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An MLB, NBA and occasional NFL sports blog slightly biased toward Detroit Tigers, Seattle Seahawks and opposed to David Stern after the Sonics situation. • http://knowhitter.com/ Follow me on twitter @knowhitter272

Gonzaga Bulldogs: 5 Stats to Know from Win over SMU

Here are five stats to know following Gonzaga’s 72-56 win over SMU on Monday.

10

10—the number of three point field goals made by Gonzaga, five of which came from point guard Kevin Pangos. GU also made 10 threes in their opening win over Sacramento State.

31

31—total points contributed by newcomers. Transfers Kyle Wiltjer and Byron Wesley combined for 14 while freshman Josh Perkins and Domantas Sabonis combined for 17 points off the bench. The four players also combined for 21 rebounds and eight assists.

17

17—points scored by potential All-America guard Pangos. Gonzaga has a plethora of scoring options, meaning it could be Wiltjer one night and shooting guard Gary Bell Jr. the next night. Monday happened to be Pangos’ time to shine.

13.5

13.5—points per game by crafty freshman big man Sabonis. The big man has showed good footwork in the post and will only continue to improve. Coming off the bench, he’s nearly registered a double-double in both games this season.

16

16—the winning margin. The final score may have had GU winning by 16, but don’t let it fool you, the game was over by midway through the second half. Gonzaga probably should have won by 20 or more.

Seattle Seahawks: 5 Stats to Know from Sunday’s Loss to the Kansas City Chiefs

Zero

Zero—the number of QB hits the Seahawks recorded versus Kansas City. By comparison, the Chiefs hit Russell Wilson nine times.

11

11—tackles by former Seahawk and current Kansas City safety Ron Parker. Parker’s 11 tackles tied him with Earl Thomas for the game high.

Four

Four—the number of games Russell Wilson has now gone without reaching 200 passing yards. Seattle’s QB has partly offset this by rushing for 244 yards over the past four games. Still, Willson could use another monster passing game like he had against St. Louis when he threw for 313 yards. Even moderate passing numbers like he posted against Denver would be a nice change.

108

108—passing yards allowed by the Seahawks. 108 is also the fewest number of passing yards the team has allowed this season and the fourth time they’ve held an opposing QB under 200 yards. Of course, the team was done in by Jamal Charles more than the passing game. Charles ran for 159 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.

124

124—the rushing yardage compiled by Marshawn Lynch. It marks Beastmode’s second straight superb rushing performance. The former Cal running back averaged 5.3 yards per run. He now has 264 rushing yards over the last two games after managing only 243 in his previous four games.

Next up for the Seahawks is a home game against the Arizona Cardinals.

 

You can find more about the Seahawks on Kingdome of Seattle Sports here. Additionally, you can follow Kingdome on Twitter here. You can view the original piece on Kingdome here, or if you’d just like to check out what else Kingdome has to offer on Seattle Sports, you can check that out here. Kingdome can be found on YouTube here. Don’t forget to subscribe! You can also follow Ben on Twitter here. Knowhitter is also on Twitter. You can follow the site on on Twitter here.

 

All stats courtesy of http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.

Bulls vs Raptors: 5 Stats to Know from Thursday’s Game

5

Five—number of turnovers in 14 minutes played for Raptors reserve guard Grevis Vazquez. He had seven turnovers all season entering the game.

27

27—number of points scored by Bulls big man Pau Gasol, a new season high. Gasol also had 11 rebounds, three blocks, two assists and a steal. Gasol has played nine games this season, and has posted a double-double in six of them.

16

16—number of points scored by Raptors forward James Johnson. Like Gasol’s 27, the 16 points were a season high for Johnson, a player who often does the dirty work for Toronto. Johnson also registered five rebounds, four blocks, four steals and an assist.

20, 8 and 8

20, 8 and 8—the points, rebounds and assists totals for Toronto guard Kyle Lowry. This was yet another instance where the Raptors playmaker came close to a triple-double. He finished four rebounds short of one in the team’s opening game against Atlanta before posting an actual triple-double in a win over Washington.

2

Three point field goals made by Chicago forward Mike Dunleavy. Dunleavy has made it at least on three in all but two games this season and is shooting 40.4 percent from deep on the season.

 

All stats courtesy of http://www.basketball-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.

 

Seattle Seahawks: 5 Stats to Know from Sunday’s Win Over the Giants

1. Four

Four—number of rushing touchdowns by Marshawn Lynch, a career high.

2. Five

Five—the number of quarterback hits by Cliff Avril. The Seahawks have had trouble getting pressure on the quarterback, which has taken a toll on the effectiveness of the secondary. While Avril didn’t have any sacks, getting to the quarterback five times can only be looked at as a positive.

3. Eight

Eight—total tackles by Jeron Johnson in his first NFL start filling in for Kam Chancellor.

4. 350

350—rushing yards by the Seahawks, a franchise record. Marshawn Lynch had 140 yards on 21 carries, Russell Wilson added 107 on 14 carries, Christine Michael finished with four carries and 71 yards while Robert Turbin rounded out the group with six carries for 32 yards.

5. 17

17—number of pass attempts by quarterback Russell Wilson. The Super Bowl winning QB has only attempted fewer passes once in his professional career. That career low (13) came in a 58-0 thrashing of the Cardinals in December 2012.

Next week the Seahawks travel to Kansas City to face the 6-3 Chiefs.

 

All stats courtesy of http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.

You can find more about the Seahawks on Kingdome of Seattle Sports here. Additionally, you can follow Kingdome on Twitter here. You can view the original piece on Kingdome here, or if you’d just like to check out what else Kingdome has to offer on Seattle Sports, you can check that out here. Kingdome can be found on YouTube here. Don’t forget to subscribe! You can also follow Ben on Twitter here. Knowhitter is also on Twitter. You can follow the site on on Twitter here.

Seattle Seahawks: 5 Stats to Know from Sunday’s Win Over the Oakland Raiders

1. One

One. Number of interceptions by cornerback Richard Sherman, his first of the season—the former Stanford standout now has 21 for his career. One was also the number of field goals kicker Steven Hauschka missed. He was three of four on the day and has only two misses all year. Hauschka also had a fumble recovery on a kickoff.

2. 143

Yards from scrimmage racked up by Marshawn Lynch. It was the most total yards by Beast Mode in a game this season. Lynch also tied a season-high with two rushing touchdowns.

3. 13

Tackles by linebacker K.J. Wright—more than three times more than the next highest tacklers.

4. 112

The yardage difference between the Raiders and Seahawks rushing yard totals. Seattle piled up 149 total rushing yards while Oakland was held to a measly 37. Maurice Jones-Drew was held  to nine total yards of offense while Darren McFadden only put up 67 yards on 17 touches.

5. 10

Total number of touches by Robert Turbin and Christine Michael. A good sign moving forward as both can be impact runners. This is likely what Seattle’s running game will look like if Marshawn Lynch leaves.

 

All stats courtesy of http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.

You can find more about the Seahawks on Kingdome of Seattle Sports here. Additionally, you can follow Kingdome on Twitter here. You can view the original piece on Kingdome here, or if you’d just like to check out what else Kingdome has to offer on Seattle Sports, you can check that out here. Kingdome can be found on YouTube here. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Kingdome Crossover- Seattle Seahawks: 5 Stats to Know from Win Over Panthers

The Seattle Seahawks snapped a two game losing streak with a 13-9 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. It represented the third straight year in which they beat the Panthers on the road by scoring somewhere between 10-20 points. It took a last minute drive to do it, but the team pulled it off. As everyone (team and fans included) gets ready for next Sunday’s home match up against the Oakland Raiders, here are five stats to know from the win.

1. Four and 34

Or, the combined number of catches and receiving yards for rookie receivers Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood. The two rookie wideouts, who are widely perceived to see major increases in production thanks to Percy Harvin’s departure, had the four catches on only five targets. It’s not a huge output, especially considering it took two players to reach the total, but it’s worth mentioning that in all games, including the playoffs, Harvin only bettered 34 yards through the air three times. Additionally, he only bettered the four catches three times. The point is that his production will be easier to replace then most think.

2. 62

The number of rushing yards racked up by Marshawn Lynch on 14 carries. Since a Week Ten win over the Falcons last year, Beast Mode has topped 100 yards once, occurring during the 36-16, opening game drubbing of the Packers. If you take away a 25 yard run, Lynch’s totals shrink to 13 carries for 37 yards.

There’s apparently rift between Lynch’s camp and the Seahawks, prompting all sorts of talk of the two sides separating. Whether it be by trade, or the team simply cutting the running back, rumors have run rampant. The Seahawks have based a lot of their offensive identity around running the football. Marshawn Lynch is a big part of that. However, the team may be ok with moving on if Lynch keeps posting 62 yard performances.

Just to compare, here are four different running backs in the NFL and their game totals in terms of rushing yards this season-

Running Back One- 3, 79, 132, 107, 6, 25, 49                          Total: 401

Running Back Two- 110, 36, 88, 72, 61, 53, 62                        Total: 482

Running Back Three- 70, 56, 63, 66, 42, 111, 95, 68             Total: 571

Running Back Four- 102, 44, 44, 84, 44, 7, 107, 43                Total: 475

Running back number one happens to be Kansas City’s Knile Davis. Number two is Lynch, number three is former Seahawk Justin Forsett while number four is former Washington State Cougar Chris Ivory.

3. Nine

Number of different receivers who caught passes from Russell Wilson. These included the previously mentioned rookies, Kevin Norwood and Paul Richardson as well as Lynch, Doug Baldwin, Robert Turbin, Luke Willson, Ricardo Lockette, Jermaine Kearse and Cooper Helfet.

4. One

Punt returned by Richard Sherman. In actuality, the cornerback called for a fair catch on the play. It’s only the second punt return in Sherman’s career. His other punt return was scored as a loss of six yards.

5. 58

Kicker Steven Hauschka’s longest field goal on the day. The place kicker made both of his field goals and only has one miss all year. Over the course of his four years in Seattle, Hauschka has only missed 11 field goals, and has only missed six in the last three years.

All stats courtesy of http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.

 

You can find more about the Seahawks on Kingdome of Seattle Sports here. Additionally, you can follow Kingdome on Twitter here. You can view the original piece on Kingdome here, or if you’d just like to check out what else Kingdome has to offer on Seattle Sports, you can check that out here.

Kingdome Crossover- Seattle Seahawks: Statistical Similarities from Last Season Heading into Sunday’s Carolina Game

Heading into Sunday’s clash, the Seattle Seahawks sit at 3-3. .500. Even. It’s a cross roads of sorts for the defending Super Bowl champions. They’ll be hoping to start a successful run with a win in Carolina against the Panthers like they did to open last season.

One of the main reasons the Hawks’ are at .500 is a pass defense that hasn’t been as vaunted as last year’s group. Teams have been going after Richard Sherman in coverage, but another reason the pass defense may be doing worse statically is that the team hasn’t been able to pressure the quarterback as much as last season.

Speaking of last season, here is a look at some of the Seahawks statistics as a team last year and this year. We’ll start with the defensive side of the ball.

Defense

                                                                                2013                              2014

Yards per play allowed-                               4.4                                             5.2       

Passing Touchdowns allowed-                   16 (16 games)                                    12 (6 games)

Interceptions                                                     28                                                           2

Opposing QB Passer Rating                          63.4                                                103.9 

Rushing yards allowed per game               101.6                                                     85.5

Yards per rush attempt                                 3.9                                                          3.2

Offense

                                        2013                                                2014

Total Offense Ranking (League)                              9th                                                   6th   

Average yards gained per play                            5.6                                                          6

Rushing yards per attempt                                   4.3                                                          5.4

Percent of drives ending in a score                   40.7                                                        44.4

Rushing yards per game                          136.8                                                             153.3                                                        

With the exception of being more susceptible through the air (something that partly has to do with the pass rush) and uptick in rushing yards (likely due to Russell Wilson’s increased rushing yardage), Seattle’s stats aren’t that different from last year’s Super Bowl winning team. Now the team just has to win some games to get back to that peak.

 

All stats courtesy of http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.

 You can read more from Kingdome of Seattle Sports here. Additionally, you can follow the site on Twitter here. 

 

Kingdome Crossover- Seattle Mariners: Washington Nationals Players Serve as Reminder to What Could Have Been

As the Seattle Mariners watch yet another playoffs from their respective couches, they find themselves wondering what could have been. Or rather, how close they could have been had they acquired or retained certain players.

Nowhere is this more relevant than in Washington, where the Nationals employ four former Mariners and two extremely important pieces of their team that were this close to becoming Mariners. Here’s a look at those players.

Anthony Rendon

Widely panned as the best hitter in his draft class, Rendon was taken sixth overall in the 2011 MLB Draft. The Mariners had the second overall pick that year. They took left-handed pitcher Danny Hultzen, who has had his share of troubles thanks to a rash of injuries. Rendon, on the other hand, led the league in runs scored in 2014 (only his second season in the majors), hit 21 home runs, drove in 83 runs, swiped 17 bags and hit .287 with a .824 OPS.

Positional log jams aside, the Mariners are probably wishing they had Rendon’s bat in their lineup.

Stephen Strasburg

Strasburg is the one player on this list who Seattle didn’t have on their team, or could have drafted. Yet, he still represents one of the biggest, “what ifs?” in Mariners’ history.

Simply put, Seattle and Washington were both awful in 2008. Both had a legitimate shot at the number one overall pick in the upcoming draft – at the time, widely believed to be Strasburg. Seattle won four of its last six to finish 61-101 while Washington lost five of their last six to finish 59-102. The Mariners already have two of the best starters in the league in Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, plus talented youngsters James Paxton and Taijuan Walker. If Strasburg drafted by the M’s and in that rotation, the Mariners’ playoff drought would be a thing of the past.

Doug Fister

The first of many former M’s on this list, Fister was traded from the Emerald City to Detroit along with David Pauley for Charlie Furbush, Casper Wells, Chance Ruffin and minor league prospect Francisco Martinez.

Since then, Fister went on to pitch fantastically in his 2 ½ years in Detroit, posting 32 wins—20 more than his total in 2 ½ years in Seattle— and turning in an ERA under four in every season. He also posted some absurd strikeout-to-walk ratios. Down the stretch in 2011 he struck out 57 batters while walking five over 70 innings.

The players Seattle got in return?

Wells would post decent power numbers in his brief time in Seattle before getting pushed out of a crowded outfield and finding himself with three different organizations not named the Seattle Mariners in 2013. He drove in a singular run in 53 games. Martinez was eventually traded back to Detroit for a PTBNL while Ruffin recently retired. Furbush was the only solid player Seattle got back. He’s provided a dependable reliever, but is buried in a deep bullpen.

Detroit would later send Fister to Washington, but the current Nationals pitcher is just another reminder of what could have been for Seattle.

Matt Thornton and Rafael Soriano

Seattle isn’t short on relievers at the moment, but Thornton and Soriano are two more examples of players who got away. Thornton, a former first round pick of the Mariners, was dealt to Chicago in 2006 for outfielder Joe Borchard. He went on to enjoy a long stint in the Windy City before moving to Boston midway through last season. He won a ring with the Red Sox and split 2014 with the Yankees and Nationals, posting a cumulative 1.75 ERA over 64 innings. For his career, Thornton has a 3.43 ERA in 670 appearances and an All-Star appearance to his name.

Soriano is the more sorely missed of the two. While Fernando Rodney has been superb as the M’s closer, and the has gotten by with a string of quality closers, Soriano has been superb in his career.

Upon leaving Seattle he moved to Atlanta, in a trade that will be addressed later, and in two years posted ERAs of 3.00 and 2.57 before taking over the closer’s role in 2009 and turning in a 2.97 ERA with 27 saves. He was traded to Tampa Bay and promptly led the league with 45 saves. He pitched to a tremendous 1.73 ERA and finished in the top 12 in Cy Young and MVP voting. After a year in Tampa he moved to the Yankees where he had a slight down year with a 4.12 ERA in 42 games before bouncing back to save 42 games and post a 2.26 ERA in 2012. He placed 20th in MVP voting that year. He then signed with Washington where he has accumulated 75 saves over the past two seasons with a collective 3.15 ERA.

Since leaving the Mariners, Soriano has appeared in 469 games, posted a 2.84 ERA and recorded 203 saves.

Now we get to the trade that was mentioned earlier.

The Mariners traded Soriano to the Atlanta Braves for Horacio Ramirez.

Yes, that Horacio Ramirez who’s ERA over 20 starts and 98 innings was 7.16. You heard me correctly, 7.16! Yes, that Horacio Ramirez who let righties hit .340 off of him. Yes, that Horacio Ramirez who allowed lefties to hit .330 against him. Yes, that Horacio Ramirez.

The Mariners traded away a reliever who would become one of the game’s finest at his position for a back-of-the-rotation starter who posted an ERA over seven in nearly 100 innings.

Yikes.

Asdrubal Cabrera

Another Mariner traded away for relatively nothing, Cabrera was lost to Cleveland in “The Great Highway Robbery/Fleecing of 2006.” Cleveland traded Ben Broussard and Eduardo Perez to Seattle in two different trades. Seattle gave up Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera respectively.

Cabrera would go on to establish himself as a premium two-way shortstop, culminating with a 2011 season in which he hit .273 with 25 home runs, 92 runs driven in, 17 stolen bases and a .792 OPS. Cabrera would make two All-Star appearances in Cleveland before moving to Washington at this past trade deadline. While he isn’t a threat to hit anywhere near 25 homers, he still provides pop and solid defense for a middle infielder.

In Conclusion

It’s easy to sit and think, “what if this?” or, “what if that?”, especially with the Mariners. But the reality is that Seattle has a history of letting players go too early, as well has just missing acquiring players who could turn into important cogs. Those players go on to become impact players elsewhere. There are quite a few former Mariners and almost-Mariners in various MLB cities playing vital roles to their teams. The Washington Nationals just happen to have more than most. For the Mariners, it’s a reminder of what could have been.

 

All stats courtesy of http://www.baseball-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.

You can see the piece in it’s entirety on Kingdome of Seattle Sports here.

Detroit Tigers: Could the Team Reacquire Doug Fister?

The Detroit Tigers will likely lose Max Scherzer to free agency. While the team will receive a draft pick as compensation for once after losing picks to sign various free agents in years past, Detroit will still have to replace one of its Cy Young winners.

I looked at some options the team has, internal and external, yesterday.

However, the best option may be somewhere in between the two. Granted the pitcher plays for another team, but he is a former Tiger. That pitcher would be Doug Fister.

Coming off a phenomenal season in the nation’s capital in which Fister posted a 16-6 record, a 2.41 ERA and a 98/24 strikeout to walk ratio in only 25 starts, the Nationals could look to move him. Not only could they capitalize on the superb numbers the former Tiger and Mariner posted, but they also have numerous players heading for free agency that would take prominence over Fister in terms of needing to be signed.

The good news for Detroit, as well as other teams in the market for a starter, is that Washington probably won’t re-sign Fister when his contract expires after next season. He’ll be close to 32 and likely commanding somewhere north of $10 million a year. That and the need to re-sign Jordan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond will push Fister out of D.C.

The other good news is that Fister is historically undervalued in trades. Detroit acquired him from Seattle for Charlie Furbush, Casper Wells and minor leaguer Francisco Martinez. In turn, Washington acquired him for Ian Krol, Robbie Ray and Steve Lombardozzi.

With the exception of Furbush and Krol’s April to June performances, none of those six made any serious contributions to a Major League team last season.

Re-acquiring Fister won’t be easy. Washington might actually do something crazy and ask for a return that befits a pitcher of Fister’s status. Should the Nationals go that route, it would make it difficult to accomplish.

The Tigers have an elite team, but not one with exceptional depth at any single position. By the same token, Washington doesn’t have too many glaring needs.

The Nationals may need a second baseman should Asdrubal Cabrera depart and therefore could be interested in Tigers’ prospect Devon Travis. The 23 year-old second baseman is Detroit’s fourth best prospect according to MLB.com and has a bright future, but is blocked in Detroit. Ian Kinsler will man second base for at least the next four years while shortstop will be Jose Iglesias’ job potentially for the next decade.

Even if Cabrera is retained, the Nationals will need a long-term solution. Acquiring Travis and keeping Cabrera would allow the former to develop while the letter holds the fort down as a stop-gap solution. The Tigers have recently shifted Travis to center field in an attempt to get him to the big leagues sooner and to avoid a log jam with the glut of middle infielders Detroit has, namely Kinsler, Iglesias, Hernan Perez, Eugenio Suarez and Andrew Romine. The center field experiment with Travis could end quickly if the team finds a more experienced center fielder who can make an immediate impact.

Regardless of how that situation would play out, Washington would likely need more than just one prospect to let Fister go. Detroit could offer one of their many young starting pitchers i.e. Kyle Lobstein, Robbie Ray, Kyle Ryan, Buck Farmer or Drew VerHagen, though I’m not sure how receptive Washington would be to that idea.  Ryan and VerHagen only have two Major League starts between them and of the remaining three, Lobstein was the only one to post passable numbers. One of the few young and expendable players left on the roster is Perez, a 23 year-old with the potential to be a solid two-way player. However, if Travis is included in the deal, it would seem overkill to ship out Perez as well. Unless, of course, Washington thinks he’s a suitable solution at second until Travis is ready should Cabrera leave.

The problem with any Tigers/Fister reunion is that Detroit doesn’t have a whole lot to offer. If Washington goes the historical route and seriously undervalues Fister in a trade, the Tigers are in business. If not… who really knows? Tigers’ General Manager Dave Dombrowski has pulled crazier stunts before.

 

 

All stats courtesy of http://www.baseball-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.

 

Detroit Tigers: How to Replace Max Scherzer

Changes are coming for the Detroit Tigers. Don’t worry, they won’t be wholesale. The team will still stick to its identity—superb starting pitching and a slugging, star-driven, high-scoring offense. While the bullpen, and to a lesser extent, the bench will likely be bolstered, there is yet another item that will force general manager Dave Dombrowski to make a transaction or two—replacing Max Scherzer.

The writing on the wall may have been the fact that the former Arizona Diamondback turned down a contract extension worth $144 million over six years. Since then, the public opinion thinks Scherzer will be playing for a different team come spring training. That may be public perception in Detroit’s front office as well. Dombrowski, in theory, has already acquired a replacement to take Scherzer’s spot on the front line next to Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez. That would be David Price. The fact that the Tigers’ acquired Price mere months after Scherzer turned down the contract could be coincidental, but at the very least served as a backup plan to losing Scherzer.

Here are some options Detroit will have to fill the potentially vacant spot in their rotation.

The Internal Guys

Detroit has a plethora of internal options. A plethora. However, none of the internal options pitched like Cy Young winners, or anywhere close to it. Outside of Scherzer, Verlander, Price, Sanchez, Rick Porcello and the departed Drew Smyly, the Tigers used five other starting pitchers in 2014. That group consisted of Robbie Ray, Buck Farmer, Kyle Lobstein, Kyle Ryan and Drew VerHagen. It’s hard to judge them too harshly. Four of the group are only 23 (Lobstein is the resident greybeard at 25) and none of the five pitched in the big leagues prior to the season. As hard as it is to judge the group, it’s equally as hard to find a front runner in terms of claiming a rotation spot. Lobstein appears to be the leader in the clubhouse. He made the postseason roster as a long reliever, and save a disastrous start in Minnesota, pitched well enough to keep the Tigers in games. However, the former Rays’ farmhand only managed to reach the seven innings pitched plateau once in his six starts. If he can last longer in games and stay effective, he should be the frontrunner of the internal options.

Outside of Lobstein, it’s hard to get a read on things. VerHagen and Ryan only started a game apiece while Farmer struggled immensely in two starts. (Ryan threw six shutout innings in his only start. After that he was limited to bullpen work where he pitched well. He may find it easier to make the team as a reliever than as a starter.)

Ray is the wild card of the bunch. The centerpiece of the return received for Doug Fister pitched exceptionally well in his first two starts. Over 11.1 innings he limited the opposition to one run on nine hits. His strikeout to walk ratio was 7-2. If he can pitch close to that mark for an entire season, then Dombrowski and manager Brad Ausmus should hand him the job outright. Then again, if Ray pitches like he did the rest of the way it will leave the door open for other pitchers. After those two sparkling starts and a brief, two out relief appearance in Boston, Ray’s ERA jumped nearly four runs from 0.75 to 4.70 after surrendering seven runs in 3.1 innings to Texas. It only got worse from their as he posted an 11.12 ERA in three August starts, giving up 14 runs and 20 hits in only 11.1 innings.

If Scherzer’s replacement is an internal option, it remains to be seen who it will be. Lobstein and Ray (should he turn it around) seem like they have the inside track. Still, it’s hard to evaluate a group of young pitchers.

The Free Agents

Outside of Scherzer, the other marquee free agent starting pitchers are Jon Lester and James Shields. Signing either would cost a similar amount of cash to Scherzer, plus the loss of a draft pick, so re-signing Scherzer would seem the most prudent play out of the three.

Still, if the team opts for another free agent to fill the void, or perhaps split time with an internal candidate, there are plenty of options. Options that, on the whole, come with a caveat. That caveat is that most starters available on the open market are either reclamation projects/ buy low candidates or pitchers looking for a big payday.

If the Tigers aren’t willing to commit anything close to Scherzer money on anyone other than Scherzer they should look for a cheaper option. A cheaper option that is more reliable than a buy low candidate. Signing someone like Jason Hammel or Roberto Hernandez would make sense. Neither will wow you with their numbers, but neither will completely implode either. They’d keep the Tigers in game as well as providing decent rotation depth. If the Tigers want a pitcher with a little more experience and one who could win them more games, Jake Peavy would be ideal. He’s no spring chicken at 33, but has been in plenty of pressure situations and knows the division well thanks to his time in Chicago. He won’t be cheap, but he’ll be cheaper than Scherzer.

James Shields could be an interesting target. First off, he’s cheaper than the other two premium starters on the market—Scherzer and Lester. Secondly, signing him away from Kansas City would be a major blow to Detroit’s biggest division rival.

The Trade Market

Their likely won’t be many pitchers of Scherzer’s caliber on the trade market. Knowing this, Detroit could look for a controllable, young, middle of the rotation type to fill the need. The Rays’ Jeremy Hellickson would make sense. Given the fact Tampa may not want to get into a situation with him where they pay him gobs of money and decide to move him instead—a la Scott Kazmir, David Price, James Shields, et al.

San Diego’s Tyson Ross and Ian Kennedy would also be pitchers to target. Ross has flourished as a starter in San Diego while Kennedy seems to have rebounded from a rough 2013. Before 2013, the former Yankee farmhand won 36 games between 2011 and 2012. One of Cincinnati’s may starting pitchers could also make sense.

In Conclusion

The simplest may just be to re-sign Scherzer, but should Detroit go another way, Dave Dombrowski will have plenty of options.

 

All stats courtesy of http://www.baseball-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.