewFreeOrDie as his name is from Oregon. Seriously love it here for that reason.


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    BrewFreeOrDie says:
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    Also, @Jack Full of Hate, you’re obscure ramblings have made me a fan.


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    JoeC says:
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    Detroit blows! KC all the way!

    You wouldn’t think, from all my Detroit hate, that I have a Detroit “D” tattooed on my ring finger. But I do! :)


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      Sky

      Sky says:
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      I would’ve assumed that was a gang tattoo.


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        JoeC says:
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        @Sky: The only gang I belonged to was the one I started after watching the movie “The Warriors” and then going to junior high the next day, all inspired. Unfortunately, I was not the biggest of the group, so I didn’t earn the moniker of the gang leader, “Swan”. Instead, I got “Ajax”. Yeah. I wasn’t too excited about that.

        My only other experience with gangs was watching “The Outsiders” as a teen-ager and deciding that it would be a good idea to take my mom’s cold cream and slick back my hair and wear a t-shirt and jeans. Stay gold, Johnny!


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          Sky

          Sky says:
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          My only experience was CB4


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            JoeC says:
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            @Sky: Never saw that. Must be a generational difference. You young whippersnappers with your color movies!


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              Sky

              Sky says:
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              Not my problem you don’t like the Talkies, grandpop!


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                JoeC says:
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                @Sky: Speaking of which, I was flipping channels last night (cause that’s how I roll on a Sunday night!) and came across The Movie Classic channel’s (or The Classic Movie Channel or The Channel Movie Classics…) showing of “The Greatest Story Ever Told”, which is all about BeJesus and his going-ons. It was made in 1927, which meant it was a silent movie.

                As I sat there watching it, I wondered to myself how in the hell audiences had the patience to watch these damn non-talking movies? I mean, I’m sure it was marvelous just to see moving pictures at that time, but c’mon… no dialogue other than occasional sandwich boards? Blah!

                1927 movie porn must’ve been horrible as well. Nothing worse than a quiet girl!


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                  Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  Ha! Though they’re all like at 1.5 speed of a typical movie too. You’d get awkward boner either way…

                  I still haven’t finished Metropolis but I actually liked what I saw. Of course the visuals were pretty amazing put in context of its time which is what drew me in. If ya can’t speak have a visually appealing set!

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