Results tagged ‘ Jhonny Peralta ’
Thanks to a walk off home run by Jhonny Peralta, the Tigers beat the White Sox by a final score of 5-4.
Drew Smyly looked excellent again, striking out seven and allowing only two runs in six innings pitched. I know a lot of people are saying there’s no way he can continue to pitch this well, but I’m not sure of that. No, I’m not saying he’s going to have an ERA of 2.00 for the year, but if he keeps locating his pitches well and changing speeds, then he should be able to have success for quite a while.
Tonight’s win was huge for the Tigers, as they’ve been struggling the last week. Let’s hope that they can build some momentum from this game, and sweep the White Sox right out of Detroit.
I’ll be at tomorrow’s game and I’m anxious to watch Max Scherzer pitch. You can expect to find a full recap of the game, plus my review on some of the new food items now available at Comerica Park. Until next time, go Tigers!
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.
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.
When it comes to figuring out why exactly the Tigers have been leading the way in the AL Central, it really seems to come down to a few key components. It’s not far fetched to say the Tigers could have an MVP and Cy Young winner at the end of this year.
Exhibit A: Justin Verlander-Today Verlander recorded his 16th victory, making him 16-5 with a 2.30 ERA, 186 K’s and a no hitter. If you’re looking for any other indications the Verlander should be the current odds on favorite to win the Cy Young, they’re not hard to find. He’s pitched well in big games, has been consistent and not to mention dominant. Even on days where it’s apparent that Verlander doesn’t have his “A-game”, he still finds ways to give the Tigers a chance to win. If he wins nine more starts, and goes 25-5, not only does he put himself in great shape to win the Cy Young, but he’ll certainly gather quite a few votes for MVP.
Exhibit B: Jose Valverde-Yes, I admit this is a long shot of sorts, but think about it. Valverde has still not blown a save this year, converting all 32 of his save opportunities. If he manages to not blow a save for the rest of the year, and ends up with over 50 saves on the year, we’re talking about numbers that would marvel in comparison to that of Eric Gagne back in 2003 when he won the Cy Young award. Will it happen? Probably not, but as a Tigers fan, I’d love to see it.
Not to mention Victor Martinez, Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta all having great (but probably not MVP type) seasons, and it’s not hard to see why with less than 50 games to go, the Tigers find themselves in first.
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