Nebraskaknows pointed out a Lynn Henning article at DetNews dot com that I think is worth a read. Henning takes a look at issues the Tigers are facing and possible solutions.
First-place Tigers still facing problems down the stretch: You can read the article in full here.
In the space below I use the problem Henning points out and add my two cents.
Problem: Miguel Cabrera can’t run.
FlashinLeather Solution: It’s hard for me to believe that sitting won’t allow Miggy to heal faster. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not, how could anybody, complain about his production. I’m just afraid that if they don’t let him heal now, he’ll end up battered like Alex Avila was in the 2011 playoffs. I think a trip to the 15 day DL would be a good idea.
Problem: Left-field offense is killing the Tigers.
Flashin Leather Solution: I don’t think Castellanos is the answer. Bring him up on 8/31, similar to what the Tigers did with Avisail Garcia last year, and see what he can do, but don’t hold your breath. Castellanos his only hitting in the .270s in Toledo. I’m not sure why he would be expected to hit better, or even the same, in the big leagues.
This is going to shock to readers of this blog but I have not given up on Dirks just yet. He had some good at bats a few night ago and might be ready to break out of his slump. That being said, I’m still not convinced that his fielding is what everybody else says it is. I’ve watched almost every game this year, home games in person, and I think he’s closer to Albert Belle than he is Gary Pettis.
Bring Castellanos up and see what he can do but I’m betting Dirksy will be there in the end.
Problem: Alex Avila’s absence hurts the Tigers in multiple ways.
Flashin Leather Solution: I agree with Henning, all the Tigers can do is hope A Squared Money is healthy enough to return soon.
Problem: Phil Coke and Al Alburquerque are coin-flips in late-game situations.
Flashin Leather Solution: I agree with Henning. The Amazing Al needs to be on the next bus down to Toledo and send Evan Reed back up. I thought Reed pitched pretty well for the Tigers. He just needs to learn how to throw to first base.
I think Phil Coke is going to be ok. The last few hits he’s given up, while important, were flares over a drawn in infield.
Problem: Prince Fielder has one home run in his last 28 games.
Flashin Leather Solution: I think personal problems, read here, can have a devastating and lingering effect on a player in all facets of the game and his life. I think Prince has hit the ball fairly well, but I would not be surprised if his struggles continue through the end of the season. That being said, he has driven in 81 runs so far and is on pace for 110. There is no solution. They have to ride Prince and take what he can give them.
“God, I love baseball.” – Roy Hobbs | The Natural