Results tagged ‘ Alex Avila ’
I went to the Tigers game this afternoon with my parents. While they sat where my season tickets are, I decided to buy a ticket in a different section, allowing me to get a different look.
Much like in life, sometimes it’s good to have a different perspective on the things going around you. At today’s game, I got a moment to do just that. Although I didn’t sit in my new seats for the duration of the game, it was fun to get a chance to talk baseball with several fans, including a few who drove up from Ohio to see the game.
Being in the middle of a pennant race, each and every single game seems to have more significance than the one before it. For instance, if the Tigers lost and the White Sox win this evening, then we would find ourselves back in a first place tie with them.
Instead, the Tigers were able to get a walk-off win in one of the more unusual ways, with the game-winning RBI coming courtesy of Alex Avila.
The Tigers now have a one and a half game lead over the White Sox, who begin their four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays later tonight.
Due to a slew of recent injuries and players not performing well, the Tigers made some moves today.
First they placed Alex Avila on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring injury and called up Bryan Holaday from Triple-A Toledo to replace him. Not only that, but they designated Omir Santos for assignment, and called up Jose Ortega from Toledo to bolster their bullpen.
The move makes Santos’ next destination unknown, but assuming no team attempts to claim him via waivers, then he will likely be returning to Toledo. It will also mark the major league debut for Holaday, who is scheduled to start behind the plate today.
Speaking of injuries, Austin Jackson is reportedly feeling good today, and is expected to start a rehab assignment within the next few days.
Not a whole lot of news for the Tigers today, as they get a much needed night off.
Before the season began, fans expected certain people to help lead the way for the Tigers. I’m pretty sure they weren’t expecting to have to count on Danny Worth, Don Kelly and Quintin Berry to lead the way.
For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with the Tigers, multiple injuries have cost us dearly. Andy Dirks was recently placed on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his right Achilles. Austin Jackson is still trying to get back into playing condition, after suffering an abdominal strain. Catchers Gerald Laird and Alex Avila are both dealing with hamstring issues, and Doug Fister is still trying to recover from a left-side strain.
I’m no medical expert, but a day off might just be what the doctor ordered.
During the off-season, the Tigers made national headlines once they signed Prince Fielder. However, there was another signing that took place that many fans either didn’t notice or care about, and that was the signing of Gerald Laird.
I can admit that I was very pleased when I read that the Tigers and Laird had agreed to a one-deal for a million dollars. A lot of people seem to take it for granted that the Tigers pretty much played with only one catcher for most of the 2011 season, and that eventually resulted into having to play an injured Alex Avila for every playoff game.
If the Tigers want to make a run at the World Series this year, it’s essential that they find a way to keep Avila healthy and rested, and I can’t think of a better or more realistic fit than Laird. Not only is an experienced catcher, he also has caught for several of the current Detroit Tigers from when he played for Detroit from 2009-2010. Not only that, but he was a teammate of newly acquired Octavio Dotel last year when the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series.
Another nice thing about Laird is that he provides some offensive productivity, which is better than any of last year’s backup catchers could offer (unless you want to include Victor Martinez). This is important, because an organization needs to always be prepared for a worst-case scenario. If Alex Avila were to have a season-ending injury, the Tigers would otherwise have no realistic options to turn to. With Gerald Laird, they have themselves a nice insurance policy.
On top of it all, Laird has always been considered a great teammate, as well as a great guy to have in the clubhouse. For all of those reasons and more, the Tigers signing of Gerald Laird may not have been the biggest, but it’s definitely up there.
Every good debate needs to have two sides, otherwise it isn’t much of a debate. It’s almost opening day, and this tends to be the time of year where everyone is making their predictions. Seeing as the Tigers begin their season tomorrow, I’m going to debate myself and tell you why the Tigers will, and will not win the World Series in 2012.
Why they will.
2011 proved that the Tigers are a dominant team, and find themselves as heavy favorites to repeat as winners of the AL Central. Breakout years from players such as Justin Verlander, Jhonny Peralta, Alex Avila and Jose Valverde weren’t flukes, and some of them could even improve in 2012!
Last year, Verlander demonstrated that he has finally turned the corner in becoming one of the best pitchers in all of baseball (if not the best). His MVP and Cy Young winning season was one that will certainly be talked about for years to come, and there’s no reason to suspect he can’t repeat it. The Tigers signed Prince Fielder, and have Delmon Young for an entire year, so he should get even more run support than he’s ever had.
When the season began in 2011, I highly doubt many people in Detroit had even heard of Doug Fister, but now it’s hard to find someone that doesn’t know who he is. After being traded to Detroit, Fister was able to put up numbers that not only rivaled Verlander, but was better than him in some (1.79 ERA for Fister compared to 2.54 for Verlander). Having him for the entire year can only lead to more wins, and get us to another World Series.
Let’s also not forget the Tigers biggest acquisition of the offseason, signing Prince Fielder to a nine-year deal. Having Fielder hitting behind Cabrera gives the Tigers the best three and four hitting combination of all of baseball.
With the pitching and offense the Tigers have, there’s no way they don’t win the World Series this year.
There’s no chance the Tigers will win the World Series.
Sure, the Tigers had an incredible year in 2011, but there’s no chance of repeating it.
Verlander is without a doubt one of the best pitchers in baseball, but there’s no chance he’s going to come close in matching any of those numbers again. Look at his career numbers, and you can see how he outperformed almost every single statistic. I’m sure he’ll have a quality season, but he won’t come close to what he did last year.
Can this team actually play defense? You have Miguel Cabrera playing third base, and one of the worst defensive first baseman in all of baseball (Fielder). Not only that, but you have Ryan Raburn playing second base, Delmon Young in left field and Jhonny Peralta at shortstop. There’s no reason to suspect that the Tigers won’t commit the most errors in all of baseball. What’s the old saying? Oh yeah, pitching and DEFENSE win championships.
There were also plenty of flukes in 2011, such as seeing Avila win the Silver Slugger, and Peralta putting up career numbers offensively. ‘Papa Grande’ won’t be so grand, and he’s going to blow a few saves along the way, too. Sure, they’ll be good enough to win their division, but there’s no way they’ll make it out of the first round.
Now that you‘ve heard both sides of the argument, what do you? Do the Tigers have what it takes to win the World Series in 2012?
Earlier today, I completed my first ever fantasy baseball auction draft for a 12 team head to head league. I heavily suggest you and your friends giving it a try sometime, as it adds a fun and competitive dynamic not found in a traditional draft. The concept is quite simple, even for first time participants. You start out with a certain amount of “dollars” to spend on your team (for us, it was 260 dollars). Instead of going in order to draft players, you rotate nominating players, in which all teams have the option of bidding on said player. The catch is you must be able to bid at least one dollar on every single player, and you cannot spend over your bankroll on your entire draft. This creates a challenge when you big top dollar on players early in the draft, but find yourself too low on funds to bid on players in the later rounds.
Here’s my team, and how much I bid on each player.
Catcher: Alex Avila-$13
First baseman: Joey Votto-$47
Second baseman: Ryan Raburn-$1
Shortstop: J.J. Hardy-$6
Third baseman: Placido Polanco-$5
Outfield: Curtis Granderson-$32
Outfield: Brennan Boesch-$7
Outfield: Drew Stubbs-$7
Utility: Corey Hart-$7
Utility: Carlos Beltran-$5
Bench: Jhonny Peralta-$1
Bench: Yadier Molina-$3
Bench: David Freese-$4
Bench: Neil Walker-$3
Starting pitcher: Roy Halladay-$42
Starting pitcher: Doug Fister-$15
Relief pitcher: Jose Valverde-$14
Relief pitcher: Phil Coke-$3
Pitcher: Rick Porcello-$6
Pitcher: Mat Latos-$12
Pitcher: Ryan Madson-$6
Bench: Max Scherzer-$4
Bench: Tim Hudson-$2
Overall, I really feel like my team is very solid all around, with enough star players to make a difference. My strategy going into the draft was to not spend more than 20 percent of my budget on any one player, and to not have more than three people combine to cost more than 60 percent of salary cap. I was able to get my three most expensive players for 46.5% of my budget. By doing this, I had plenty of money available in the later parts of the auction to outbid people who spent foolishly early on. If you do find yourself in an auction draft, I suggest using a similar strategy, as I thought it worked quite well.
Today with no doubt will be a big game for the Detroit Tigers and Brad Penny. After having two disappointing starts, there are a lot of questions as to whether or not he’s still a pitcher worth keeping around. I’m curious to see how he handles a rather difficult Texas lineup, but hopefully he can at least put together a quality start.
And as promised, here’s the current 2011 Tigers PPA% updated through 4/11/2011
(Sorted by number of PA)
Miguel Cabrera:. 512
Austin Jackson: .262
Victor Martinez: .262
Will Rhymes: .316
Jhonny Peralta: .429
Brandon Inge: .273
Brennan Boesch: .424
Alex Avila: .355
Magglio Ordonez: .346
Ryan Raburn: .375
Don Kelly: .250
Ramon Santiago: .400
Casper Wells: .333