Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Taking Another Look at the Tigers 40-Man Roster
So today, I’ll go by the current roster at the Tigers official website, including those on the DL and the guy waiting to be traded to Seattle. I’ll give you my personal ranking, their previous ranking, a quick thought on the player, and as a bonus, a DID YOU KNOW about each guy. God forbid, you might actually learn something on here today.
Hopefully it’ll be fun. I need a break from pissing people off…at least for a couple days.
1. (1) Magglio Ordonez
Magglio is always my Tiger. Since coming back from the DL, he’s again proving people wrong hitting close to .300 since his return. He’ll probably never hit 20 homers again, but he’s still got something to give to this team…just not on defense.
DID YOU KNOW: In 2007, Ordonez’s .363 batting average was the highest for a Tiger since Charlie Gehringer hit .371 in 1937.
2. (2) Justin Verlander
This year, Justin is showing the rest of the world what we’ve all known for a couple years now. He is a beast, a cyborg, and possibly the best pitcher in baseball. We are not worthy.
DID YOU KNOW: Verlander completed his college career as the all-time strikeout leader at Old Dominion, the Colonial Athletic Association, and the Commonwealth of Virginia (Division I) history with 427 in 335⅔ innings.
3. (3) Miguel Cabrera
Remember in Spring Training when so many of the “respected” talking heads of baseball were saying Cabrera wouldn’t play well this year due to his offseason problems? Those people are fucking stupid.
DID YOU KNOW: Big Mig’s mother played 14 seasons as shortstop for the Venezuelan national softball team, and Cabrera isn't shy to admit his mother taught him his swing.
4. (8) Victor Martinez
I knew V-Mart was good before the season. But watching the man swing a bat on a daily basis for the Tigers this year has made me appreciate his amazing skill on a whole new level. He is one of the most professional hitters I’ve ever seen.
DID YOU KNOW: With Boston, Victor mainly caught for the younger starting pitchers on the Sawx as some of the veterans voiced that they would rather have Jason Varitek catch them. Red Sox pitchers are assholes.
5. (6) Austin Jackson
Yeah, he strikes out a lot. He’s also amazing on defense and keeps showing flashes of becoming a pretty good hitter one day, too. People seem to forget that he’s still only 24 and in his second season in the majors. Curtis Granderson wasn’t an all-star overnight, either.
DID YOU KNOW: Despite losing out to Neftali Feliz in the writer’s voting for Rookie of the Year in 2010, AJax did win the AL Players Choice Rookie of the Year Award. Suck it, writers.
6. (7) Jose Valverde
Dude’s a character…I love it. He’s perfect in save situations this year and after years of near-heart attacks with Todd Jones and Fernando Rodney, that goes a long way with me in helping my fragile mental state.
DID YOU KNOW: When Valverde entered into the game as an Astro, a brief video set to Percy Rodriguez's opening narration of the trailer from Jaws played on the Minute Maid Park screen, leading into a montage of his best moments as an Astro, and backed by the Saliva song "Ladies and Gentlemen." WHY DOESN’T COMERICA PARK DO THIS???
7. (18) Ryan Raburn
THAT’S RIGHT, D-BAGS! I have adopted Ryno as one of my own since you all have abandoned him. He is not nearly as bad as you all have made him out to be. So you can have your Kellys and Rhymeses…I’ll be watching Raburn tear the cover off the ball in the second half, like he always does. This just in, HE DID IT AGAIN TONIGHT! Ryno for MVP!
DID YOU KNOW: Despite popular belief, Raburn wears a baseball glove on defense. Also, he was originally drafted by Tampa in 1999 but decided to attend South Florida Community College instead.
8. (5) Max Scherzer
Mad Max has been troubled by inconsistency this year. When he’s on, he’s nearly Verlander good. When he’s off, he makes Brad Penny look like Bob Gibson.
DID YOU KNOW: On April 29, 2008, Scherzer made his MLB debut against the Astros when he came on in relief and threw 4⅓ perfect innings while striking out seven. While doing so, he also set the record for the number of consecutive batters retired (13) for a pitcher making his MLB debut as a reliever.
9. (4) Phil Coke
I still think Coke got a raw deal in his demotion to the pen. Was he great? No. But he wasn’t the abortion people are making him out to be. As long as Coke keeps doing a decent job, being the competitor he is, and keeps his goofy personality, he’ll remain a favorite of mine.
DID YOU KNOW: The batter Coke has faced more often than any other in the big leagues is Red Sox slugger, David Ortiz. “Big Papi” is only 1 for 12 against Coke.
10. (14) Jhonny Peralta
Can you imagine where we’d be this season without Jhonny’s amazing season so far? Peralta’s been an offensive juggernaut this year, while displaying much better than expected defense on top of it.
DID YOU KNOW: On July 18, 2010, Peralta hit his first career inside-the-park home run for Cleveland against the Detroit Tigers. Ten days later, he was traded to Detroit.
11. (22) Alex Avila
I was wrong, okay? I didn’t think Avila was ready to be the starting catcher coming into this year. Not only has he proved me and many others wrong, but he started the All-Star game for the AL and is positioning himself to be a cornerstone for this franchise for years to come.
DID YOU KNOW: Avila’s middle name is Thomas, after his godfather, Tommy Lasorda.
12. (13) Brennan Boesch
Is Boesch really this good? After his dismal second half last year, I surely didn’t think so. But the kid just keeps hitting and hitting, making the organizational departures of Matt Joyce, Curtis Granderson, and Casper Wells easier to deal with. Now, if only he’d learn to play defense…
DID YOU KNOW: In April 2010, Boesch and Scott Sizemore were the first two Tigers to hit their first career home runs in the same inning since Pop Dillon and Kid Elberfeld did it in 1901.
13. (12) Rick Porcello
I was scared to death that Dave Dombrowski might be tempted to deal Kid Rick at the trading deadline. Luckily, he’s still around and is continuing to blossom into the formidable pitcher we’ve been hearing he’s going to be for the past few years.
DID YOU KNOW: The Tigers originally signed Porcello to a $7.28 million, four-year deal with two one-year options for a total worth of $11.1 million, making Rick the highest-paid high schooler ever in baseball. I bet the cheerleaders loved that…
14. (24) Al Alburquerque
He’s averaging 14.3 strikeouts per 9 innings. Do I need to say anymore? This was the steal of the offseason by DaveDombrowski. My only concern is the health of his arm, as he’s already been feeling discomfort this season. But the kid’s been amazing, especially considering the he was signed as a minor league free agent that no one had ever heard of.
DID YOU KNOW: AlAl’s spent time in the Cubs and Rockies minor league systems since 2006 before getting a shot with Detroit in 2011. Their loss is our gain.
15. (26) Carlos Guillen
I admit it. I gave up on Carlos and never thought we’d see him in a Tiger uniform again, unless they did a reunion of the ’06 team one day. But the walking medical chart has returned in the second half this year and has performed better than most expected him to. But how long can they keep him off of the DL this time?
DID YOU KNOW: In 2006, Guillen became the first player in modern Major League history to raise his average for six consecutive seasons, batting .320.
16. (NR) Doug Fister
His name is Fister, for crissakes! How can you not love that? Also he’s a damn good pitcher and could be the key to us winning our first division title since 1987. I don’t think anyone’s happier that Fister’s out of Seattle than Doug himself.
DID YOU KNOW: Doug’s middle name (Wildes) is a family tradition which he shares with his father and grandfather.
17. (9) Jacob Turner
Yeah, I dropped Turner quite a bit, but it’s not for anything bad he’s done. He made his debut last week and did a hellova job. I’m just focusing my 40-man love more on guys I watch every day this time around. I can’t wait to see what this kid offers us in the future.
DID YOU KNOW: Jacob’s high school pitching coach was former closer for the St. Louis Cardinals, Todd Worrell.
18. (15) Ramon Santiago
Little Ramon has struggled this year, but he remains an important part of the team nonetheless as a utility player. He still appears to be 15 years old, despite being less than a month from turning 32.
DID YOU KNOW: Playing for Seattle’s Triple-A team in 2005, Ramon was selected as the team’s MVP and best defensive player. The Mariniers responded by releasing him following the season. Classy.
19. (19) Joel Zumaya
Zoom’s dead…I know. But there’s still the tiniest bit of hope that I have that he can one day return to the big leagues and the Tigers. Sadly, we’re probably more likely to see Ty Cobb rise from the dead than see Joel on the mound once more.
DID YOU KNOW: Joel’s right arm from the shoulder to the wrist is now 90% paper mache. Also, Nolan Ryan once said of Zoom, “The best arm I've seen since I don't know when...If he gets where he pitches both sides of the plate and he throws that fastball low and away, there are going to be some sad faces." High praise…sad story.
20. (11) Ryan Perry
I haven’t given up hope on Perry yet. He’s done well at Triple-A, but continues to struggle in his MLB appearances. At only 24 years old, he still has time to live up to being the Tigers’ first round draft pick in 2008.
DID YOU KNOW: In 146.2 major league innings, Perry has surrendered 14 home runs, however only 4 of them have been at Comerica Park.
21. (NR) David Pauley
He has good numbers this year and can hopefully stop some of the bleeding in our underperforming bullpen this year. Fister likes him, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
DID YOU KNOW: Pauley was once traded by the San Diego Padres along with Jay Payton, Ramon Vazquez, and cash to Boston for speedy, washed up outfielder Dave Roberts.
22. (23) Brad Penny
Brad Penny is another guy that’s been hammered by Tiger fans this season for being awful, despite putting together some decent performances. He’s not a top-of-the-rotation guy, but he’s been a serviceable #5 guy. But if he ever yells at V-Mart again, I’ll kill him myself.
DID YOU KNOW: On May 21, 2010, Penny hit a grand slam home run for the Cardinals against the Angels. He was pulled from the game in the next inning with a season-ending oblique injury.
23. (21) Andy Oliver
Oliver’s had an inconsistent year at Toledo and has been below average in his few major league starts. Still, he remains one of the top prospects in the organization, despite an opening on the Tigers roster not looking to be available for years if JV, Max, Rick, Fister, and Turner have anything to say about it.
DID YOU KNOW: Oliver was originally drafted in 2006 by the Minnesota Twins, but instead chose to attend Oklahoma State University. Good for him.
24. (NR) Andy Dirks
I didn’t think much of Dirks in the early parts of the season, but he’s done well in his role as the 4th outfielder on the team. His ceiling doesn’t appear to be that high and I think Casper Wells was the better player, but as long as Andy keeps doing what he’s doing, he might have a place on this roster for years to come.
DID YOU KNOW: Dirks was the 2010 Detroit Tigers Minor League Player of the Year.
25. (NR) Chance Ruffin
I like Chance, but he’s just waiting for a few more days until he’s eligible to be the player to be named later in the Fister/Pauley deal. It still sucks how he had to debut the way he did with the bases loaded, but life’s a bitch sometimes.
DID YOU KNOW: Chance’s dad Bruce has his place in history as the man called up to replace the legendary Steve Carlton in Philadelphia’s rotation after Steve’s release from the team.
26. (33) Danny Worth
Worth isn’t going to be the great MLB player that Lynn Henning seems to think he is, but I think he could be the Ramon Santiago of the future in Detroit. He’s got a great glove and can play multiple positons to go along with his weird jawline.
DID YOU KNOW: In Worth’s first big league at bat, he hit a bases loaded single for the Tigers. Sorry, that’s all I’ve got…
27. (20) Joaquin Benoit
Benoit’s roller coaster season continues to frustrate Tiger fans this year. He’s either really good or really bad. I still wish we’d have signed Grant Belfour to be the setup man this offseason, but DD’s got his own weird tastes in relief pitchers. We’d better hope he turns it around since he’s under a 3 year, multi-million dollar contract.
DID YOU KNOW: When he left Texas, Benoit was the second longest tenured Ranger, after infielder Michael Young.
28. (36) Duane Below
The lefty has a nice story as the small-town-Michigan-boy making it big with the Tigers. He’s currently in the long relief role with the team with Charlie Furbush leaving town and did well in his MLB debut this year as a starter allowing only 1 run in 5 innings pitched.
DID YOU KNOW: Duane’s the first person from Britton, MI to ever make a Major League roster.
29. (NR) Wilson Betemit
Betemit sucks, but he’s still an improvement over what the team was getting this year from Brandon Inge. To be honest, I expect Inge to get the majority of the starts when he’s most likely recalled in September.
DID YOU KNOW: Betemit was originally signed by the Atlanta Braves as a 14 year old shortstop in 1996.
30. (NR) Adam Wilk
Wilk’s been inoffensive as a big leaguer, but the team has showed limited confidence in the 23 year old. His chances of rejoining the team probably rest on the performance of Below as the long-reliever.
DID YOU KNOW: All 13 of Adam’s appearances in Toledo this year have been starts, where he’s gone 5-5 with a 3.32 ERA.
31. (31) Clete Thomas
Clete’s become the forgotten outfielder in the Tigers’ organization after his season ending injury in 2010. He still has a cannon for an arm, but he’s struggled offensively in Toledo this year for the Hens.
DID YOU KNOW: In high school, Clete was part of the Florida state championship team with Mosley High School in 2002.
32. (30) Ryan Strieby
Ryan’s the new Mike Hessman of the organization, it seems. Big power, low average, and not likely to see any time in the show. He’s still fun to watch in Toledo, though.
DID YOU KNOW: Strieby was the SEC Player of the Year in 2006 at the University of Kentucky.
33. (39) Don Kelly
I hate him less, okay? Kelly is never going to win a popularity contest at DesigNate Robertson, but he’s not as bad as I sometimes make him out to be. However, I do blame him for Verlander not getting a no-hitter on Sunday when he made yet another brain fart in the field…something that seems to happen to much with him.
DID YOU KNOW: Kelly has 12 career homers in 247 big league games entering today. They are off of Chris Tillman, Josh Tomlin, Aaron Crow, Jered Weaver, Matt Guerrier, Scott Baker, Carl Pavano, Freddy Garcia, Dustin Moseley, Edwin Jackson, Alexi Ogando, and Koji Uehara. Amazingly, none of these pitchers have hung themselves in shame, though I remain hopeful that Weaver does.
34. (34) Will Rhymes
Tinkerbell made the Triple-A All-Star game this year for the Mud Hens. That’s adorable. He still sucks at baseball.
DID YOU KNOW: Rhymes was a high school teammate of Rays pitcher Jeff Niemann. He also may have worked for a time with his fellow elves for the Keebler company.
35. (32) Omir Santos
Poor Omir. He was used as an emergency catcher for the Tigers this year, but Jim only gave him one start. He’s the insurance policy if something happens to Avila or V-Mart. Yikes.
DID YOU KNOW: In 2009 with the Mets, Santos hit a clutch 2-run homer with two outs in the ninth off of Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon that ensured the Mets victory. Good for Omir, as Papelbon’s an asshole.
36. (29) Brayan Villareal
The quietest of the Venezuelan mafia got shelled in his 16 innings in the show this year. He currently is part of the starting rotation in Toledo.
DID YOU KNOW: Villareal notched a hold this year without throwing a single pitch by entering a game with two outs and picking a runner off at first.
37. (35) Jose Ortega
I still know nothing about this man.
DID YOU KNOW: An ortega is a grape variety used for white wine. It ripens early and is not sensitive to frost.
38. (25) Daniel Schlereth
He’s going to get better. I keep telling myself that. But right now, I hate him more than I do his annoying old man.
DID YOU KNOW: In his senior year of high school, Schlereth struck out a school record 19 batters in a single game.
39. (37) Lester Oliveros
The 23 year old did not endear himself to me this year as Jim Leyland’s personal white flag out of the bullpen. He’ll get better, I hope.
DID YOU KNOW: During his 6 years in the minors, Oliveros has struck out 11.2 batters per 9 innings.
40. (38) Cale Iorg
Remember when he was the future All-Star shortstop of the future? Fuck you, DD.
DID YOU KNOW: In his senior year of high school, Cale hit .495 with 15 homers and a .698 OBP. Good gawd, what the hell happened to him?
41. (40) Brad Thomas
Whenever anything in my life goes wrong, I somehow find a way to blame Brad Thomas for it. It’s nice to have him around for that.
DID YOU KNOW: In 1997, the Dodgers released Thomas due to visa issues. Lucky pricks.
GONE FROM THE LIST
(10) Scott Sizemore (sniffle)
(16) Charlie Furbush
(17) Casper Wells
(27) Robbie Weinhardt
(28) Brandon Inge
As always, I live to inform. Thanks for reading.