Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Pitching rotation

OK the Bonderman post went on for about two paragraphs to long, so I'm gonna run through the rest of the starting rotation.

No. 2 Mike Maroth. I actually had the pleasure of being in attendance at the game Mike Maroth made his debut, against the Phillies in 2002. I received the ticket as a payback from a friend who had owed me money for a ticket I had bought him for a previous game. Of course later I found out he received the tickets for free, which sparked a debate about whether or not that should constitute payback, an issue that remains unresolved to this day. Well Maroth pitched great that day, and I had the feeling that one day I was going to be telling my grandkids about this game while looking at Maroth's shrine in Cooperstown, when reality set in.......I'll probably never have grandkids, because that would require me having sex without paying for it AND consensually, a rather unlikely scenario.....also Maroth wouldnt be that good on a consistent basis. I really fell off the wagon with him later that year when a little lefty named Andy Van Hekken stole my heart, luckily he gave it back when I saw him working behind the counter at a Marathon station. Maroth is a solid lefty, who does have the occasional gem, i.e. Yankees game last July, and he probably gets the most out of what he has. He's also half responsible for the horrible Mike Marothra joke, Impemba laid on us last spring training while facing Matsui. My prediction 13-12, 4.50 ERA, 1 uncanny resemblance to my college roommate.

No. 3 Nate Robertson. Another lefthander, although completely different from Matroth, in the fact that he can throw over 60 MPH. He is a good power lefty, I dont know what pitches he throws but he throws them hard. It will be interesting to see how well he does in his second season, because he sort of tailed off in the second half of last year. Hopefully from fatigue, and not because hitters were getting used to his stuff. Acquired in another good trade by Dombrowski in which we gave up Redman, for Robertson and Knotts (ugh). I also accidentally created him in my All-Star baseball game even though he already existed, leading to the sci-fiesque scenario in which he outdueled himself in the playoffs against the Marlins. A game of high drama as they literally matched each other pitch for pitch.
My prediction. 13-10, 4.70 ERA, 160 K's.

No. 4. Jason Johnson. Dirtbag. No this guy is adequate, was magical on Opening Day of last season, pitching a shut out against the Blue Jays, outdueling Roy Halladay, with a knee buckling curve, and a fastball that was darting so much it was unfair for the Kevin Cash's of the world. I thought he was a steal at the time, but after going 0-after July, I thought he was stealing our money. He always seems to start off strong, and his bad spring, is cause for some concern, because this is usually the time of year when he is at his sharpest. He is an intimidating presence on the mound only due to the fact that he looks like a scarecrow, and even though he is listed at 6-6 he is probably closer to thirty feet tall.
My Prediction: 9-14, 5.30 ERA, possible trade bait, possibly lose spot in rotation, if he starts out slow. Of course I have no facts to back me up on this.

No. 5 Wilfredo Ledezma If I were him I would go by Fredo, instead of Wil, although the 1 L is a nice touch. I expect big things from Ledezma, maybe not this year but in the future. I think he will be solid, and a pleasant surprise for this team. Dombrowski has been making a killing in the Rule V draft (Shelton, Roney, Spurling, Ledezma) over the last couple of years, and Ledezma is at the front of the pack. He has a killer fastball, and excellent curve, but after that it gets kind of dicey. I have a friend who is really high on Ledezma and has been raving about him for a couple of years, Ledezma just seems to have it. I also like the fact that he is listed at 6'3 150, because us tall skinny guys need to stick together, support one another, Its getting late so these jokes are getting pretty lame, or rather more lame, if you have read this far I applaud your patience.
My Prediction: 11-7, 4.20 ERA


This is an area that was a real killer for the Tigers last season as they were tied for the league lead in blown saves. Luckily most of the culprits from last seasons disastrous late innings are gone. Thats right Im looking at you Al Levine, who caused quite an uproar when he decided not to pitch on Yom Kippur last season, making Tigers fans regret that the Jewish holiday only came once a year. Anyways here is a rundown on the bullpen.

Kyle Farnsworth. Resident badass, who has a chance to achieve the status of being my all time favorite Tiger pitcher, alongside Matt Anderson, an echelon that Steve Sparks could only dream of. Although I love Sparks, I'll save that for later time. Farnsworth throws gas, but has a tendency to get cute with off speed stuff, which usually ends up on the other side of the fence, much like Anderson's knuckle curve. Farnsworth also iced Paul Wilson in a brawl, that rivaled Nolan Ryan's beatdown on Ventura. He also sprained a knee kicking a dugout air conditioner, and is believed to struggle in day games due to hangovers. Did I mention he throws 100MPH, I mean how cool is this guy.

Franklyn German. Scares the hell out of me, 6-7, 270 lbs, Jesus Christ, I like to got on players at games, or at least I think I get on them, but I won't mess with German. Control has always been his problem at the major league level, but he had a great spring and hopefully is ready to produce consistently. He'll never be the closer he was touted to be when we got him in the Weaver trade, but hopefully he'll be an adequate arm.

Matt Ginter. I know nothing about this guy. I know we got him in a trade with the Mets for that dirtbag Colyer, and he had a scoreless spring in 14 innings. Vance Wilson raves about him........for whatever thats worth.

Troy Percival. It seems like a lot of people in the national media ripped this acquisition, and think we overpaid for him. He definitely is on the backside of his career, and his K's are down quite a bit and continue to trend downward. However he is an effective closer still, rarely blows saves, and had an ERA of 2.90 last year, which is pretty good. He also used to kill the Tigers, it seems like every time he pitched against us for about a decade we couldnt hit this guy. So I'm glad he is on our side now, and our bullpen was horrific last season, so if we can move someone as effective as Ugueth to a setup role, I think it says a lot about our bullpen depth.


Well, after watching Bonderman pitch on Monday, I would have to say that it's fairly certain that he will have a stranglehold on the A.L. Cy Young award for the next decade or so. Bonderman has sparked an interesting debate amongst my friends, with estimates on his win total for this season ranging from a very skeptical, and typical cynical view from a young Tiger fan accustomed to heartache and losing, low of 11 to a very ambitious, and obviously drug induced, estimate of 20 victories. I have to say that I'll take the safe route and middle road amongst these predictions, and guess that Bonderman will have 15 or 16 wins, 8-10 losses, an ERA in the high 3's, and among the A.L. leaders in K's. Which is great when you consider the fact that he is only 22, and could have been devastated by his disastrous rookie season in which he was 6-19, with a 5.56 ERA. I am not looking forward to what the Tigers are going to have to pay to re-sign him when he hits free agency in a few years, and barring an injury (20 Second Timeout: Quickly pray that Bonderman's arm doesn't explode in the next couple of years. I mean his mechanics are good, at least I think they are, how the hell would I know, Ive never pitched, and Bob Cluck doesnt seem like an asshole that would lie about something like that........but with young pitcher you never know, I mean I dont think the human body is designed to throw 120 baseballs 90 MPH)......Bonderman really should be coming into his own. This probably means a pretty steep price tag right at a time when Mags, and Pudge will be making the most cash in their deals. Oh well, thats still a long ways off, and I am just going to try and enjoy Bonderman while I can. I also think Billy Beane, not Bill Bean who played for the Tigers in the late 80's, (nevermind they both did), may have made a mistake in trading Bonderman. Wait no he couldn't have because he is a genius, remember. I mean he did get 1 and a half seasons out of Ted Lilly in the trade, a player who he later parlayed into perennial all-star Bobby Kielty. In return the Tigers got there future No.1 a solid young first baseman, and German. I dont think Dave Dombrowski gets enough credit as a GM, I mean he was building teams to be successful while Beane was playing some forgettable baseball with the Twins. Also who would have guessed that Bonderman was already married, I mean sure he is a major league player, who stands to make a lot of money, but he looks like a toad. Hmm.......I wonder if his wife is as hot as Mrs. Shane Halter, someone investigate this for me.......wait no one is here, moving on.

Tigers Blog

This is my second attempt at keeping a blog, a word that I hate to use, and seem to hear exponentially more with each passing day. For some reason it just sounds vulgar to me, like I'm describing some kind of bodily function or lewd act. Anyways I will not bore the many people who are not reading this with any details about myself other than the fact that I am a 22 year old, lifelong Tigers fan. I am a big Detroit sports fan in general, but I care more about the Tigers and their successes, or mostly failures, than any other team. I have been meaning to start a "blog", (ugh that word again. Im going to have t think of another name to call this page) that chronicles this season as not just a Tigers fan, but a baseball fan in general. I am involved in a couple of fantasy leagues, which should be able to keep me on top of most of the action throughout the majors. Wait who are we kidding, fantasy sports will keep me on top of all the action in the majors, as I will surely peruse over box scores, and game recaps on a daily basis. If Gregg Zaun, comes within a double of the cycle, it will be reported, despite the lack of interest such a non-story will certainly fail to generate, even from Mr. Zaun himself, as I am sure he would likely be celebrating such an accomplishment by getting some high school girls he met after the game drunk off wine coolers, in hopes of getting a lay, but I digress. Anyways I was initially feeling ambitious enough to give a "scouting report" on all 30 MLB team along with some predictions for the upcoming season, however since the season is already underway, and I realized the effort that would be required to complete such a task I'll only give a detailed report on the Tigers, of course after I say the few original thoughts I have about the team, most of the rest will be borrowed from various other such reports, alas...........