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Bless You Boys Apr 27, 2017
Tigers pitching leads the majors in walks

Tigers pitching leads the majors in walks

The entire pitching staff is giving away too many free passes. The Detroit Tigers have a walk problem. Specifically, they cannot stop giving them away. The team has an MLB-high ERA and FIP, and a walk rate that ranks up at the top as well. Just how bad is it? The Tigers’ 10.9 percent walk rate currently leads the majors and is almost a full percentage point higher than the worst team total last season. The staff’s 4.4 walks per nine innings leads the majors as well; no team reached 4.0 walks per nine in 2016. Unsurprisingly, this walk issue stems from an inability to hit the strike...
Bless You Boys Apr 27, 2017
Tigers reactivate Jose Iglesias from 7-day concussion DL

Tigers reactivate Jose Iglesias from 7-day concussion DL

Kyle Ryan was sent back to Toledo. DETROIT — After clearing final concussion protocol tests, the Tigers reinstated Jose Iglesias from the seven-day concussion disabled list and optioned left-handed pitcher Kyle Ryan to Triple-A Toledo. Iglesias posted an Instagram photo on Wednesday saying “I’m back” after he cleared initial tests. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said that same day that he expected Iglesias to return on time. The Tigers shortstop took a knee to the head on April 19 in the ninth inning while attempting to field a double-play ball and was taken for testing. On the 21st, he...
Bless You Boys Apr 27, 2017
Justin Verlander’s changeup is missing in action

Justin Verlander’s changeup is missing in action

A resurgence in the changeup could help him shake his early season lefty blues. Struggles in April are no stranger to Justin Verlander. Just last season, we saw the Tigers’ ace rack up an ugly 5.46 ERA in April. Of course, he adjusted from that point on and erased all memory of it with five consecutive months of excellence. Verlander’s last two starts have been very April-like. In particular, he’s struggling to handle left-handers after dominating them in 2016. His poor command won’t go on like this, but his struggles against lefties thus far may be a sign that he needs to...
Tigers vs. Mariners Preview: Detroit aims for series win over Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners

Tigers vs. Mariners Preview: Detroit aims for series win over Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners

Justin Verlander aims to get back on track against a Mariners lineup he has handled well in the past. This matchup has not gone well for the Detroit Tigers in the past. Hisashi Iwakuma’s career numbers against Detroit are comparable to his overall production. The .773 OPS he has allowed to Tigers hitters is actually 22 percent worse than his career average. The current roster has fared even better, with a .938 OPS in 132 plate appearances. However, facing Justin Verlander has brought out the best of Iwakuma in the past. It started in 2013, when Iwakuma held the Tigers to just three hits...
Bless You Boys Apr 27, 2017
Tigers’ Chad Bell outduels Lucas Giolito in Toledo Mud Hens win

Tigers’ Chad Bell outduels Lucas Giolito in Toledo Mud Hens win

Scores, news, and notes from the Detroit Tigers farm system for Wednesday, April 26, 2017. Toledo Mud Hens 4 Charlotte Knights 1 (box) Chad Bell easily outdueled top starting pitching prospect Lucas Giolito on Wednesday night, punching out six over six scoreless innings. Shortstop Brendan Ryan chipped in a solo shot, while catcher Bryan Holaday added a pair of hits and an RBI. Logan Kensing gave up a run, but the bullpen was solid otherwise, with Arcenio Leon picking up his team-leading fifth save with a clean 1-2-3 ninth. Holaday: 2-4, RBI, 2BMoya: 0-4, 4 SOBell (W, 1-2): 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2...
Bless You Boys Apr 26, 2017
Mariners 8, Tigers 0: Offense should have saved some runs from the past 2 games

Mariners 8, Tigers 0: Offense should have saved some runs from the past 2 games

Bad pitching, no offense, but at least we got to learn fun Tigers facts. DETROIT — Neither Daniel Norris nor the offense had it against James Paxton and the Mariners Wednesday night, and the result was far from ideal. The Tigers lost 0-8 to the Mariners on account of a poor start and missing offense, sprinkled in with another failed bullpen effort. For as powerful as the offense was on Tuesday night, the Tigers couldn’t buy opportune hits against Paxton on Wednesday. The lefty had racked up nine strikeouts through seven innings and scattering four hits in that time — one being a...
Bless You Boys Apr 26, 2017
The Tigers handled baseball’s unwritten rules well... but MLB did not

The Tigers handled baseball’s unwritten rules well... but MLB did not

The message is the same, but the medium illustrates the Tigers more evolved method of delivery. Twice in the Detroit Tigers’ last 40 games, stretching back to last season, the team has been put in difficult straights by major league baseball’s “intent-only” policy toward hit by pitches. The incidents were instructive as to where the game stands as it struggles to escape its beanball history, without yet having found a reasonable new paradigm with which to police itself. At least, in the specific situation the Tigers have dealt with. In the process, the way the situation was handled...
Tigers vs. Mariners Preview: James Paxton is the best pitcher you don’t know about

Tigers vs. Mariners Preview: James Paxton is the best pitcher you don’t know about

The red-hot Tigers offense has its work cut out for it tonight. Were it not for Chris Sale destroying everything in his path, Seattle Mariners lefthander James Paxton would be the best pitcher the Detroit Tigers have faced this season. This may come as a surprise, as the Tigers have already faced the likes of Jose Quintana, Rick Porcello, Chris Archer, and Corey Kluber this year. However, Paxton has built on a quietly dominant 2016 season to throttle his first four opponents of 2017. Through 25 1⁄3 innings, Paxton has 30 strikeouts to just five walks. He didn’t allow a run in his first...
Tigers prospects Christin Stewart, Mike Gerber pace Erie SeaWolves offense in win

Tigers prospects Christin Stewart, Mike Gerber pace Erie SeaWolves offense in win

Scores, news, and notes from the Detroit Tigers’ farm system on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Charlotte Knights 2, Toledo Mud Hens 1 (box) Ryan Raburn — yes, that Ryan Raburn — hit a two-out single in the top of the ninth to score Willy Garcia and give the Knights a 2-1 lead over the Mud Hens. Charlotte closer Brad Goldberg shut the door in the bottom of the inning to seal the win. The loss was a tough one for Toledo as Warwick Saupold threw his second scoreless outing of the season, including seven strikeouts in six innings. Jason Krizan drove in Toledo’s lone run of the game. Krizan:...
Bless You Boys Apr 26, 2017
Detroit Tiger Links: The Tigers’ call-ups are still raking

Detroit Tiger Links: The Tigers’ call-ups are still raking

Can they keep it up until help arrives? Not Scoreless against Seattle You get a hit! And you get a hit! Everyone gets a hit! Literally everyone other than Dixon Machado got a hit against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday, and Machado still made it to first base in one of his two plate appearances. Fun with stats: Tyler Collins, Mike Mahtook, Jim Aducci, John Hicks, and Andrew Romine went 11-for-18 with seven runs and six RBI. I don’t know how to compartmentalize that but I’m sure glad it happened. Everything is fine It’s been the story for a better part of two weeks but let’s recap it...
Bless You Boys Apr 25, 2017
Tigers 19, Mariners 9: Detroit offense plows through Seattle pitching in blowout win

Tigers 19, Mariners 9: Detroit offense plows through Seattle pitching in blowout win

Zimmermann wasn’t so great, though. Neither was the bullpen. DETROIT — After a day of rest following a week on the road, the Tigers came home and tore into their first opponents on Tuesday night. With three home runs, 24 hits, and a nine-run fifth inning, Detroit knocked the Mariners and Felix Hernandez out in convincing fashion, with an 19-9 win to start their 10-game homestand. Jordan Zimmermann continued to struggle but the Tigers’ offense was firing on all cylinders. Three home runs by James McCann, Justin Upton, and Alex Avila combined for five of the seven 16 18 19 (!) runs in...
Tigers vs. Mariners Preview: Felix Hernandez, Jordan Zimmermann struggling to find past success

Tigers vs. Mariners Preview: Felix Hernandez, Jordan Zimmermann struggling to find past success

The Tigers and Mariners kick off a three-game series at Comerica Park. It’s tough to watch a once-great player go through the decline phase of his career. Detroit Tigers fans are watching Anibal Sanchez’s precipitous drop-off first-hand, while players like Victor Martinez and Jordan Zimmermann are teetering on the edge of a similar decline. A more gradual decline may be even more difficult to watch, though. Seattle Mariners righthander Felix Hernandez was once one of the best pitchers in baseball. His starts were events, much in the same way that we call Justin Verlander “Must See...
Bless You Boys Apr 25, 2017
Behind Enemy Lines: Talking King Felix and division standings with Lookout Landing

Behind Enemy Lines: Talking King Felix and division standings with Lookout Landing

The Mariners are in last place but hoping to use the Tigers to get a leg up. If there are two words that come to mind whenever the Tigers play the Seattle Mariners, those words are probably “extra innings.” If one had to extend that to three words, those words would probably be “Nelson Cruz dingers.” Needless to say, even though the Tigers don’t face the Mariners often throughout the regular season, the games are typically interesting ones, full of lots of drama, excitement, and often very late nights when the Tigers visit Seattle. This week the Mariners will be at Comerica,...
Bless You Boys Apr 25, 2017
Detroit Tigers Links: The boys are back in town

Detroit Tigers Links: The boys are back in town

The Tigers settle in for a 10 game home stand looking to hold the line until back at full strength. It was another boring off-day for the Tigers on Monday, but that just means we’re one step closer to a healthy JD, Cabrera and Iglesias which is always good news. Today the Tigers are back as they take on the Seattle Mariners kicking off a three game series in Detroit. Jordan Zimmermann takes the mound to oppose Felix Hernandez at 7:10pm EST. Felix makes his first start at Comerica Park since the Tigers snapped his record setting streak of fifteen starts with a minimum of seven innings...
Tigers vs. Mariners Series Preview: Detroit, Seattle have both struggled to prevent runs in 2017

Tigers vs. Mariners Series Preview: Detroit, Seattle have both struggled to prevent runs in 2017

Two of the AL’s worst pitching staffs will square off this week in Detroit. If you could poll the collective fanbases of the Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners, I imagine they would have liked to trade places at various times over the past several months. Tigers fans would have loved to be in Seattle’s shoes this offseason, when general manager Jerry Dipoto made trade after trade in hopes of retooling his team’s roster for the upcoming series. They weren’t even looking for a center fielder, but went out and got a couple for fun, then flipped one (Mallex Smith) to the Tampa Bay Rays...
Bless You Boys Apr 24, 2017
The Tigers’ approach of hard opposite field hitting is not paying off yet

The Tigers’ approach of hard opposite field hitting is not paying off yet

One might say the results are hit and miss, but they show promise. The Tigers have gotten off to something of a mediocre start as far as their offense is concerned. They have scored 84 runs (14th in the MLB), have a batting average of .236 (18nd), and a wRC+ of 109 (8th). They have been without J.D. Martinez for the entire season and Justin Upton and Jose Iglesias have each missed some time due to injury. JaCoby Jones (.150/.244/.300, 54 wRC+) and Victor Martinez (.222/.286/.238, 51 wRC+) have gotten off to slow starts, so it is easy to recognize why the Tigers have not done a great job at...
DRaysBay Apr 23, 2017
Rays Game MVP Recap: Week 3

Rays Game MVP Recap: Week 3

A leader breaks out from the pack The Rays added three to the win column in the third week of baseball, thanks to some tough luck on defense by the Detroit Tigers. The Rays swept the series and therefore three game balls were awarded to MVPs for each win. Let’s take a look at who you voted for. The Polls Rays beat Tigers 5-1! Who was the MVP?— DRaysBay (@draysbay) April 19, 2017 Going into the series with the Detroit Tigers, Rob Rogacki talked about how potent their lineup was capable of being in the series preview. I didn’t like Matt Andriese’s odds for a quality start. I was...
Tigers vs. Twins Preview: Justin Verlander looking to get back on track in Minnesota

Tigers vs. Twins Preview: Justin Verlander looking to get back on track in Minnesota

Verlander’s last outing was... not great. Here’s an understatement for you: Justin Verlander did not have a good outing in his last start. He was historically bad, in fact, allowing a career-high nine runs to the Cleveland Indians in a better-if-you-didn’t-watch-it 13-6 loss. That the Tigers still somehow won the series speaks to the level of talent they now have around Verlander in the starting rotation. Guys like Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd might be inexperienced, but they are talented. Teams still need a stopper sometimes, though. The Tigers are currently on a three-game losing...
Bless You Boys Apr 21, 2017
Joe Jimenez may be just what the Tigers’ bullpen needs

Joe Jimenez may be just what the Tigers’ bullpen needs

Here’s why you should be excited about the young reliever. Joel Zumaya, Fernando Rodney, Andrew Miller, Mike Henneman. These names all come to mind when asked to name a homegrown Tigers’ reliever. These men all have had, or are currently having, storied careers at the major league level as relief pitchers. All were drafted and made their breakthrough in the Detroit Tigers’ organization. Andrew Miller is the only exception because Miller started his career with the Tigers as a starting pitcher and wasn’t too good. Of course, after being traded in the Miguel Cabrera deal, he made...
Tigers Den Roundtable: What is your biggest takeaway from the 2017 season so far?

Tigers Den Roundtable: What is your biggest takeaway from the 2017 season so far?

The BYB staff tries to find significance in an insignificant chunk of the schedule. Were it not for the Toronto Blue Jays faceplanting out of the gate, one might argue that the Detroit Tigers are the biggest surprise of the 2017 season thus far. Their flop of a series in Tampa aside, the Tigers have jumped out to a slim early lead in the AL Central. Unlike other surprise stories like the Cincinnati Reds or Minnesota Twins, however, this one might be sustainable. The Tigers have a young, talented starting rotation that is starting to scratch the surface of their potential. Center field might...

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