Detroit Tigers 2009 Minor Review
Overall farm talent ranking via Baseball America:
2009 (28) | 2008 (29) | 2007 (14) | 2006 (13) | 2005 (29) | 2004 (22)

Record of Major League Team and Affiliate
Majors: 86 – 77 (AL Central)
AAA: 73 – 70 (International League)
AA: 71 – 70 (Eastern League)
A+: 55 – 75 (Florida League)
A: 81 – 59 (Midwest League)
A(ss): 35 – 39 (New York / Pennsylvania League)
R: 29 – 30 (Gulf League)

The Run Down

As you all know, Detroit epically choked in the final week of the season. Seeing how the Twins were swept out of the playoffs by the Yankees, it’s fair to say the Tigers saved face by missing their chance for the same outcome. But what about the pieces to get to the brink of the playoffs?  The trade for Jarrod Washburn sent one promising pitcher (Mauricio Robles – #24 ranked prospect) and serviceable arm (Luke French) away; acquiring Aubrey Huff cost them another top ranked pitching prospect (#10 Brett Jacobson), granted he was having a pretty marginal year. These trades didn’t cost them their farm, but it didn’t help their playoff push or their future.

With an aging roster (29.9 average age), several key free agents (Placido Polanco, Adam Everett, Washburn, Fernando Rodney, and Brandon Lyon), and the psychological trauma caused by their collapse, the Tigers have a lot of work cut out for them. There isn’t much internal help at shortstop, and only have low minors pitchers who have done above average. Of their major league ready talent, only Scott Sizemore, second base, has even excelled in the minors this year. They have serviceable call ups, but no immediate impact players like they did this year with Rick Porcello (*tangent – I always want to call him Rick Portabello, but I hate mushrooms.). Porcello had a below average strikeout rate (4.7 K/9), good control (2.7 BB/9), and kept the ball on the ground (1.23 GO/AO) this year. Nothing great, but he will need a good defense behind him to do that well again next year. Seeing as the Tigers called him up this year from Advanced-A, there is a possibility of them calling up Casey Crosby next year, who played at Single-A. Having the front half of your rotation consisting of Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson (will he/can he pitch like 2009 in ’10?) and Rick Porcello is a good thing, but with Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen aging faster than Jose Contreras when he gained a few years with a single sentence, they may have to spend more money in free agency to keep their team above .500 next year because their minors won’t.

Players of Interest
*A number prior to a players name indicates Baseball America’s prospect ranking.

#7 – Scott Sizemore | 2B | AA/AAA | 24 | totals – .308/.390/.503 | 520 AB | .195 ISO | 21/4 SB/CS | 95:64 K:BB
Hitting well at both Double and Triple-A should have Tigers fans excited (though his BABIP was .347 – above average). He is essentially Placido Polanco with the bat – meaning he doesn’t strikeout much or hit many homers, but hits for decent average. He is an average defender and runner. The only other thing to note is he broke his hamate bone (the power sapping wrist injury) in 2008 and only fully recovered this year. If the Tigers don’t sign Polanco, look for Polanco Jr., I mean Scott Sizemore, to get a chance to start at second base next spring.

Brennan Boesch | RF | AA | 24 | .275/.318/.510 | 527 AB | .235 ISO | 11/2 SB/CS | 127:33 K:BB | .318 BABIP
Because of an aging outfield and the fact that Boesch finally broke out this year, makes him worthy to note. He has never hit more than 10 homers in a season or had a full season of a OPS over .700, strikes out too much, doesn’t walk enough, but his numbers weren’t really inflated by BABIP either making this year seem a bit more legit. Look for him to play at Triple-A next year and be a feasible call-up mid-summer if he continues his power hitting ways.

#9 – Dusty Ryan | C | AAA | 24 | .257/.359/.455 | 202 AB | .198 ISO | 64:29 K:BB
#20 – Alex Avila | C | AA | 22 | .264/.365/.450 | 329 AB | .185 ISO | 77:52 K:BB
I want to combined these two catchers because they both got called up this September. Avila went 17 for 61 with 5 homers and Ryan went 4 for 26 with no homers, but went 14 for 44 with two homers last year. Avila is a doubles hitter and a below average defender as he only recently became a catcher (the switch happened in 2008). Ryan is the better defender, but not quite the hitter Avila is. Look for both of them to duke it out for a back-up role in the spring.

#4 – Casey Crosby | SP (LHP) | A | 20 | 10.1 K/9 | 4.1 BB/9 | 104 2/3 IP | 2.41 ERA | 1.13 WHIP | .290 BABIP 50.2 GB% | 36.4 FB% | .203 AVE against
Here is my StU article on him that I wrote at the end of September. I like him a bit more after I noticed that Porcello was only in Advanced-A when he made the majors with worse peripherals. I woudn’t be surprised to see him ranked the Tigers number one prospect going into 2010. Plus, he is a power throwing lefty.

Brayan Villareal | RP (RHP) | 22 | A | 10.3 K/9 | 3 BB/9 | 103 1/3 IP | 2.87 ERA | 1.15 WHIP | .324 BABIP | 40.9 GB% | 38.1 FB% | 11 LD% | .230 AVE against
Great strikeout rate, average walk rate, nothing that makes you question his numbers. He’ll probably get promoted to Advanced-A and Double-A next year. If he keeps similar numbers to these next year, he’ll be on everyone’s sleeper list for 2011 and 2010 September call-ups list.

#11 – Casey Fien | RP (RHP) | 25 | AAA | 10.2 K/9 | 2.3 BB/9 | 58 IP | 3.41 ERA | 1.14 WHIP | .310 BABIP | 35.9 GB% | 42.3 FB% | 18.6 LD% | .262 AVE against
Relievers stats are harder to predict year in and year out as they have such a small sample size. He supposedly has a great 91 to 92 MPH sinker, but his ground ball percentage would lead us to think otherwise. He may get a chance to pitch out of the Tigers pen next year with Rodney and/or Lyon leaving/not getting signed. His stuff is nothing to scoff at, but he isn’t an extreme ground ball pitcher or a power pitcher. I would expect him to struggle early if he makes the major league roster out of spring training.

#8 – Cody Satterwhite | RP (RHP) | 22 | AA | 9.5 K/9 | 4.9 BB/9 | 49 1/3 IP | 3.47 ERA | 1.48 WHIP | .318 BABIP | 46.8 GB% | 35.3 FB% | 16.5 LD% | .250 AVE against
Another reliever, but he has a power fastball that ranges between 94 and 97 mph with late movement. He also has a slider and a change up but cannot control either of them very well. Speaking of control, he doesn’t have much of that working for him. He should be promoted to Triple-A next year with serious consideration for the major league roster only if there are injuries or in September.

  1. Quintero says:

    Major League Baseball, where no cap-space happen.

    Thanks for the update/headsup on Crosby. Don’t see them out spending other teams which love to out-spending others. ha.

    (Too bad they didn’t call up Scott Sizemore this year tho…would like to see…)

  2. Andrew says:

    Sizemore = Polanco?

    If you can’t come up with a good comparison, don’t make one.

  3. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Andrew: That doesn’t seem like the best way to make a comment either. What’s wrong with the comparison?

  4. brett says:

    Fair enough comparison if the point is that they’re both decent – but not great – offensive second basemen. Either way, i’m excited about Sizemore. He’s been consistently good in the Tigers’ system despite a lack of praise from traditional scouts. His power is improving and HE DRAWS WALKS. Something Polanco hated doing almost as much as striking out. I think his ceiling is a lot higher than he gets credit for.

    That being said, I expect Sizemore to struggle with his strikeouts next year and he likely won’t hold a candle to Polanco’s defense and heads-up play. But who does?

  5. brett says:

    Also, i’d be curious to see what you think of Ryan Strieby and Wilkin Ramirez. Could be an improved version of Marcus Thames and Clete Thomas sometime soon?

  6. Jimmy Ray says:

    The Tigers are in trouble. They have a big payroll but have holes all over the place. 2nd base, setup man, closer, 5th SP, SS and 2 old guy corner outfielders who should be playing DH!!

    The fact that tigers have done a 180 on sizemore says he will get his shot unless Polanco is willing to sign a one year deal. the tigers were still trying to figure out if sizemore was utility man or a starter as late as august (his minor league manager said that), now he is the second coming. this shows me the tigers will try and cut the payroll.
    Alex Avila will make the team because of his lefty bat. he might even get a shot to share or flat out start!
    The bullpen is the big question mark, who knows maybe ryan perry will close with some combo of young players setting up?

  7. peter says:

    @Grey: @Stephen: I thought the Polanco/Sizemore comparison was a good one. Maybe Andrew didn’t read, ummm, carefully and thought you meant Grady instead of Scott.

  8. brett says:

    @Stephen: Thanks! I was comparing Strieby to Thames (assuming he can make the position switch) and Ramirez to Thomas, but admittedly that was off the top of my head just to get some conversation going. And i’m certainly not expecting big things in 2010, just maybe some time in the future. The book on Ramirez is that he can’t hit the curveball (and apparently he’s had his share of luck) but he has five tool potential if he can ever take the next step.

  9. Frank Rizzo says:

    Ugh. Bad trades all over the place for my Tigers. Started over a year ago with the Renteria for Jurrjens move. The Washburn trade was awful. The Huff trade. Their attempts at catching lightning in a bottle are blowing up in their faces. The only good move was for Jackson.

    Personally, I like their 1-2-3 with Verlander, Jackson, and Porcello. The slam on Porcello’s K’s seems a bit premature. He was 20 years old this year. There’s still room for growth….literally.

    Polanco can walk. Give it to Sizemore.

    Resign Everette if he’s cheap. Resign Lyon to be the closer while making Perry the setup man.

    They should try and get someone who will shoot some life into this ballclub. Not sure who, but this team was so tight this year it was ridiculous. Absolutely no life in the dugout or locker room. Zero.

  10. Grey

    Grey says:

    @peter: Maybe, not sure. Hard to say with his comment.

  11. Stephen says:

    @Jimmy Ray: They have been in trouble for quite some time actually. They have bought their current team through trades and free agency. Hindsight is always twenty-twenty, but the Renteria for Jair Jurrgens was terrible. Also, I would say they are more in trouble for their outfield as there is not a sure thing in the minors (not that there is ever a “sure thing” with prospects). They have an abundance of minor league relievers that could be called upon. They can resign Lyons place Perry as the setup man (like Frank Rizzo said), either resign Everett or another defensive minded SS and bat him in the bottom third of the lineup, and call upon Crosby for their 5th starter.

    With Granderson and Miguel Cabrera the Tigers have a decent offense to build around. What they need to do is figure out how to trade some of their aging stars (Ordonez, Huff – bad trade, Guillen). Their rotation is fine 1 through 3, 4 is iffy, and 5 is just as iffy. They honestly need to make a few trades that are going to restock their minors with decent prospects and hope that some of their younger players improve faster than desirable. Crosby, Sizemore, Fien, Avile/Ryan, and Streiby/Boesch should get extended looks in spring training with about half of them making the opening day squad.

    @peter: Not sure, but he seemed bitter and ignores the facets that make Polanco a decent player. Granted that is all speculation on my part.

    @brett: Strieby should be better than Thames. If he switches to the outfield, it looks like he may be a bit like Jason Kubel (a mix between Kubel’s career year and next years expectations).

    @Frank Rizzo: The “slam” of Porcello’s K-rate is justified by the fact that in the low minors (High-A) he had a very similar K-rate. It isn’t always a bad thing, but he isn’t a strikeout pitcher. He is who he is and he pitched well this year. He is a young stud, but not a dominate strikeout pitcher.

    That life you are looking for may have to be lower expectations for the ball club. Granted, they weren’t even expected to contend this year (as were the Twins). Everett = keep, Polanco = walk is a good thought as Everett will be cheaper. Polanco is getting old and will need too much money to keep him. I think there will be a lot of upheaval of players this year in Detroit.

  12. brett says:

    I hope you’re right.

    It won’t be easy for Dombrowski to take any of his aging outfielders or bad pitching contracts off the books, so i’m afraid he’ll be forced to sit tight and hope their problems can be solved internally (with the exception of finding someone to play shortstop). But that’s not his style. He’ll pull something off, i just can’t envision how.

  13. Stephen says:

    @brett: I only hope for competitive sake as I am a Twins fan.

  14. Andrew says:

    I didn’t expect that I would need to, but I’ll elaborate on why i think it’s a bad comp:

    61 XBH for Sizemore in 2009
    Polanco has a career high of 48 XBH in the majors, and 34 XBH in the minors.

    Contact rates- when I think of polanco, I immediately think of a player that’s very, very difficult to strike out. Perhaps, I’m alone in this, but to me it is the trait that I immediately think of when I think of Polanco.

    Over his major league career, Polanco has a K rate of 7.1%.
    Sizemore’s 2009 K rate combined from AA and AAA was more than double that at 18.3%.

    Slugging %, OBP, and OPS- I’m grouping these together out of laziness, but each shows a pretty big difference between Sizemore and Polanco. Even if you want to go into MLEs, there will be a significant difference between Sizemore and Polanco. Since it’s easier, I will only point out that Sizemore’s combined 2009 OPS was .889, while Polanco’s career high in the majors is .846. Sizemore’s minor league OPS numbers range from a low of .767 to the aforementioned .889 as a high. Polanco has only topped .767 5 times in a 12 year major league career. Polanco’s career HIGH BB% in the majors? 7.9%. Sizemore’s career LOW BB% in the minors? 9.8%.

    Without knowing batted ball numbers, I can’t say for certain, but Sizemore’s minor league BABIPs look to be on the lucky side. If anyone has those numbers, feel free to analyze them and report what you find.

    If his BABIPs are indeed inflated, expecting him to consistently hit .300 while jumping up to the majors is a joke. I’d be more than willing to wager my life’s savings that Sizemore never hits above .341 (Polanco’s career high). Even last year’s number of .285 is on the high end of what you can expect out of Sizemore next year.


  15. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Andrew: When you just say a vague statement about something being off in Stephen’s post, I have no idea where you’re coming from. Now I know. Thanks for the clarification!

  16. Andrew says:

    Anytime, bby!

    And I’d just like to clarify, since I more than likely came off as a dick/still come off as a dick:

    I enjoy and appreciate everything I read here, no matter who’s writing it. I just felt that comping Sizemore with Polanco wasn’t particularly illuminating.

  17. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Andrew: Cool… I now understand where you’re coming from, didn’t before, it’s all good.

  18. Stephen says:

    @Andrew: I am not trying to argue that they are the exact same player (Baseball America made the comparison). I also appreciate the clarification for your statement.

    If you look at when those comparisons were made, pre-2009 breakout year, then they look spot on. Polanco’s career line of .303/.348/.414 looked really close to what Sizemore was doing before this year. Polanco’s walk and k-rate for his career are 5.4% and 7.1% respectfully. His ISO has never topped more than .159 (in ’03 with the Phillies) while Sizemore finally showed any sort of power beyond the gap power he showed in 2007 with 35 doubles, and I agree with your assessment.

    Most scouts didn’t think he would strikeout as much as he did this year. I would expect something along the lines of 14% BB rate and 16% k-rate if he were to play a full season at Triple-A, at the majors his k-rate would probably go up a point or two while his walk rate would be near 9 or 10%.

    Here is Sizemore’s career lines:
    ’06 at A(ss) : .327/.394/.435/.829 in 294 AB | ISO .109 | .381 BABIP
    ’07 at Single-A: .265/.376/.390/.767 in 438 AB | ISO .126 | .299 BABIP
    ’08 at High-A : .286/.365/.409/.774 in 203 AB | ISO .123 | .348 BABIP
    ’09 AA/AAA : .308/.389/.500/.889 in 520 AB | ISO .192 | .353/.349 BABIP

    One of these seasons is not like the other. He will need to repeat ’09 to have a different comparison other than Polanco Jr with a tad more strength.

    Polanco’s career ISO is .111 with a high of .159 with a career BABIP of .314. Polanco was not a top prospect and never hit like one to begin with.

    Choosing only 2009 stats for Sizemore is faulty in the fact that he finally hit well. Right now it is his outlier. However, he will hit more XBH and a few more homers.

    Lastly, I am generally satisfied with your reply, but think there are a few things that Sizemore needs to repeat for you to be completely correct. I am struggle with a better, or closer comparison, who do you think would be a better comparison?

  19. Stephen says:

    @Andrew: You’re fine. I wasn’t offended even before you explained. Promise. I wrote that because BA stated it and thought it would be generally helpful. There are definitely comparisons that never pan out or are irrational. This one still has time to prove which one it is.

    Coming off as a dick happens when anyone, including what I just wrote, tries to state their opinions or point of view. I also apologize for any arrogance that may have been insinuated by my comments.

  20. Andrew says:

    Even if we were to completely discard Sizemore’s 2009 season as a total aberration, I still don’t think a Sizemore/Polanco comp is especially illuminating for fantasy purposes. Given that Sizemore’s minors K rate has fluctuated between 2 and 3 times that of Polanco’s professional K rate, I think expecting Sizemore’s batting average to even out around a .300 rate would be extraordinarily optimistic. Even if it were to, Sizemore’s batted ball numbers would be drastically different from Polanco’s in terms of LDs, GBs, and FBs, which for me is enough to discard the comp.

    Furthermore, I’m somewhat loathe to use minors numbers alone to predict future performance, since we all know they only tell a part of the story. I won’t blame you for the seemingly poor tools assessment that BA did, but the discrepancies in contact and plate discipline numbers are enough to find the scouting report and subsequent player comp suspect in my opinion.

    I don’t know if I can come up with a satisfactory comparison. In such instances, I’d much rather just let the numbers speak for themselves.

    I’ll do a little research, though, and get back to you.

  21. Andrew says:

    @Stephen: You haven’t come across as arrogant, so no need to apologize. I’m glad that I didn’t offend you.

    I’m quite happy, as I’m sure you are, having these sorts of discussions.

  22. Stephen says:

    @Andrew: I love discussing baseball and all things sports actually.

    I still would trust BA’s assessment considering they get their comparisons directly from the team’s organizational scouts and managers. Comparisons aren’t meant to be completely identical to the player in comparison to. Again, I find myself agreeing with what said though. You’re statement, “Even if it were to, Sizemore’s batted ball numbers would be drastically different from Polanco’s in terms of LDs, GBs, and FBs, which for me is enough to discard the comp.” would be applicable to any comparison though. Even if you compared Adam Dunn and Ryan Reynolds. Their sabermetric/extended stats would definitely have differing emphases. However, your point is well taken.

  23. Andrew says:

    After a little research, my player comp for Sizemore’s 2009 would be Marcus Giles in 2006.

  24. Stephen says:

    @Andrew: The same steroid Giles that hit .262/.341/.387/.729 in 2006?

  25. Andrew says:

    yeah, ignoring career arcs, it’s about where i expect sizemore’s stats to be in 2010

  26. Andrew says:

    sorry, i meant 2010, not 2009 in comment #24

  27. Stephen says:

    @Andrew: That would be about right then.

  28. Stephen says:

    @Andrew: Did you see that Marcus Giles hit 37 homers in Single-A?

  29. Andrew says:

    hahahaha, no i didn’t. that’s unbelievable.

  30. Stephen says:

    @Andrew: That happened in 1998, in 1999 he hit 13 and then 17 in 2000

  31. Yanks vs Phils World Series = 10000000 Home Runs.

  32. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Elijah: Really kinda scary the Dodgers are relying on Padilla in a do or die game.

  33. Stephen says:

    @Elijah: Tinsle-town and the Dodgers are going to hear it hard core this off season if they can’t make it to the World Series!!!

  34. @Stephen:

    Phillies do you got our number,
    Padilla’s the only one we’ll call
    We might lose if we can’t do better
    For our-seeelves.

  35. @Grey:

    Kinda figured the Dodgers lack of an ace(s) would cost them this series coming in. Looks like a good assessment now. I think the Phil’s match up much better vs Yanks as well with their Listing to Port roster.

  36. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Elijah: Will be a huge offensive series (now that I say that it’ll probably be 2-1 games).

  37. Stephen says:

    @Elijah: Only in hindsight.

  38. Whats the Over/Under on rain outs for Yanks/Phils? If I hear one more guy suggest a Neutral site World Series this year I will puke. (Buster Olney you are dead to me now)

  39. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Elijah: I’d say the over/under is 1. They try to play every game they can.

  40. @Grey:

    I was thinking maybe 2 but you are probably right. Buddy was saying “What about snowouts?”

  41. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Elijah: Ah, snowouts… Olney just wants to go to Vegas to cover the series.

  42. Andrew says:


    and giles didn’t even make BA’s 1999 top 100 list putting up those numbers at 2B…. am i missing something? even if he were extremely old for his level, you’d think he’d make it, especially since he did in 2000 and 2001

  43. @Grey:

    Hamels 4.1 IP 3 ER, sounds like all too many of your starts for me this year.

  44. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Elijah: Yeah, he needs like a 7 month offseason to recoup from the last two years.

  45. BigFatHippo says:

    @Elijah: Nice Steely Dan reference, although the lyrics were atrocious.

    @Grey: Looks like a Yanks-Phillies series, I’m excited, sorta……………..

  46. Grey

    Grey says:

    @BigFatHippo: I’m excited to hear all about how A-Rod is the greatest hitter in the world over and over and over again.

  47. BigFatHippo says:

    @Grey: and no mention of the unmentionables………..MLB will not stand for that, no sir!

  48. @BigFatHippo:

    Yah, a miserable hack. All I can say in defense is it took about 15 secs to write.

  49. @Grey:

    We all are Grey, heh.

  50. BigFatHippo says:

    What’s Jayson Werth now?

  51. BigFatHippo says:

    @Elijah: You had to listen to the song 3 times, took at least 15 minutes, you ain’t gotta lie to be cool man……………….

  52. BigFatHippo says:

    Ought oh…………….bases loaded………….no outs

  53. Grey

    Grey says:

    @BigFatHippo: It’s all about The Flying Hawaiian.

  54. big o says:

    for 2010 , i need to remember to never activate a SP scheduled to appear in a game @ citizens bank park …. regardless of the uniform .
    it really is not a major league caliber ball field .

  55. Steve says:

    @Stephen: I guess the difference between the Tigers and the Twins (to my untrained eye anyway) is that the Twins are better at extracting the maximum from what they have.

  56. Steve says:

    @Grey: If memory serves, the Flyin’ Hawaiian was great in the playoffs last year.

    A man for the big occasion, it would seem.

  57. Stephen says:

    @Steve: I would agree to a certain extent. That would be true if Terry Ryan was the Twins GM, but with Bill Smith things are a bit different. I am not ready to write off the Garza-Bartlett for Young-Harris-Pridie for Young is still, well, young, and Bartlett is not as good as the media is making him. However, the Twins have done a good job of maximizing their pitching prospects. Even so, they have been helped by mediocrity in the AL Central this decade.

    Other than that, the majority of the hitting prospects are busts, or they give up on them. Ortiz was something similar, Garret Jones wasn’t doing anything for years and would not count on him repeating that. Morneau, Kubel, Cuddyer and Mauer are all in-house hitters, but Morneau stinks in the second half, Cuddyer isn’t reliable, and Kubel JUST broke out. I think the Tigers are able to content each year because they have spent what it takes, but they will fall into oblivion if they can’t figure out how to restock their minors.

  58. Stephen says:

    ***NEWS FLASH***
    Via Rotoworld – Scott Sizemore:

    “Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski expects Scott Sizemore (ankle) to be ready for spring training.
    Sizemore fractured a bone in his left ankle during a collision at second base during Thursday’s game in the Arizona Fall League. However, because it is considered a “nondisplaced” fracture, the team believes he will recover in six weeks and be able to resume off-season training. “It’s a setback in that he won’t be playing in the Arizona Fall League, which has another month to go, but the recovery should only take about six weeks,” said Dombrowski. “He’ll probably be in a walking cast. He’ll be fine in a very short time.” The 24-year-old is expected to compete for the starting second base job should the Tigers let Placido Polanco walk.”

  59. Stephen says:

    More interesting news for the Detroit Tigers via Rotoworld:

    “Lynn Henning of the Detroit News says that there is “no way” Jarrod Washburn is brought back to Detroit for 2010, nevermind being offered arbitration.
    Washburn went 1-3 with a 7.33 ERA after being acquired from the Mariners at the trade deadline and battled injury issues. It’s no surprise that the Tigers aren’t keen on bringing him back, but the lefty won’t have a problem finding a landing spot. Henning also names Aubrey Huff as someone certain not to return to Detroit.”

  60. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Stephen: That’s interesting about Sizemore, thanks for that update.

  61. brett says:

    @Stephen: Yeah, thanks for keeping the updates coming in. I’ll be reading mlbtr (sorry for plugging another blog) on at least a daily basis, but i much prefer the commenters here so it’ll be good if a few of these threads stays active.

    Also, are you at all worried about losing the Metrodome effect? I know i can’t say anything objective in support of this theory, but i think that dome provided more value (in terms of balls lost in the roof, misplayed balls through the infield, etc) than just about any player on the Twins not named Joe Mauer. Of course, that’s probably just me being a bitter Tigers fan, and to be fair, Terry Ryan always did a fantastic job of tailoring his team to the ballpark. It’ll be interesting to see if Smith can sustain the low payroll success.

  62. Stephen says:

    @brett: I will post relevant news updates for the team at hand. However, I am definitely willing to address other teams prospects and MLB news that happens too that isn’t related to the article. For example, Mike Stanton was taken out of the AFL, as was Jayson Heyward (though he may come back), and I believe Dayan Viciedo was too.

    The Metrodome effect — I really only noticed this year against, I believe it was the Pirates, where it was truly a huge issue. I know some of your younger Tigers struggled with it too. However, I don’t think it was a HUGE factor. If you build your team around the premise that the Dome’s ceiling will create troubles for opposing teams, then you’re going to have other issues. Then again, Terry Ryan did an amazing job building a team that utilized the domes astroturf and its new grass too. Truthfully, Bill Smith has ginormous shoes to fill. Granted, he already has all of Ryan’s player development, scouting, and team building in place, but Smith still hasn’t called any shots that have helped the team yet. Specifically noting how the Young – Harris for Graza – Bartlett trade hasn’t panned out (YET), he signed over-the-hill veterans, and is winning with Ryan’s talent pool. It will be interesting to see the next few years when Smith’s “players/prospects” start playing a more predominant role. One plus that Smith has is a larger payroll than Ryan ever was allowed.

  63. brett says:

    Agreed, Smith walked in to a pretty good situation so it’s hard to gauge (at least from an outside perspective) how well he’s done. Neither of his big trades look very good at this point, but adding Cabrera and Crede were solid moves and he at least tried not to alienate the bullpen this year. I don’t know much about their recent draft classes but i guess we’ll find out.

  64. brett says:

    Sure did. Although it just makes me pessimistic about this offseason :(

  65. Stephen says:

    @brett: Sorry!?! Just that they are a bit cashed strapped and lack major league ready talent.

  66. brett says:

    Exactly why i’m pessimistic. It’s not your fault.

    At least they’re giving me reading material with all the trade rumors that (in all likelihood) wont amount to anything. There’s no way Mike Illich is this desperate to cut 3 or 4 million off the payroll after letting Ordonez’s option vest just a couple months ago.

  67. Stephen says:

    @brett: All these rumors actually are surprising me, especially how some are so blatantly illogical. Why would anyone trade Granderson? Ordonez’s option should have been voided and used that money one some younger talent. The Tigers could still compete in the Central as the hype surrounding all these teams is over done. However, the Twins may have to make a decent splash to keep Mauer. Let’s see what happens before you give up.

  68. brett says:

    Yeah, I’m not ready to completely write off this season yet. I’m expecting another frustrating-but-competitive year in the AL Central to be honest. And if the Tigers can keep Grandy, Verlander, Porcello, Jackson and Cabrera they’ll have a lot to build around when all the money comes off the books in 2011.

    I really don’t think they’ll rush out to trade anyone for the sake of saving a few million, so i’m not worried about that. I am slightly worried about them giving up on Granderson because he “can’t hit lefties” or about them trading one of the wrong guys to plug a couple short term holes.

    At least Dombrowski’s being diligent and exploring his options. I’ll give him that.

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