Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mid-Season Review

Can't believe the All-Star break has come and gone...well after packing and unpacking and driving 1400 miles over the past two days, it's finally time to sit down and look back at the first half of the season

The Tigers:
  • Offense: A- Still up there, but until the last few games of the recent home stand, it had been suspiciously absent
  • Starting Pitching: A- The injured starters are all back, and look to be in top form.
  • Bullpen: C Making strides, partly due to dumping Jose Mesa and Wil Ledezma, plus moving in Chad Durbin. With a Healthy Zumaya and Rodney I expect improvement towards the end of the year.
  • Defense: C Carlos Guillen has been playing in the field like C-Mo has been batting. It seems like a few players take it a bit too easy and that's where most of the mistakes come.
  • Coaching: B+ Jim Leyland's finally starting to give Curtis Granderson the start regardless of pitching match-up, but until C-Mo finds the pine no A for Leyland.

Individual Grades (1st Quarter grades in parentheses)

  • Jeremy Bonderman: A- (B+) Still having trouble not allowing the big 1st inning. But 2-9 he's almost unhittable
  • Tim Byrdak: C (INC) Started out strong, but one more hitters saw him, and maybe because of injury as well, tailed off towards the break.
  • Jose Capellan: INC (NA) Has looked very promising at times, and has also looked scary...a perfect fit for this 2007 bullpen.
  • Eulogio DeLaCruz: INC (NA) Frankie came and went, showing he wasn't quite ready for prime time.
  • Chad Durbin: B+ (B-) Did all that was asked of him, and more. Looks to be the to go-to guy for a long reliever in the pen
  • Jason Grilli: D+ (D-) Still struggling, but has had less gas can moments this past quarter of the season
  • Todd Jones: B (B) Still has his roller coaster moments, and believe it or not, by my count has more 1-2-3 appearances (12) than ones he's allowed runs (9)
  • Macay McBride INC (NA) A younger paler version of Wil Ledezma hasn't shown much, but really hasn't been asked to. Looks like he's just holding a roster spot for Zumaya or Rodney
  • Andrew Miller: B+ (NA) Has looked very good in his few starts, most recently going 7 innings shuting down the Red Sox. If he stays at this level he's got an outside shot at rookie of the year, if he falters, shut him down and put Chad Durbin back in the rotation.
  • Nate Robertson:C- (B) Still not able to make it out of the 6th inning, which due to the bullpen struggles is probably why the Tigers are only 4-10 when Nate starts.
  • Fernando Rodney: INC (C-) Hurt again, and probably has been most of the year. So hopefully when he's healthy, the inconsistency will stop.
  • Bobby Seay: C (C) An average LOOGY no more no less.
  • Justin Verlander: A+ (A+) Anyone who throws a no-hitter gets an A+
  • Joel Zumaya: INC (INC) Best case scenario, he's back in August, worse case September. Any way he comes back it needs to be 100%.
Edit: I cant believe I left out Kenny Rogers...he gets an easy A for his 1.04 ERA in 3 starts.

Position Players:

  • Sean Casey: B (C-) Has turned around his hitting enough to turn trade talks away from first base mostly, but the lack of power from 1st base will more than likely be an offseason focus.
  • Curtis Granderson: A+ (A) The catch Sunday earned him the plus. Yes, the strikeouts are still there, but he is tied with Chase Utley for the Major League lead in extra base hits. He is also on pace to easily surpass all his totals from his rookie year in all stats. In fact he has already stolen more bases (9) then he did all last year(8). After this breakout year shouldn't we start talking about Cameron Maybin being the leftfielder of the future for the Tigers?
  • Carlos Guillen: B+ (B+) Frequent errors still keep him off the honor roll.
  • Omar Infante: C (B-) The only thing keeping him from playing time is the ability to hit a breaking ball.
  • Brandon Inge: C+ (C+) After a hot June has cooled off a bit. But still is one of the best #9 hitters in the league
  • Craig Monroe: D- (C-) If he doesn't have his patented post All-Star break turn around, these could be his last games in a Tiger uniform
  • Magglio Ordonez: A (A+) Slowed down off of his mind-boggling pace for double, yet still is in the thick of it for the AL MVP.
  • Neifi Perez: D- (C) We found out not all performance enhancing drugs, enhance performance. His play that saved the no-hitter for Verlander is the only reason he didn't get an "E"
  • Placido Polanco: A (B+) Polly is the straw that stirs the drink. A straw with a ridiculously large noggin.
  • Mike Rabelo: C (C) Vance Wilson is out for the season and the Tigers could have had worse than Mike as a back-up catcher.
  • Ivan Rodriguez: B (C) Has gotten the average higher and may even draw double digit walks this year
  • Gary Sheffield: A (B-) It just killing the ball, and surprisingly has been one of the best stolen base threats. If not for Magglio, would be the Tigers MVP
  • Marcus Thames: C+ (D) Is starting to make good contact, and with C-Mo slumping, it's going to be real hard for Jim Leyland to leave him on the bench in the second half.

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