Results tagged ‘ Delmon Young ’
Tomorrow marks the beginning of the end of the baseball season, as the San Francisco Giants will host the Detroit Tigers for the first game of the World Series. The Tigers will look to redeem themselves after their disappointing showing in the 2006 World Series, whereas the Giants are simply hoping to recapture the magic they had when they were world champions back in 2010.
So before the first pitch is thrown, I wanted to take a minute to give my official World Series thoughts and predictions. Being from Detroit, it’s not easy to be objective, but I’m going to give it my best shot.
There’s an old saying in baseball that pitching and defense wins championships. Of course if history has taught us anything, it’s that nothing is quite as simple as that. It’s an ironic adage, because the Tigers definitely have better pitching, but the Giants definitely have the superior defense. Does this mean there’s no clear favorite? Oh there is, and the advantage definitely goes to Detroit.
The Tigers have several things going for them, including the fact that all of their pitchers are rested, and they can line up their rotation however they like. Coming off a crucial game seven on Monday, the Giants do not have that luxury. The Giants are going to possibly have to face Justin Verlander, Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez each two times. Throw in the Max Scherzer for at least one start, and things start to look promising for Detroit.
In case you’re not aware, in nine playoff games, Detroit’s starting pitchers have combined to go 5-1 with a 1.02 ERA. On the other hand, the bullpen hasn’t been nearly as good. Joaquin Benoit has had his struggles, and nobody is even sure if Jose Valverde will get a chance to save another game this postseason. If Detroit is going to win the World Series, the bullpen simply needs to be better.
Even if Detroit allows a few runs, there’s still no need to panic. When the heart of your lineup has Miguel Cabrera, (who just so happened to win the Triple Crown) Prince Fielder and Delmon Young, you can’t help but feel like your team is going to be able to score a few runs every night.
Regardless of how heavily their favored Detroit is, you still cannot count out the San Francisco Giants. They have two of the most dominant starting pitchers in recent years in Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, not to mention they do have home-field advantage for the series. Oh yeah, they also have the likely NL MVP in Buster Posey.
But at the end of the day, I just don’t see either team scoring a lot of runs, and Detroit’s starting pitchers have been lights out for the postseason, and I don’t see that stopping now. I’ll take the Tigers to defeat the Giants in five games.
The Tigers have been on a downward spiral the last week, losing five of their last seven games. When Rick Porcello takes the mound tonight against the Red Sox, the Tigers need to find a way to get back to their winning ways.
Entering the game, the Tigers find themselves three games back of the first place Chicago White Sox. Although it’s by no means an insurmountable number, you don’t want to find yourself trailing by more than five games entering September. As long as they can keep pace with the White Sox, they should certainly find themselves fighting for a spot in the playoffs.
In an attempt to shake things up, the Tigers are now going to have Brennan Boesch hitting fifth in the lineup instead of Delmon Young. During the month of July, Boesch hit .295 with a .538 slugging percentage. By comparison, Young hit for a disappointing .250 average and a .417 slugging percentage during that same time. If Boesch can keep that production level during August, it should lead to more runs being scored.
If that doesn’t work, don’t be surprised if the Tigers attempt to make a move through waivers, similar to how they acquired Young last year. When you have Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder in the heart of your lineup, there’s no reason why the Tigers shouldn’t be scoring more runs. Of course you can’t put all of the blame on the lineup, as Detroit’s starting pitchers have also struggled in the last few weeks.
For the 2012 season, the Tigers rotation has struggled to show signs of consistency. In fact, the Tigers starting pitchers have an ERA of 4.19 on the year, which ranks them 21st in all of Major League Baseball.
Of course the hope is that acquiring Anibal Sanchez will help strengthen their rotation, but if the Tigers want to make it back to the playoffs, their starting pitchers have to do better. There’s still plenty of baseball left to be played, and plenty of time to turn it around.
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.
The Tigers have gotten off to a solid start this year, but there’s one aspect of their game that has not received the attention that it’s deserved.
If you would’ve asked baseball fans around the country what the biggest struggle was going to be for the Tigers this year, they would have all mentioned defense. The Tigers are not a team that is built around strong defense, and critics immediately started to wonder how having Miguel Cabrera at third, Prince Fielder at first, Ryan Raburn at second and Delmon Young in left field would impact the club.
After 11 games, the Tigers have only committed three errors, which is the second fewest in all of baseball (only trailing the Boston Red Sox). It’s hard to imagine that the Tigers will be able to keep that pace going for the remainder of the season, but it’s certainly not impossible.
Cabrera and Fielder both worked incredibly hard during spring training, as the two pushed each other to do everything they could to make themselves better defensively. In recent interviews, Fielder has said that he felt he owed it to Cabrera to work on his defensive game, and that says a lot about his character and team chemistry.
People certainly expect the Tigers to do a lot of things this year. They’re going to hit home runs, score runs and pitch well, but I don’t think many people expected them to look this good defensively. Playing solid defense is often something that goes unnoticed by most people, but there’s an old saying in baseball, ‘Pitching and defense wins championships.” The Tigers not only are doing both of those things, but they’re hitting the ball, and that makes them very dangerous.
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?
As I’ve done with all of my other fantasy baseball drafts, I’m going to give you a round by round breakdown of it. Hopefully this can help you prepare in case you haven’t had your draft yet. This was for an eight person, head to head league. It’s important to realize that the less people are playing, the average roster will be significantly better in comparison to a 12 team league. Also, I just wanted to mention if you ever have any fantasy baseball questions for me during the season, feel free to comment on one of my blogs, or send me a tweet @brjeffers13 and I’ll do my best to help you. If I think it’s a good enough question, I’ll even write a blog with more in depth analysis.
Round 1 (3rd overall): Jose Bautista-After Miguel Cabrera and Matt Kemp were off the board, I decided to take Bautista instead of Albert Pujols, who is ranked third in most pre-draft rankings. Some reasons for this include the fact that Bautista is eligible at multiple positions, giving me depth at both third base, as well as the outfield. His 2011 numbers pretty much exceeded those of Pujols, plus you’re going to get more stolen bases. I’m not sure that Bautista will duplicate the numbers he put up last year, but I highly doubt there will be a significant drop off.
Round 2 (14th overall): Adrian Gonzalez-It’s hard to not love Gonzalez, as he’s been a consistently dominant hitter for many years, and he’s playing in a very hitter-friendly ballpark in Boston. I’ll gladly take a guy who will hit around .300 with 30 home runs, and 100 RBIs in the second round, and you should, too.
Round 3 (19th overall): Dustin Pedroia-I consider Pedroia the second best offensive second baseman behind Robinson Cano, and at a position where there’s not exactly a whole lot of big talent around the league, I wanted to get a well above average second baseman while there was still one on the board. Some people would say you should draft a quality starting pitcher with this pick, but I don’t feel that was necessary with it being a league with only eight teams.
Round 4 (30th overall): Cole Hamels-Definitely an interesting pick on my part, but you can consider me a fan of Hamels. With Kershaw, Verlander, Lee and Halladay already off the board, I wanted to make sure I was able to get a proven starting pitcher. Even though not everyone agrees with it, I love taking solid players in a contract year, as they always have a little extra incentive to perform.
Round 5 (35th overall): Jered Weaver-There’s really no reason to suspect that Weaver won’t have another strong year in 2012, and with the improved offense behind him, he should be able to be a bit more comfortable on the mound. I thought this was one of the easiest picks I made in the draft, as I almost selected him a round earlier.
Round 6 (46th overall): Hunter Pence-Some people are still not sold on the fact that Pence is an All-Star outfielder, and I don’t get it. In the last three years, Pence is hitting .292 while averaging about 24 home runs a year. Don’t forget that he’s also likely to steal you a about 10 bases or so a year, and those add up through the course of a year.
Round 7 (51st overall): Mike Napoli-Another person that I love because of him being eligible at both catcher and first base. There’s a quick drop off amongst most catchers in Major League Baseball, so I love being able to get a guy that should be amongst the best in the league. I plan on using him primarily as a catcher, except on days that Adrian Gonzalez has off, then I can shift him to first base to fill the void.
Round 8 (62nd overall): Ben Zobrist-I have a feeling that I’m either going to love or hate this pick. I went with a guy who hits for a decent average, has speed, and plays multiple positions. Hopefully he can hit about .275 this year with 20 home runs, 15 stolen bases and keep his slugging percentage around the .435 it’s been in his career. If he does, then I got a ton of value from this pick.
Round 9 (67th overall): Stephen Strasburg-Simply put, if Strasburg is healthy, he should’ve been picked about five rounds earlier. I played the risk vs. reward card here, and I’m hoping it’ll pay dividends.
Round 10 (78th overall): Desmond Jennings-Although I have absolutely no clue what kind of average Jennings will have in 2012, I expect him to steal a ton of bases and hit around 15 home runs for Tampa Bay this year. I’ve noticed that a lot of people don’t pay attention to stolen bases in fantasy baseball, so there’s always value in picking up a speedster or two, as it’ll likely be enough to win the stolen base category in most leagues.
Round 11 (83rd overall): James Shields-“Big Game” James seems to be consistent every year, and still manages to stay off the radar each year. Hopefully Shields can prove that 2011 wasn’t a fluke, when he won 16 games with a 2.82 ERA, while striking out 225 hitters along the way.
Round 12 (84th overall): J.J. Putz-Besides the fact I met and interviewed Putz a month ago (you can watch the interview HERE), Putz proved he is without a doubt one of the most dominant closers in baseball. Playing for the Diamondbacks should give him plenty of save opportunities, and I don’t see him blowing too many of them.
Round 13 (99th overall): Jimmy Rollins-This is one of the picks I think I might regret a bit, but I’m okay with in the grand scheme of things. In case you haven’t noticed, there’s not exactly a ton of quality shortstops in MLB, so I thought I’d take a guy with speed and plenty of offensive upside. I knew the shortstop I wanted to take would likely be available in the later rounds, so I didn’t need to waste a pick in taking him here. If I wasn’t able to get him, I’d at least have a shortstop that wouldn’t hurt my team.
Round 14 (110th overall): Lance Berkman-First and foremost, I do not think Berkman is likely to repeat the numbers he put up in 2011, but I do expect him to hit at least .270 with 20 home runs. For a guy who I can put in my lineup as either an outfielder or first baseman, I’ll take it.
Round 15 (115th overall): Andrew Bailey-Let’s face it, the guy is going to be a closer for the Boston Red Sox. That means he’s going to get plenty of save opportunities, and at this point in the draft, there wasn’t too many other options that I could say the same thing about.
Round 16 (126th overall): Carlos Beltran-I love how Beltran fits in with the St. Louis offense, and expect him to have a solid year at the plate. If he can stay healthy, there’s no reason why he won’t hit .285 with 20 home runs, and have a slugging percentage around .500. Again, this was a risk vs. reward selection, and I think there is enough value in Beltran to make it completely justifiable.
Round 17 (131st overall): Josh Beckett-Now that there’s no more beer in the clubhouse, there should be no distractions for Boston’s starting rotation. With that being said, I expect Beckett to quiet critics and have a solid 2012 season. It’s not common that your 17th round pick will win you 15 games and have an ERA around 3.00, but that’s exactly what Beckett should do this year.
Round 18 (142nd overall): Max Scherzer-In 2011, Scherzer was 15th in the American League in strikeouts, and had an elevated ERA due to a few bad outings. I expect Scherzer to find his true form in 2012, and with Detroit’s revamped offense behind him, he should be able to win at least 15 games.
Round 19 (147th overall): Delmon Young-After coming to Detroit late in 2011, Young was an absolute hitting machine. With Brennan Boesch (hitting second), Miguel Cabrera (third), and Prince Fielder (fourth) hitting in front of Young, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be able to get an opportunity to have a career high in RBIs this year.
Round 20 (158th overall): Jhonny Peralta-I wish I had an answer as to why Peralta is ranked so low in most fantasy leagues, but he’s a proven hitter in a stacked lineup. I was hoping he would be available in the later rounds, and sure enough, he was. This is an absolute steal as far as I’m concerned.
Round 21 (163rd overall): Yadier Molina-Simply put, he was the best catcher available at this point in the draft. I’m a huge fan of having two people who can play each position (if possible, and without passing up a significantly better player at another position at the same time), so I wanted to make sure I had at least two catchers on my roster. I don’t expect Molina to hit over .300 like he did last year, but he’s a good enough hitter that he could be a starting catcher in most fantasy leagues.
Round 22 (174th overall): Rick Porcello-I may have performed a big fantasy baseball no-no here, but I took someone because of my home-team bias. Don’t get me wrong, I like Porcello quite a bit, I just don’t think he was the best available starting pitcher on the board. I could see Porcello winning 14 games with an ERA slightly above 4.00, and that’s fine with me.
Round 23 (179th overall): Ervin Santana-I think everyone gave up on the draft, because I’m not sure how Santana was still available at this point. If he pitches anything like he did last year in 2012, I’d expect him to easily rack up 16 wins for the Angels.