Thursday, February 25, 2010

Justin Verlander Is Ready For 2010

Your Detroit Tigers signed the missing link, Johnny Damon to a one year contract. I’ve heard a lot of mixed reaction to this signing and to me it makes little sense. I think we can all agree before this signing we had these weaknesses…

-No leadoff hitter. I’m excited about Austin Jackson…but in the minors he struck out at a higher % then CG did in the MLB. And, his power numbers were positively Nook Loganion. And Is yet to face MLB pitching.

-Lack of lefty hitters. Carlos Guillen will get injured this year. I’d bet my hypothetical farm on it. Avila looks to probably be starting in AAA this year. In which case, utility infielder and feared slugger 5’3’’ Ramon Santiago is your lone LH bat. In a park that has a short RF fence; it’s sometimes nice to try to take advantage of that once in a while.

-Lack of offensive power. We are still below average, but we were a little over a month away at looking at a lineup that consisted of black holes of Laird, Inge, Everett, Sizemore and Jackson. And, that is hoping that we get September Magglio, a non broken Guillen, and relying on Raburn to consistently be a plus hitter. All the while providing little protection for Cabrera.

-Another thing I heard is that we overpaid for Damon. It’s a one year contract, and there is no salary cap. This should have zero impact on future spending. I think most agree we do not want Magglio’s 18 brazzilion $ option to kick in next year. He needs I believe 134 games played for it to automatically kick in. Last year he played 131. Adding Damon makes this tougher for Magglio. So, it could actually save us $ in the long run. And, if you are still upset, support the team and eat a hot and ready.

Also, Damon wears his socks high. This has already endeared him to 85% of our teams fans and should result in many more tickets sold.

-The only complaint that has some substance albeit very little to me is this takes away at bats from Raburn. Raburn had somewhat of a breakout season last year. He had a respectable average and put up good power #’s. This would have more merit to it to me if Raburn was not just about to turn 29 and showed anything resembling in the past some kind of track record that we should expect these numbers in the future. But, as a super sub and the near certainty someone playing above him will be injured he will seeing many more at bats this year.

Alright, it’s February, players reported just the other day. I am yet to see any of them wearing a Detroit Tigers jersey. So, I feel like I am definitely not out of line to tell Jim Leyland how to run his team. First off, let me get this out of the way. Almost every single batting order, pitching decision I would do the complete opposite. I’m bizarro Leyland. But, if you told me going into last year that Granderson, Polanco, Magglio, Inge, Laird, Guillen, Robertson, Willis, Bonderman, Zumaya, etc. would massively underachieve…and we’d still have a chance for the playoffs, I would think you were insane. But, we did. So, I give him credit.


1. Johnny Damon LF. Lefty bat, OBP% 40 points better then CG. Way less K’s. If you read my blog, there is a fairly good chance that you can throw better then Damon. But, his actual fielding in my opinion is fairly underrated just due to the fact that he has the throwing motion of a velociraptor.

2. Magglio Ordonez RF. Incredibly, much higher OBP% and batting average then Polanco last year. And, I’m hopeful we get Sept. Magglio.

3. Miguel Cabrera 1B. He needs as many at bats as possible. I would always bat my most feared hitter 3rd.

4. Carlos Guillen DH. If he is not on crutches by the end of this sentence it’s a small miracle. If he can regain some form and be a good LH bat protecting Cabrera it would be a major boost to our lineup.

5. Ryan Raburn 3B. Giving him his chance. He has played IF much of his career. Has the chance to prove his small sample size production last year was not an aberration.

6. Alex Avila C. Solid #’s, lefty bat. Might not be ready, but much better offensively then Laird.

7. Brandon Inge SS. Yes, SS. Your infielder with the most range and best arm should play the position where he gets the most opportunities to field the ball. I pray to Jobu nightly that we get his stats production pre all-star break from last year.

8. Scott Sizemore 2B. In my opinion, our weakest offensively to start the year. I am a Tony La Russa believer here that you bat your weakest 8th.

9. Austin Jackson CF. I like him, and that if he gets on base he can really set up the top of our order well.

But, this lineup will never come close to happening and was merely an exercise in my boredom.

39 days until opening day.

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