Sunday, June 10, 2012

June Tigers Report by 31-6 Denny McLain

By 31-6 Denny McLain
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Now that I think most of us believe that four or five guys from last year had career years. And now I'm just hoping that some of the other guys start to have career years this season. Did you know that Rayburn is now riding the bench in Toledo? What has happened to Ryan? This bench duty if because he has an injury, hopefully he will be healthy again and back in Detroit sooner than later, but life is funny isn’t it?

The Tigers really need to get Fister back in the rotation and a healthy one at that, without him they are really going to be hurting. With Verlander and Fister they have two guys who can and will in most cases at least stop a losing streak, without these two guys being effective, look out, it can get really ugly.

Has anyone noticed that Verlander is getting more and more rest between starts, at least three or four times this year he has pitched on the 6th day, what is going on? Something sore or is it taking that long at times for Justin to recover?

I like Jim Leyland and I have never made a secret of that fact, but someone please tell Jim to have Fielder hit ahead of Cabrera!

Listen, if Fielder could hit in front of Cabrera, he would be hitting .400 and getting such good pitches to hit and walk so many more times it will be illegal, think about it, Cabrera does not need anyone huge hitting behind him cause he is such a great hitter and I mean great, I don’t think that I have ever seen one like him before and I have seen some great ones. In the grand scheme of things, it’s ok to keep the lineup as is, but folks I know it would be much more productive if Jim would just listen to my suggestion for two weeks.

In my next column I will tell you my understanding of why Cabrera is such a great hitter in the game today.

Whoever hits after Cabrera is going to come to bat with lots of guys on base, there is no way that won’t happen! Just take the hottest guy, who is Peralta versus all of the others and let him hit after Cabrera. It only makes sense.

Cabrera and Fielder will also get a lot more walks cause the other teams will believe that Peralta or Bosch are easier outs and they are, but with men on base all the time, Bosch and Peralta will get better pitches to hit cause no one wants to walk bases full at that point, my God, it can’t hurt to try it! I know Jim would like to do it I believe, it can’t hurt when you’re already playing six games under 500.

Now that Jackson is back in the lineup what to do about Berry. He has played well enough to play every day someplace, is he ready to play every day in the Bigs?

Nope, I don’t think so, and the worse place that you could place him would be on the bench sitting on his butt waiting to play, a kid like Berry needs to keep playing to keep his swing in gear and stay in hitting shape. He still has a lot of improving to do but he will be a solid major leaguer one day, another couple of weeks or even months won’t hurt him in Toledo.

Sitting down a .288 hitter makes little sense no matter where he came from, although there have been signs now that he is going through the league a second time, the hits are a little less and a little less formidable, meaning not as hard but he is the only guy who can really steal a base, so here comes Jackson, hitting 321, if he does not continue to hit and man he is a super surprise to say the least, our Tigers are in for a long rest of the season.

This pitching staff is really still unsettled and it’s a bit late for them to be unsettled.

Everyone is having issues, including Verlander and the others in the crew. Is there an answer? Yea! Get these guys to be more consistent, they need to concentrate on getting ahead of the hitters, throw strikes…quit nipping at the corners! Pitching from behind all the time only leads to ugly disasters and for a pitcher to be backing up third base is really a lousy day!

Porcello’s ERA is over 5.00. When will he become a Big League pitcher who is consistent? Let me tell you one thing, I find him very comparable to Bonderman, although he threw a lot harder most of the time. Bonderman’s issue was; “Where the hell is home plate?”

The Tigers did not take my advice last time when I said trade Bonderman after the 2006 World Series. I said back then that Bonderman would never have more value than he did after that season. What happened? They hung on to him, gave him $40 million and off he went!

Listen, trade Porcello now!!

He is at best a 500 guy and may not even be 500 with another team if he doesn’t get the run support. He is never going to be a real consistent winner in the Big Leagues, he doesn’t have great velocity. Trade him!! His value will never be higher, and maybe the Tigers can then go out there and find a real second baseman or outfielder, but they really need a second baseman.

And Scherzer! I swear I could fix him, I really mean that. This guy has good stuff but does not get the fundamentals of pitching: Pitching is like golf, if you “quit moving your head,” you will throw more strikes, we all know that he has a great arm and I also think he tries to strike out everyone that comes into the batter box, not a good way to pitch.

Now, Verlander must start pitching solidly and consistent again, (not a disparaging remark,) he has been struggling and has not been the Verlander that we have all known.

The bullpen is fine right now, but man, the toughest job in the baseball world each day for Leyland is to figure out who are the four guys he’s going to use in each game. Think about it, it now takes four pitchers for the most part to complete a game, that is a lot of arms folks and we wonder why so many arms are hurting.

To think that I predicted in a little jest that the Tigers would be 30 ahead in June, but as we all did, on paper, they were the 1968 Tigers, the 1929 Yankees, the Big Red Machine and lots of others, but it ain’t so, at least not yet Joe!!!

Lastly, I will be doing a Radio and TV show again and we will be telling you more shortly, so if you get chance once we make an official announcement, give us a listen.

Have a great one!!