This is the beginning of a series of American Leauge teams and their lables, like buyers, sellers, or tweeners (basically teams that, with a hot streak, could contend or with a prolonged losing streak could fall out of it). And possible moves they could make.
- Detroit – The Tigers are in first place in the AL Central. They have a half-game lead on Cleveland at the present time and look to keep it that way. The Tigers have a solid lineup that is 5th in the Majors in batting average and 8th in scoring runs. They could use another starting pitcher though, with Phil Coke’s almost 5 earned run average. Coke is much better suited as a relief pitcher where he had
a 3.76 earned run average that should have been much lower. A couple of bad outings pushed the ERA up.
- Possible Solutions – We have heard that the Tigers have monitored Hiroki Kuroda, and that would be a good fit. I’m not downplaying Kuroda, but the last time the Tigers acquired players for the stretch run they got an 8 and a half ERA out of Jarrod Washburn and a minor-league-like line from Aubrey Huff. They could stand pat and keep Ryan Raburn at 2nd because of his tendency to go bonkers in the first half after an ok first half. They could but Phil Coke back in the bullpen and call up Andy Oliver, Jacob Turner or Charlie Furbush again to fill that fifth spot. Whichever one of them fits can pitch without the Tigers worrying about an innings cap. It’s only a half season, and they aren’t going to use him as a horse like Justin Verlander. Kuroda could work, but the Tigers have been said that they are reluctant to deal their young players, so we’ll see.
- Another note is that Carlos Guillen is back, which could help them more than a new addition. He can play the outfield and second base, both somewhat areas of need for Detroit. Josh Willingham could be a fit, but it would make the outfield a bit crowded.
Detroit will contend, but there is a possibility they could deal lefty Brad Thomas regardless of their record. They have two lefties already in David Purcey and Daniel Schlereth, plus Adam Wilk. So they have depth and could get a
return for the 33 year-old Aussie.