Results tagged ‘ Ramon Santiago ’
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.
So if you wanted to ask me who the Detroit Tigers second baseman will be on opening day, I could give you at least four different options that make sense. The Tigers have quite the rotation system in order for second base, and I’m not sure how good of a thing that is.
I can’t think of too many major league teams that are still actively unsure of their situation at second base, but the Tigers have more options than a kid in a candy store. Sure, the options aren’t necessarily that of an all-star caliber, but they all certainly provide a lot of good things to the table.
You have Ramon Santiago, the switch hitter. Santiago has been consistent, and it was rumored that he turned down a starting position offer from a few teams in order to come back to Detroit. There’s been questions about his durability (not his talent), otherwise he would certainly would have been able to find more offers as a free agent. Although Santiago offers the least amount of offensive power out of the group, he may very well be the most consistent offensive producer.
Another strong possibility for the opening day starter goes to left-handed hitting Don Kelly. Kelly has proven to be the true super-utility player, doing everything from pitching to catching in 2011 for Detroit. It wouldn’t necessarily shock me if Kelly gets slotted in on opening day (assuming Boston pitches the right-handed Josh Beckett), but only if Kelly can put up solid offensive numbers during Spring Training.
Then there’s Ryan Raburn. Simply put, unless opening day comes after July 31st, I don’t think Raburn is going to be nearly good enough offensively or defensively to give him the nod. Truth be told, it also wouldn’t shock me to see Raburn get traded prior to opening day. Despite his defensive limitations, he provides a strong right-handed bat which a lot of teams may be interested in, especially for such a low cost.
Every offseason usually provides some sort of story that has captured the attention of Detroit fans. I can’t think of a better example of that than with the story of Brandon Inge attempting to become the second baseman for Detroit. I’ve gone on record many times saying I love the fact that Inge is willing to do whatever he has to do to get playing time. I don’t get the people crying and complaining about the fact Inge is doing everything he can to get playing time. If you’re a coach, you want 25 people on your team with that competitive drive. After the Tigers signed Prince Fielder and decided to move Miguel Cabrera to third base, Inge found himself without a position.
He approached Tigers manager Jim Leyland and General Manager Dave Dombrowski and said he wanted a chance to be the second baseman. Since then, Dombrowski has made comments saying Inge looks like a natural who has been playing the position for over a decade. This says a lot about the athleticism of Brandon Inge, and if he can put up any sort of offensive numbers, I think it’s safe to say he’ll get a good share of playing time at second. Also take into consideration that the Tigers would have to eat six million dollars to cut him, it has to make you believe that they’re going to be at least willing to give him a shot.
For what it’s worth, I got my money on Inge. Who do you think will get the nod?
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