Players the Tigers Should Target at the Trade Deadline: Tyler Clippard and Scott Kazmir

With the baseball season reaching its annual All-Star break, things aren’t exactly ginger-peachy in the Motor City. The win-now Detroit Tigers own a .500 record at 44-44 and are nine games out of first place. Given the Tigers’ recent track record and desire to win, you’d expect them to be major buyers at the trade deadline. Here are some of the players Detroit and general manager Dave Dombrowski should target at the trade deadline.

Tyler Clippard

Since leaving the New York Yankees in an ill-fated trade for Jonathan Albaladejo, Clippard has long since established himself as one of the premier relievers in the league. Since 2009, his accomplishments include two All-Star appearances, a 32 save season (2012) and another season in which he won 11 contests without starting a game.

Clippard’s ERA since ’09 is a sparkling 2.62 over a whopping 490.2 innings. Over that span, he’s struck out 557 batters. The reliever is now in Oakland following an offseason trade, and has predictably thrived in the cavernous confines of the O.co Coliseum. He’s solidified himself as the team’s closer with 17 saves on the campaign.

Adding the reliever would do a number of things for Detroit’s bullpen. Not only would the addition of Clippard improve the group, it would also ease pressure on the other pitchers. Clippard set-up Joakim Soria in the eighth, therefore allowing Alex Wilson, Blaine Hardy, Al Alburquerque, Neftali Feliz and Bruce Rondon to pitch the seventh inning or earlier in situations with more margin for error and less pressure.

(RELATED: Neftali Feliz Signing a Smart Move by the Tigers)

Scott Kazmir

While Clippard would help stabilize the bullpen, Scott Kazmir would bring much needed help to a rotation that is practically begging for it.

David Price has been everything and more in terms of being the team’s ace, while Anibal Sanchez has rebound as of late (5-0 record, .182 batting average against and a 2.84 ERA over his last six starts). Outside of those two and a seemingly rebounding Justin Verlander, there are major question marks in the Detroit rotation. Alfredo Simon and Shane Greene both started out pitching superbly. The key words there are “started out”. Both have been horrible lately, and Kyle Ryan and Buck Farmer haven’t been much better.

If healthy, Kazmir would fix some of those issues. He can’t clone himself, but he’d be a massive upgrade.

The former Tampa Bay ace hasn’t been racking up the wins like last season when he posted 15. Still, Kazmir has lowered his ERA by nearly an entire run, going from 3.55 last season to 2.49 this year. His walks are up slightly (2.4 last season, 3.0 per nine innings this season), but so are his strikeouts— 7.8 in 2014, 8.5 in 2015.

With only five wins on the season, Kazmir could follow a similar route to Doug Fister in terms of winning significantly more games in Detroit thanks to much-improved run support. He may not be an ace, but he’d fit in well in Motown as the Tigers’ second or third starter.

Cost:

The A’s farm system is not what it once was, specifically in the pitching department. Six of Oakland’s top eight prospects (including their top four overall, according to MLB.com) are position players. Going on that, a number of Tigers pitching prospects could interest Billy Beane and company. Angel Nesbitt showed flashes of potential, as well as a blazing fastball, during his stint in Detroit earlier this season. He may benefit a stint pitching in the O.co Coliseum. Tigers’ Futures Game representative Joe Jimenez could also interest Oakland.

(RELATED: Players the Tigers Could Move at the Trade Deadline)

The Tigers’ rotation struggles have been well documented, but one thing they have brought to light is the number of starters who are near big-league ready. Any one of Farmer, Ryan or Drew VerHagen could thrive in spacious Oakland. Detroit could also dangle infield prospect Dixon Machado.

Verdict:

While both players are rentals, but they might be the difference in the Tigers making or missing the playoffs. Beane will likely sell high on two of his better assets, but Detroit should at the very least kick the tires on both, if not acquire them outright.

All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

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Detroit Tigers Remaining Schedule Without Miguel Cabrera

With Miguel Cabrera missing what will amount to six weeks, here’s a look at the Tigers upcoming schedule over those six weeks.

(RELATED: Miguel Cabrera Replacements).

After taking two of three against the Blue Jays, the Tigers travel to Seattle to face the Mariners. Here’s the rest of the schedule.

3 games at Seattle (the M’s are six games below .500 and nine games out of first place in the American League West).

3 games at Minnesota (Detroit is 7-2 versus their American League Central rivals this season).

4 home games against Baltimore (Entering Monday, the O’s are 44-39 and a game back of the Yankees for first in the American League East).

4 home games against Seattle.

3 games at Boston (Boston is last in the AL East and only one win better than the M’s).

3 games at Tampa Bay (the Rays are two games above .500, but also field one of the worst offenses in baseball).

4 games at Baltimore.

3 home games against Kansas City (Detroit is only 3-4 against the Royals this year, but given the rivalry between the two, you can expect the Tigers to come out swinging).

3 home games against Boston.

3 games at Kansas City.

3 games at Houston (the Tigers are 2-2 against Houston this season, and will look to claim the series against the young Astros).

Verdict: The Tigers certainly have a manageable schedule without Miggy. They’ve been afforded a few breaks with series against teams the Tigers excel against, teams with poor records, and teams with equally poor offenses.

It won’t be easy. This is, after all, Major League Baseball, but the Tigers have the chance to put up a winning record without their star player.

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3 Stats from the Detroit #Tigers 12-4 Win vs the New York Yankees

Rejoice! The stats are back. After a short hiatus, these kind of pieces are back to stay at Know Hitter. Here’s three stats from Detroit’s triumphant 12-4 victory against the Yankees.

  • Three

The number of home runs by J.D. Martinez. Safe to say the dude was on fire. He drove in six runs on the say, propelling the Tigers to the win. The outfielder has never hit more than two bombs in a game, but on Sunday he mashed three.

  • Four

Victor Martinez is officially back ladies and gents. V-Mart posted a very… well, V-Mart stat line during Sunday’s win, going three-for-six with four RBI and two runs scored. In typical fashion, he didn’t strike out once. Like J.D., Victor also went yard. Although in Victor’s case he was limited to one home run. Still, a fantastic day at the plate for one of the league’s best pure hitters.

  • One

The number of times Miguel Cabrera failed to reach base. Miggy collected two hits and two walks, while scoring two runs. He’s hitting an absurd .346 on the season.

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4 Stats from the Seattle Mariners 3-1 Loss vs the New York Yankees

  • 13

Again the M’s struck out 13 times in a game, this time most of the Ks came from the top of the order as Logan Morrison went down on strikes three times while Austin Jackson, Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz combined for four more punch-outs.

  • Eight

The number of innings thrown by Mariners starter Taijuan Walker. The youngster collected seven strikeouts while only allowing three runs (all earned) on five hits. He walked one batter.

  • Six

The number of baserunners managed by the M’s. When your team’s strikeout-to-walk ratio is 13-1, things aren’t going too well offensively. Masahiro Tanaka was good for the Yankees, but the M’s just couldn’t muster up enough offense.

  • One

The number of combined hits by Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager. Seager had the only hit of the trio, but struck out three times. On the day the middle of the Mariners batting order went 1-for-12 with six strikeouts. Again, not going to cut it.

For more on Seattle sports, check out Kingdome of Seattle Sports.com.

5 Stats from the Seattle Mariners 5-3 Loss to the New York Yankees

  • 13

The number of strikeouts by the team. This number simply isn’t going to cut it. It keeps the M’s from pulling away from bad teams, while it serves up victories to the better teams on silver platters.

  • 23

The number of pitches thrown by Mariners closer Fernando Rodney. Rodney blew the save while allowing a run and two hits, plus a walk, in one inning. He struck out one batter.

  • 6

The number of innings thrown by Mike Montgomery in his Major League Debut. The former top prospect allowed four hits, one run (earned), walked two and struck out four.

  • Zero

The number of runs allowed by Mark Lowe, Charlie Furbush and Carson Smith. The trio kept the M’s in the lead, but after Rodney blew the save…

  • Six

Tom Wilhelmsen and Joe Beimel allowed a combined six hits and three runs while walking a batter over two innings. They allowed a homerun (Beimel) and didn’t strike a batter out. Wilhelmsen was tagged with the loss.

For more on Seattle sports, check out Kingdome of Seattle Sports.com.

3 Stats from the Seattle Mariners 7-2 Loss vs the New York Yankees

  • One

The number of hits by Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison in four at-bats. The Former Marlin also added a strikeout. In a surprising move, he hit leadoff.

  • Seven

The number of runs allowed by Felix Hernandez in 4.2 innings pitched. King Felix suffered only his second loss of the season, also allowing six hits, five walks and a home run. He only struck out four.

  • Zero

The number of runs allowed by the M’s after Felix exited. Mayckol Guaipe and Dominic Leone pitched a combined 4.1 innings, allowing one hit while striking out four.

For more on Seattle sports, check out Kingdome of Seattle Sports.com.

Four Stats from the #Detroit #Tigers 8-6 Loss to the Los Angeles #Angels of #Anaheim

  • Seven

The number of runs allowed by Tigers starter Shane Greene in 1.2 innings pitched. Greene also gave up six hits, walked one and struck out one.

  • Five

In addition to the seven runs on six hits in 1.2 innings (and a walk and a strikeout), Greene gave up a whopping five home runs against the Angels.

  • Four

The number of Tigers with multi-hit games. The middle of the Tigers’ order, Miguel Cabrera (two hits), Yoenis Cespedes (two) and J.D. Martinez (three), accounted for seven hits while Jose Iglesias also added two hits.

  • One

The number of runs allowed by the bullpen after Greene exited. Considering the former Yankee only threw 1.2 innings, the bullpen could have imploded, but the trio of Alex Wilson, Blaine Hardy and Al Alburquerque allowed a combined three hits, one run, two walks and five strikeouts.

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Five Stats from the Detroit Tigers 4-0 Loss to the Oakland Athletics

  • Four

The number of hits by the Tigers. This simply isn’t going to cut it against most big league opposition. Detroit also drew a singular walk to add to its baserunner total.

  • Zero

The number of hits by shortstop Dixon Machado in his Major League debut. He saw a total of eight pitches and grounded into a double play.

  • One

The number of Tigers with more than one hit. Tyler Collins accounted for half of the Tigers hits with a 2-for-4 showing at the plate. He’s now hitting .267 on the season. On a day when Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez were out of the lineup, Detroit couldn’t get the rest of the team to generate any offense.

  • 2

The number of innings pitched by Tigers starter Shane Greene. The former Yankee allowed eight hits and four runs while striking out four.

  • Two

The number of strikeouts by Alex Wilson in only an innings of work. Wilson and Blaine Hardy combined to throw 2.1 innings of shutout ball once Greene departed.

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5 Stats from the Detroit Tigers 7-6 Loss to the Chicago White Sox

  • Four

The number of RBI by designated hitter Victor Martinez. V-Mart only had nine RBI on the season entering the game, and had only totaled more than a single RBI once. Wednesday’s showing was an encouraging sign for Martinez as he showed signs of breaking out of his slump at the dish.

  • Zero

The number of runs allowed by Al Alburquerque, Tom Gorzelanny and Angel Nesbitt in a combined two innings of work. The trio seem to be among manager’s Brad Ausmus’ preferred pitchers out of the bullpen.

  • Six

The number of hits allowed in 0.2 innings pitched by Joba Chamberlain. The former Yankee took the loss while allowing four runs (all earned).

  • One

The number of home runs by Victor Martinez—yet another positive sign for the Detroit DH.

  • Three

The number of hits by Tigers catcher James McCann. McCann went three-for-five with two strikeouts on the day. If he continues to turn in displays like this, he’ll start to take more at-bats away from Alex Avila.

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Seven Stats to Know from the Detroit Tigers’ 2-1 Win over the Kansas City Royals

Because I missed the last game, I decided to offer up more stats. Here’s the numbers to know from the Tigers’ 2-1 win over the Royals.

  • Three

The number of hits by leadoff hitter Anthony Gose. While Devon Travis (who Gose was traded for) continues to rake in Toronto, Gose is doing some hitting of his own in Motown. The centerfielder raised his average to .322 after the three-hit effort.

  • Two

The number of hits by Ian Kinsler and Yoenis Cespedes. The duo, along with Gose, were the only Tigers with hits.

  • Seven

The number of hits by the Tigers. Gose, Kinsler and Cespedes were the only Detroit batters with hits.

  • Zero

The number of hits by Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez. V-Mart isn’t 100% and as such is hitting .208 on the season.

  • Nine

The number of innings thrown by David Price. The Detroit ace continues to impress after a rough outing versus the Yankees. His ERA on the season is 2.93.

  • Five

The number of hits surrendered by Price. He only allowed one run and struck out three without walking a batter.

  • Four

The number of strikeouts by Tigers hitters. For as much as they failed to score runs, they still managed to put the ball in play a good deal. The team also drew a collective three walks. Rajai Davis, Miguel Cabrera and Nick Castellanos all had free passes.

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