Series Preview: Seattle @ Detroit

SERIES PREVIEW:

Detroit Tigers

2011 Regular Season Record: 12-10, T-2nd in A.L. Central (1.5 GB)

Seattle Mariners

2011 Regular Season Record: 8-15, 4th in A.L. West (6.5 GB)

Pitching Matchups

Tuesday

Felix Hernandez vs. Phil Coke

Wednesday

Erik Bedard vs. Justin Verlander

Thursday

Michael Pineda vs. Brad Penney

 

Who’s Hot

 

Detroit:

  • Brennan Boesch has hit .526 in his last 19 at-bats. He also currently boasts a team high .348 batting average this season.

  • Alex Avila is batting .412 over his last 17 at-bats–raising his average this season to .321. His 14 RBI and 3 HR are second to only Miguel Cabrera.

  • Miguel Cabrera is batting .429 in his last 21 at-bats and .338 on the season.

 

Seattle:

  • Adam Kennedy: Has had a great start to the season hitting to a tune of .300/.321/.500
  • Ichiro: Started the season off slow but in the last series vs. the Athletics he came down with 7 hits in 16 at bats and has not struck out in his last 27 ABs (4/18 against Max Scherzer)
  • Justin Smoak: looked like he was getting locked in right before he departed to visit his dying father. Hopefully he’ll come back swinging the hot stick he had prior.
  • Michael Pineda: Seriously, have you seen his fastball. Hot!
  • Jamey Wright: It seems like it’s been pretty much all luck so far this year but he has thrown some interesting curve balls so far this year.

 

Who’s Cold

 

Detroit:

  • Magglio Ordoñez has struggled this season–hitting just .196 this season. In his last 18 at-bats Maggs has hit just .167.

  • Brad Thomas has given up more runs (8) than he has pitched innings (6 2/3). His 10.80 ERA and 2.25 WHIP are…shall we say less than stellar.

 

Seattle:

  • Jack Cust: 0 for his last 8 with 3 strikeouts and 3 walks. He is taking pitches but when he swings at pitches he’s getting nothing. I’d love to stick up for Cust but there is no data to support he’s going to get better. This isn’t looking good.
  • Miguel Olivo: 0 for his last 11 with 2 walks and 3 strike outs. He has struggled early but has hit the ball hard when he’s actually hit the ball.
  • Erik Bedard: Settle down let this guy get some time in before going crazy. His home runs given up per 9innings is over 3. He hasn’t been very good but I hardly believe that he’ll continue to give up home runs at this rate.
  • Chris Ray: Just get him off the team already…

 

 

Seattle:

Aardsma, David (P) 04/23 15-day DL Possibly May Torn hip labrum Made second Triple-A rehab appearance April 22.
Gutierrez, Franklin (CF) 04/23 15-day DL Late April or May Irritable bowel syndrome Diagnosed with IBS on April 23. Taking medication.
Kelley, Shawn (P) 04/23 60-day DL Possibly June 1 Right elbow surgery On schedule to return June 1 as of April 22.
Moore, Adam (C) 04/12 60-day DL Likely out for season Torn meniscus in his right knee Underwent surgery April 12.
Robertson, Nate (P) 03/21 Out Indefinitely Possibly May Left elbow surgery Underwent surgery March 16.
Robles, Mauricio (P) 03/31 60-day DL TBD Left elbow surgery Placed on DL March 30.

 

Detroit:

Guillen, Carlos (LF) 04/20 15-day DL TBD Left knee soreness Worked with personal therapist in mid-April.
Martinez, Victor (C) 04/20 15-day DL May Right groin strain Placed on DL April 19.
Zumaya, Joel (P) 04/20 60-day DL TBD Right elbow inflammation To rest until June 1 before throwing again.



 

 

JAYRC: Michael Pineda has been outstanding so far this season. Can  his success be attributed to the wonders of small sample size or is Pineda the real deal?

Harrison Crow: Quick and to the punch: Real deal. He’s got a really inconsistent change-up that worries some people and leads to the idea that he could really struggle against left handers. But so far he’s just overwhelmed them with his fastball. I think that an adjustment period maybe coming in a few weeks but overall he’s going to be very good.

JAYRC: I know it’s only late April but how much longer does the Erik Bedard experiment last if he continues to struggle?

HC: I get this question so much. Bedard, so long as he is healthy, will get plenty of chances. Remember he hasn’t pitched but maybe 20 innings in the last 18+ months so there is some rust there. Keith, a write with us, wrote a great article on it late last week.

JAYRC: How much longer of a rebuilding process do the Mariners have ahead of them?

HC: This is kind of a loaded question. Because you say 2 years, fans expect 2 years. But if you say more than 3, fans get antsy. It’s really kind of a sucky situation for the front office to be in, despite a heck of a job they’ve done so far.

Tom McNamara and Jack Zduriencik have done a great job with building a pitching staff and they have some great youngsters down in the minor leagues up and coming. The true question lies with some of the bats and if they develop. Johermyn Chavez, Rich Poythress, Greg Halman, Carlos Peguero, ect… The sooner they can start developing some hitters the sooner they will actually be able to compete.

 

HC: Is Ryan Raburn a permanent fixture in Detroit’s line-up?

JAYRC: Lately Ryan Raburn has been our everyday second baseman–largely in part to the early season struggles of Will Rhymes.

Raburn has either previously played or possess the ability to play nearly every position on the diamond. How well he plays each position is another story. Regardless, his versatility and ability at the plate will keep him in the lineup one way or another for the next couple seasons.

HC: How big of a concern is the Tigers bullpen this year?

JAYRC: Aside from Brad Thomas and one bad outing from Brayan Villarreal the bullpen has been pretty solid this season. I have a lot of confidence in the late innings with Benoit and Valverde. Daniel Schlereth has looked impressive and Ryan Perry is back from the DL.

The Tigers also have several internal candidates down on the Farm. They have solid  late inning prospects in Chance Ruffin and Austin Wood. Robbie Weinhardt and Fu-Te Ni have pitched well before in Detroit and should see some time there again this season.

I am not concerned at all with our bullpen. The tools are there, some of the younger guys just need innings and experience.

HC: What is the expectation of the city of Detroit and the Tigers this year?

JAYRC: Detroit was thought of a .500 team by many folks this season. Perhaps one or two “experts” picked them to finish as high as second place. Regardless of the standings every season, the AL Central is a very competitive division.

I believe that the Tigers have the ingredients necessary to be a winner. However, V-Mart and Maggs must stay healthy and productive for Detroit to continue to score runs like they have been. I just don’t see guys like Boesch and Avila continuing to produce unless Ordoñez and Martinez are in the line-up–just to much pressure on them.

I still think that the division is a three team race between Minnesota, Chicago and Detroit. A lot can change in a few months, time will tell.

 



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  • http://Retired maqman

    What, no love for the rompin’ stompin’ Royals?

    • Harrison Crow

      You mean as far as series previews?