Results tagged ‘ Danny Worth ’
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.
As if things weren’t complicated enough already for the Tigers, today they had to announce multiple roster changes.
The first and most devastating move, was the announcement that Doug Fister will once again be returning to the 15-day disabled list. The Tigers have announced the injury to be a left-side strain, and they’re hopeful that he will only miss those 15 days.
Replacing Fister will be Casey Crosby, a left-handed pitching prospect who was originally expected to break camp with the Tigers this spring. Instead, he started out in Triple-A Toledo, where he is 4-2 with a 4.26 ERA in nine starts. Assuming he makes his expected start on Friday, he’ll be making his major league debut against the Yankees.
The Tigers also announced that they have optioned Ryan Raburn to Toledo, and have called up catcher Omir Santos to take up his place on the team. In the mean time, Danny Worth and Ramon Santiago will be splitting time at second base.
That move surprises me a bit, mainly because you don’t often call up a third-string catcher to replace a position player. I wonder if the Tigers are planning on making another move very soon (perhaps even a trade), because this move doesn’t make a ton of sense.
It is said that patience is a virtue, but when it comes to the Tigers, a lot of fans don’t have much left.
To put it simply, the Tigers have been underperforming their expectations for the year. Yes, it’s early in the year, but it hasn’t been pretty the last few weeks. The Tigers have more talent on their team than most teams in baseball, but yet we find them third in the AL Central. Who’s to blame?
I don’t think the fault can fall on any one person, but I’m sure you’ll hear a lot of names being mentioned. No, the Tigers aren’t losing because of Jim Leyland or Prince Fielder, but it’s really an issue of finding some sort of consistency.
When you look at a traditional playoff team, you often see a team with a great balance of pitching, hitting and defense. Right now, I’m not sure the Tigers are consistently performing in any of those categories.
The rotation has been hit or miss, with the exceptions of Doug Fister and Justin Verlander. Drew Smyly has also been solid as the fifth man in the rotation, too. The bullpen hasn’t been lights out, and there’s really no one in the bullpen that I have a ton of faith in at the moment.
Let us also not forget to mention the grab bag of second baseman we’ve had to use. Collectively, they’re barely hitting above their weight. Ryan Raburn (.144), Ramon Santiago (.188) and Danny Worth (.176) are not long-term solutions at second base, and unfortunately they’re the best we have right now.
Come the trade deadline (if not sooner), I would expect the Tigers to be seeking an arm or two out of the bullpen, plus a replacement for second base. If the Tigers continue to struggle through the end of July, it also wouldn’t shock me if the Tigers end up firing one of their coaches.
Until then, I’m going to do my best to be patient. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Tigers are too good of a team to be only a .500 team. I refuse to panic, but my patience is certainly running thin.
Word from Tigers beat reporter Jason Beck is that the Tigers have just announced that the Tigers will be placing Brandon Inge on the 15-day disabled list with mono. In the meantime, the Tigers will be calling up catcher Omir Santos from Toledo, who will likely be sent back down once (and if) Magglio Ordonez makes his return to the Tigers which could be as soon as next week Monday. In all likelihood, it would appear that Danny Worth and Don Kelly will split the extra playing time at third base until Inge returns.
As I was driving home tonight, there was an interesting topic that they’ve been debating on sports talk radio the last few nights, and was also mentioned in the newspaper today, and it’s this: Small ball is overrated in Major League Baseball. Whether you agree or disagree with it, there’s certainly plenty of evidence to support either side.
For what it’s worth, I do believe that every team in Major League Baseball either does, or could benefit from implementing a few basic ‘small ball’ tactics. The phrase, ‘Get ‘em on, get ‘em over and get ‘em in’ has been heard around baseball for at least as long as I’ve been alive, and it’s for a good reason. By being able to steal bases, or advance runners with a sacrifice bunt (or fly), you are able to put yourself in a significantly easier situation to score. Sure, it’s not always quite that simple, but for a sport that has always been about increasing every possible edge, why wouldn’t you want to put your team in a better position to win?
A perfect example took place during the Tigers game today, in which the score was tied 7-7 in the bottom of the 8th inning. First, Danny Worth led the inning off with a line-drive single to right field. Then, with no outs and a runner on first, Austin Jackson came up and laid down a sacrifice bunt. By getting the sacrifice bunt down, you assume you’re putting the potential go ahead run on second base with just one out. However, as was demonstrated today, they tried to get Worth out at second, and instead Twins reliever Phil Dumatrait threw the ball in the dirt. This allowed Worth to be safe at second, and Jackson reached first on the sacrifice. Now with runners at first and second, Casper Wells laid down a bunt down the third baseline which allowed both Worth and Jackson to advance. Finally, Brennan Boesch came up and hit a lazy sacrifice fly to right field which scored Worth, which proved to be the game winning run.
Am I saying that a team only wins by playing small ball? No, but I think there is almost always a time and a place for it, especially in situations where teams are struggling offensively. Sure, there’s a reason why guys like Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols get paid millions of dollars to hit home runs, but by finding other ways to score runs, it not only takes pressure off the big bats, but it will more often than not give your team in a better chance to win.
Until next time, let the debating begin.