Results tagged ‘ Austin Jackson ’
A lot of people in Michigan got a chance to go hunting this weekend, but for the Detroit Tigers, the hunt began weeks ago.
After getting swept in the World Series in a horribly disappointing fashion, Tigers President Dave Dombrowski has the task of hunting for talent that will make Detroit a better team in 2013.
Of course you don’t always get everything that’s on your wish list, but Detroit acted quickly and signed Torii Hunter to a two-year deal for 26 million dollars. Overall, it’s a pretty perfect match, since Hunter can play an above-average defense while bringing a strong right-handed bat. Better yet, Hunter will get a chance to mentor young outfielders such as Austin Jackson, Andy Dirks, Avisail Garcia, Quintin Berry and Nick Castellanos.
Remember, Mike Trout of the Angels gave Hunter a lot of credit for his 2012 season, so hopefully he can do the same with our cast of young and talented outfielders. If so, the 26 million dollars will not only pay dividends now, but well after Hunter leaves Detroit.
So what else do the Tigers need to look for in the next few months? In my opinion, they should look at adding a right-handed hitting corner outfielder who can split playing time with Andy Dirks in left field. Someone like Scott Hairston would make a lot of sense, and wouldn’t cost a lot of money. Not only that, but he was someone who the Tigers were reported to have interest in last year.
Some people say the Tigers should make a hard push to sign Anibal Sanchez, but for the reported six years and 90 million dollars he’s asking for, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I’m usually not an advocate for guaranteeing that much money to a starting pitcher, and it’s hard to convince me that Detroit should spend 15 million dollars on a guy who would be the number four pitcher in their rotation. If Detroit wants to sign a starting pitcher, I’d suggest offering someone like Edwin Jackson a three-year deal for 30 million dollars. If he turns it down, I’d simply stick with the current rotation of Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister, Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly.
I think the best options to fill our closer vacancy are probably internally, such as giving Bruce Rondon a shot, or even Al Alburquerque. If they decide to sign a free agent, I’d suggest going after Ryan Madson, who missed all of 2012 with Tommy John Surgery.
Detroit will also likely consider adding a bullpen arm, and will need to figure out who is going to be their backup catcher. It’s unlikely that Victor Martinez will be able to catch, but with the added payroll, they might elect to give Bryan Holaday a chance.
It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the unseason unfolds, not only for the Tigers, but the rest of Major League Baseball. If the recent deals have been any indication of what to expect, this could be one of the most exciting offseasons in MLB history.
With the 2012 All-Star Game drawing close, it means that time is running out for fans to vote. Today I’m going to tell you which Tigers you should vote for and why.
Leading off for the Tigers (pun intended) is Austin Jackson. Jackson has been a catalyst for the Tigers this year, posting a slash line of .320/.410/.547, all which rank in the top 10 in the American League. Jackson is not only an All-Star because of what he’s done offensively, because he’s only one of the top (if not the) defensive center fielders in all of baseball. The biggest knock against him will be the fact that he missed a few weeks due to an injury, but I don’t think he missed enough time that it should deter fans from voting for him.
Moving down the line, you’ll find the best right-handed hitter in all of baseball, Miguel Cabrera. A lot of people wondered how Cabrera would do defensively, and I think he’s quieted most of them. No, he’s still not an elite defender, but he has done a decent job at the hot corner. Cabrera is currently hitting .313 with 14 home runs, while driving in 55 runs. I’d be absolutely shocked if he’s not starting for the AL on July 10th.
Across the diamond, you’ll find Prince Fielder. Fielder was the largest acquisition of the offseason for the Tigers, and he also makes more money than anyone else on the team. The Tigers were willing to give Fielder 23 million dollars to do one thing, and that’s hit the ball. Fielder has put up solid numbers so far this year, batting .311 with 10 home runs. A lot of people might worry about Fielder’s home run numbers, but Comerica Park isn’t exactly built for home runs, it’s built for doubles. Despite that, Fielder is on pace for what could very well be one of his best offensive years, and he certainly deserves to be voted for.
No All-Star team is complete without quality pitching, and I’d imagine that Justin Verlander will be getting the nod, barring something drastic. Coming off a career year that saw Verlander win the AL Cy Young and MVP awards, many wondered if he’d be able to come close to repeating that level of success. In 15 starts, Verlander has gone 7-4 with a 2.57 ERA. It’s hard to find anyone who has been as consistently dominant as JV, so him making the team is a no-brainer. Unfortunately, fans can’t vote for pitchers to make the All-Star Game, but they can still show their support for him via Twitter, Facebook or just by going to Comerica Park to watch him pitch.
I don’t know who will make the team, or who won’t, but you know I’ll be voting for the Tigers.
The Tigers have won four of their last six games, but there’s still the question of how can they find ways to improve. Perhaps the Tigers will be looking to make a trade in the upcoming weeks.
There’s been some reported speculation that the Tigers are interested in trading for Carlos Quentin from the San Diego Padres, but I don’t think Detroit fans should be excited about this. It’s hard to speculate about a trade without knowing what the other team wants, but I’d imagine it’d be one of our young outfielders such as Andy Dirks or Brennan Boesch, plus a top-tier pitching prospect.
Simply put, I think the Padres are going to want a lot more for Quentin than he’s worth for the Tigers. We’ve dealt with one poor defensive left fielder already this year, so I don’t need to go through that again. If you tell me the Padres are willing to accept Delmon Young as part of the package, then I’d welcome it with open arms.
Freeing up Young would allow the Tigers to play a combination of Dirks (once he returns from the disabled list), Austin Jackson, Boesch and Quintin Berry in the outfield, allowing Quentin to be our primary DH. Granted I think it’s quite possible that one of the outfielders I just mentioned would likely be involved any deal, though.
Another intriguing possibility would be signing Vladimir Guerrero to be our DH. Not only would it prevent us from having to further deplete our farm system, but it would also cost us a lot less money. Quentin is making just over seven million dollars this year, whereas Guerrero would likely cost significantly less. I’m not saying either is likely, but I think it’s a worthwhile comparison.
I do think it’s very likely that the Tigers will consider themselves to be buyers at the trade deadline, but I’m not willing to trade our entire farm system just for the sake of adding a bullpen arm and an extra bat. I’m not saying that prospects like Jacob Turner and Nick Castellanos are untouchable, but I wouldn’t let them go cheaply, either.
There’s no denying that the Tigers have been struggling as of late. In the last month, the Tigers have only managed to win two games in a row once, and that’s when they swept the Twins in a three-game series that ended on May 27th.
The story hasn’t changed much, but the Tigers are optimistic about the return of Austin Jackson from the disabled list. Having Jackson back at the top of the lineup may be the catalyst that the Tigers need.
That’s not to say that Quintin Berry didn’t do a fine job in replacing him the last two weeks, but it’s not realistic to expect Berry to continue to do what he’s done.
But the story of today’s game isn’t just about the return of Jackson, it’s about who’s taking the mound for Detroit, and that’d be the reigning AL MVP.
Justin Verlander has struggled in his last three outings, going 0-3 with an ERA of 4.43. I wouldn’t put the blame entirely on Verlander for those losses, as he’s also had to deal with a bit of bad luck, too.
Expectations were incredibly high for Verlander as he entered the 2012 season. Many thought and predicted he’d be able to duplicate his numbers from what is likely to be the best year (at least statistically) in his career. Now that he’s lost three games in a row, people are starting to panic.
Detroit needs someone to step up and start to turn this team around, and perhaps there’s no one else in the league more capable than Verlander to do just that. It’s important to remember that all winning streaks start with one.
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.
It’s no secret that a lot of baseball’s best players are currently injured. So many are hurting, that you can assemble an All-Star team with players who are currently on the disabled list. Don’t believe me? Well here you go.
Catcher: Carlos Santana- Santana is currently on the DL after sustaining a concussion. Even though he hasn’t performed at the offensive level that he’s expected to, he’s been a solid for the Indians this year.
First base: Lance Berkman- With the departure of Albert Pujols, the Cardinals were hoping that Berkman would come close to repeating what he did in 2011. Instead, it’s been an injury-filled season for Berkman, whose injury has allowed prospect Matt Carpenter to get a chance to get significant playing time with the Cardinals. Unfortunately, Carpenter soon also found himself on the disabled list, too.
Second base: Mark Ellis- Fine, I’ll admit that calling Ellis an All Star is a bit of a stretch, but he’s the best of what’s available. Ellis has been a steady performing at second base throughout his career, and the Dodgers were counting on him to be their everyday second baseman, but a leg injury will likely cost him at least another five weeks. In the meantime, the Dodgers will have Elian Herrera and Jerry Hairston sharing duties at second.
Shortstop: Stephen Drew- Coming off a breakout year, the Diamondbacks were optimistic that Drew would be more than able to help get the Diamondbacks back to the playoffs in 2012. Instead, he’s spent the entire season recovering from ankle surgery. It’s possible that he could return sometime within the next month, barring any setbacks.
Third base: Pablo Sandoval- The San Francisco Giants have been missing one of their key offensive pieces, and are eager to have Sandoval back at full strength. Sandoval has been out of action after fracturing a bone in his left hand. If all goes well, he might be able to start his rehab assignment as early as next week Monday.
Outfield: Matt Kemp, Austin Jackson and Jon Jay- Kemp made it one day off the DL before re-aggravating his hamstring. He will likely be missing at least another two weeks, but reports indicate that it could be longer. Jackson was critical to the early success for the Tigers, but an abdominal strain has put him out of action since May 16th. Jackson was taking swings off a batting tee today, but still isn’t quite ready for full baseball activities. Jay has been hurting with a sprained right shoulder, and it doesn’t look like a return anytime soon seems realistic. Jay is just one of the many Cardinals who have spent time on the DL, and it is definitely taking a toll on the reigning champions.
Starting pitchers: Doug Fister, Roy Halladay and Jered Weaver- Fister has reaggravated his left-side strain and will be spending his second stint on the DL. Halladay injured his shoulder, and is likely to miss up to eight weeks. There’s unfortunately no miracle in store for the Angels either, as Weaver has been placed on the DL due to a variety of back problems.
Relief pitchers: Drew Storen, Andrew Bailey and Mariano Rivera- This hasn’t been a good year for closers in baseball, and three of the best have spent a good majority of the year missing in action. Drew Storen hasn’t pitched yet this year, and neither has Andrew Bailey. Storen has been struggling with pain in his elbow, and Bailey had surgery on his thumb. But the biggest injury was that to Mariano Rivera, who will miss the remainder of the 2012 season after tearing his ACL while shagging fly balls during batting practice.
It was reported late last night that the Tigers have decided to designate Collin Balester for assignment, and are going to call up outfielder Quintin Berry from Toledo to take his place on the roster.
The bigger (and in my opinion more important) question isn’t about what this means for the future of the Tigers bullpen, but what does this mean for Austin Jackson?
The fact that the Tigers decided to call up a center fielder from triple-A would certainly seem like an indication that Jackson is still at least quite a few days away from returning to the lineup. Jackson has been a catalyst for the Tigers this year, hitting .331 with an on-base percentage of .414. No offense to Don Kelly, but he’s not able to fill that hole.
At this point, it wouldn’t shock me if the Tigers go ahead and put Jackson on the 15-day disabled list, especially since he hasn’t played a game since May 16. Detroit can start his time spent on the DL back to that day, so they could essentially have him back in a week. If his abdominal strain isn’t close to being ready, I’d rather have them not waste a roster spot and only risk further injuring Jackson.
We’ll see what happens, as the Tigers will likely need to make a decision sometime before the weekend.
Friday marked my first full day in New York City, and by far the day that involved the Detroit Tigers the most during my stay.
First things first, I woke up much earlier than I had anticipated. The people I was staying with all had to wake up early for work, so I wanted to make sure I was up before them. It gave me a chance to catch up on all the baseball news I missed the previous day, and catch up with some personal business.
About 1:00 PM, I met up with a few friends who also happened to be in town. We first ventured to Strawberry Fields in Central Park, where we got to see the memorial for John Lennon. I thought it was a beautiful and appropriate memorial for Lennon, and it was definitely worth getting a chance to see it.
For those who aren’t aware, Strawberry Fields is located almost directly across the street from where Lennon was shot. You can see the building clearly from the memorial, which I thought was very cool.
After that, we headed to Yankee Stadium where I got a chance to watch my Tigers play. It’s always interesting to go to a new stadium, and I’m very glad that I got the chance to walk around beforehand and see all that it had to offer. Here’s some pictures of a few things that caught my eye.
Speaking of catching things, I managed to convince Austin Jackson to toss me a ball during batting practice. The conversation was very in depth and moving and went something like this.
Me: Hey, Jackson! I’m from Detroit, can I get a ball?
(Jackson tosses me a ball while I’m in monument park)
Me: Thanks, man!
Jackson: No problem.
Who knew getting a ball was that easy?
Eventually we found the way to our seats, only to watch the Tigers blow a late-inning lead. Despite the fact the Tigers loss, it was incredibly awesome to watch Justin Verlander pitch on the road. Too bad we weren’t able to get the win.
After that, we met up with friends for another night on the town, ending day number two.
After last night’s game was rained out, the Tigers and Rangers played a doubleheader to make it up. The Rangers looked dominant in the first game, but the Tigers came roaring back in the second.
To say that Rick Porcello struggled in the first game is putting it nicely, but if you can’t bring you’re A-game against the Rangers, they’re going to make you pay. After scoring eight runs in the first inning, Porcello’s day was over. Home runs by Austin Jackson and Miguel Cabrera brought the Tigers closer, but it was too little, too late.
There’s really no need to panic about Porcello, as you’re going to your ups and downs as the season goes on. Porcello looked great in his first two starts, so let’s not forget that.
Looking to avoid losing their third straight home game, Justin Verlander did what he did so many times last year, and that’s put a tally in the win column.
It was obvious that the Rangers were trying to drive up Verlander’s pitched count and that approach nearly worked.
After six innings, Verlander had allowed only one run on four hits, but had thrown 115 pitches. That meant his day was done and the Tigers headed to their bullpen. Octavio Dotel held the Rangers in check, but Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde definitely provided a bit of late-inning excitement for all the fans watching the game.
But all that matters is that we were able to get the win and split the doubleheader. Hopefully the Tigers can continue to roll tomorrow so we can split this four game series before the Mariners come to town.