By Dan Wanser (MLB Reports Writer) Follow @DanWanser
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Moving into 2014, the Detroit Tigers look to have a season which takes them past the ALCS where their 2013 run ended, and potentially all the way to the Fall Classic in November which was just outside their grasp.
The Tigers have made it to the ALCS for 3 straight years, and will attempt to be the 1st franchise since the Yankees made it to 4 consecutive League Championships from 1998 – 2001 in the American League next campaign.
With great players on the diamond everyday like Miguel Cabrera, newcomer Ian Kinsler, and Right Fielder Torii Hunter, Detroit is poised to make another deep playoff run not only in the upcoming season, but in many years to come.
Looking back at the 2013 lineup, there isn’t much that needs to be changed so here’s what I think their 2014 starters will look like.
2013 Detroit Tigers Pump-Up Video:
How All Of The Tigers Hitters Were Acquired:
By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
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At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Detroit Tigers – and how they assembled their current roster for hitting and Pitching. It will work in a six degrees of separation like format.
Once we figure out the origin of how many trades going back in time it takes to see where the tree started, it will be time to dissect how the team fared on the deals.
If a player has never left the organization at all, the tree will be easy – as it will just be the year they were drafted or signed.
For the 2nd part of the Roster Tree for the Tigers: The Pitchers – click here
For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries Posts that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.
Miguel Cabrera 2013 Highlights Before The All – Star Break – Mature Lyrics
Each winning team for every post season game gets a pitcher and a hitter who earn a full WOO.
And at my discretion, I award a 1/2 WOO to a worthy player on the losing team.
For a full explanation, click HERE.
From today’s games:
Receiving 1 WOO:
David Ortiz hit what could have been the most dramatic home run of his career, which is saying something. With one swing of his bat, he turned a 5-1 8th inning hole with 2 outs into a 5-5 tie as his grand slam landed in the bullpen.
It was the first time in a playoff history that a grand slam was hit to tie the game in the 8th inning or later. It changed the tide of the series and set up the 9th inning walk off win for the Red Sox over Detroit.
After the Red Sox tied the game, they needed a shut down inning. They got that from Koji Uehara, who prevented the Tigers big sluggers from getting a chance to bat by tossing a 1-2-3 9th. He would be credited with the victory in Boston’s 6-5 walk off win over Detroit.
Receiving 1/2 WOO:
Alex Avila drove in a run in the second and launched a 2 run shot in the 6th that gave the Tigers a 5-0 lead that they could not hold against Boston.
Max Scherzer became the latest Tigers pitcher to flirt with a post season no hitter. He was remarkable over 7 innings, letting up just 2 hits, 1 run and striking out 13. His bullpen betrayed him and he had to settle for a no decision in the Red Sox stunning 6-5 win.
Alex Avila stunned the Cleveland crowd with a 3 run 9th inning home run that turned a 2-1 hole into a 4-2 lead that the Tigers would not relinquish.
Jeremy Guthrie threw a complete game shutout, holding the Twins to 4 hits as the Royals crushed Minnesota, 13-0.
Brandon Belt got on base 4 times with a walk and three hits, scoring twice, leading the Giants to a 4-2 victory over the Brewers.
Zack Greinke recovered from a shaky first inning to pitch into the 7th inning on the road in St. Louis, allowing only 2 runs. He drove in a run with a single and extended the Dodgers road winning streak to 15 with the 3-2 win.
They all owned baseball on August 5, 2013.
My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.
At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.
To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.
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Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst / Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
I believe that the Tigers are set up for a solid run as a perennial playoff contender, yet the club needs a small face change in order to get back to the dance in 2013. I honestly was stunned to see Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Delmon Young and Jose Valverde all play at the type of body structure they possess during the Post Season.
If you saw these guys in a bowling alley, the words ‘World Class Athlete’ would definitely not enter a conversation amongst strangers who were trying to sum them up. Baseball is a game that your body type doesn’t hold you back, however when you have multiple heavy players on offense, it really clogs up the base paths. While watching Game #4 was about the time I started to change my opinion on the state of the game needing to be more athletic.
Fielder and Cabrera may be the best 3-4 tandem in the Major Leagues now. The Tigers can definitely weather these two guys in the lineup even though they jam the teams ability for base running. The key is to build a bunch of ‘Road Runners’ around them. I like Austin Jackson, Quintin Berry and Andy Dirks all being in the lineup to help the speed factor.
Also with Victor Martinez coming back in 2013, the team has one of the best Designated Hitters in baseball back in the fold. Then the team brought in classy veteran Torii Hunter (after inking him to a 2 YR/$26 MIL Contract. This shows how urgent it is for the organization to cash in a World Series with their roster.)
Torii Hunter Highlights – Explicit Language is used so Parental Guidance is advised:
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Thursday, February. 21/2013
By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer): Follow @ryandana1
I would never say that a team is a lock to win their division, but I will say that the Detroit Tigers shouldn’t make any vacation plans for October of 2013. They’ve won the AL Central Division for the past 2 years, and added an AL Pennant in 2012. The Detroit Tigers franchise is one rich in history winning 4 World Series titles and having legends such as Ty Cobb, Hank Greenberg, Al Kaline, and Charlie Gehringer passing through the “D” just to name a few.
This proud franchise did suffer a lull in success somewhat recently as they had a losing record every season from 1994-2005. This included a dismal 43-119 record in ’03. The Tigers came back from the abyss and turned their team back into a winning ball club since 2006. This was Jim Leyland’s 1st season managing the Tigers, and all he did was lead the team to 95 wins (a 24 win increase from the prior season) and a World Series appearance.
In 2011, the Tigers lost in the ALCS, and in 2012 they lost in the World Series, so could they improve upon the previous seasons ending once again and win the 2013 World Series? Well, their roster is certainly improved from last year, but it’s all about keeping up with the “Jones” in the MLB nowadays. Every team with money is trying to make a serious World Series run this year. While the Tigers are in the weakest division in the AL, if and when they reach the playoffs, it will be a gruesome battle to endure.
The Tigers have all the makings of a World Series contender. They have Superstars in their lineup like Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. They have a true Ace leading their deep, seemingly all in and around their prime, starting rotation in Justin Verlander. They also have good depth on their 25 man roster, and even more in their Minor League system. I’ll start with their rotation. Here’s what it will most likely look like…
Detroit Tigers 2012 ALCS Highlights:
Sunday April 1st, 2012
Jonathan Hacohen: Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, message us on Twitter and post on our Facebook Wall!
Let’s get to your top questions of the week:
Q: My question this week in about a prospect in the Diamondbacks system. Was reading an article about Trevor Bauer and his 10 different pitches along with his unique training program. What I want to know is how MLB Reports see his future. Will he be a number one starter on their staff one day and where will he end up when he retires? Larry
MLB reports: First question this week goes to our #1 fan, Larry! Happy April Fool’s Day by the way! No tricks today from us. Just baseball talk! Watching this kid pitch, it is hard not to get excited about him. Trevor Bauer comes with a lot of hype as a top-3 pick from last year’s MLB draft. He will definitely see time in Arizona this year, with a full rotation spot in 2012 possibly happening. Will Bauer be a #1 starter? Will he retire as a Dback? Very difficult questions, because of the complexity of the circumstances. Injuries. Performance. Financial expectations. So much goes into the equation. But if you are asking me to check the crystal ball (which I think you are), here is what I see: Yes, Bauer will become a #1 starter one day. We love his mechanics too much for him not to develop. As long as he stays healthy, works hard and keeps his nose clean. Which we all hope he does! But I cannot see him retiring as a Dback. In this day and age, it is very rare for a player to stay on the same team for his whole career. The law of baseball probability says that if Bauer becomes a stud, he will go one day to a major contender, like the Yankees or Red Sox. Even if for some reason Bauer does play the majority of his career in Arizona, he will at some point make a team change. Maybe his skills will diminish. Or a conflict with the manager. The bottom line, he will be in Arizona for the next 5+ years likely at least. So let’s enjoy his time there for now. Thanks for writing! Read the rest of this entry
Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth (Baseball Writer @ChuckBooth3024 on Twitter) - My dad and I were not always Yankees fans. In the past blogs I had written that my favorite teams when I first started watching baseball were the Montreal Expos(because of Gary Carter) and my American League team was the Detroit Tigers (because of Lance Parrish). As a 7-year-old kid playing baseball, our team name was the Tigers. I remember that as I took my position behind home plate, the coach called me Lance Parrish. My dad was the assistant coach that year and would whip baseball’s at me to toughen me up. I asked him too, because I wanted to learn how to block them like #13. Read the rest of this entry
Saturday February 11th, 2012
Sam Evans: Joe Mauer and Alex Avila have become two of the best catchers in the American League. Both players are at a crossroads in their respective careers heading into 2012. For Avila, can he build on his breakout season last year and lead the Tigers to the playoffs again? Mauer needs to find out whether he can stay at catcher without injury, and if he can return to the level of his previous offensive years. Read the rest of this entry
Saturday January 28, 2012
Jonathan Hacohen: On Thursday it became official. January 26, 2012 will forever be known as the day that Prince Fielder came home. We all know the story. Hitting home runs out of Tiger Stadium at the age of 12, Prince Fielder was a baseball legend from a very tender age. The former Brewers slugger hit the jackpot though, as the Tigers inked him to a 9-year, $214 million contract. At the age of 27, Prince already has 230 career home runs. Think about that one. Six full seasons in the big leagues. Close to forty home runs average per year. A man who has taken 100+ walks each of the last three years. Career .282 AVG. .390 OBP. .540 SLG. Plus he is still 27-years of age. The time in a player’s life when they are just entering their prime. If Prince has not hit his full stride yet…then watch out American League pitchers!
For a homecoming that seemed forever in doubt, the end result was a signing that felt right. Given the strained relationship between father and son, most suspected that Prince would not want to come to Detroit. The connections and comparisons to his dad would just be too much for him to handle. For a man who seemed to be very private and low-key, a Detroit signing seemed to contradict what he was seeking. But yesterday, Prince’s childhood dream did come true. Father and son according to reports are repairing their relationship. While it would have been nice to have seen Cecil at today’s press conference, it was not to be. Once Victor Martinez got injured, the Tigers came calling. Mike Ilitch, who knew Prince from when he was a young boy, wanted the young slugger in Detroit. After missing Prince by 1 selection in the 2002 draft, Ilitch was not going to let Prince escape again. The result was the cleanup hitter behind Miguel Cabrera that the team has dreamed of and the lifetime contract of security that Fielder and his agent, Scott Boras sought.
With a contract of this magnitude, there will always be debates, speculation and doubt. To help shed some light and clear up the confusion, I went ahead and prepared my top-ten list of reasons why the Prince Fielder Contract will work in Detroit.
I see this as a very smart signing by the Tigers and here are my reasons why:
1) Health and Durability: In six full seasons, Prince has missed a total of thirteen games. That’s it. For all the talk of weight, this is the modern-day Cal Ripken. Prince is a lot stronger and athletic than people give him credit for. Some consider a contract to be paid based on past experiences, while some believe it should be on future potential. In five years, Prince will only be 32. Based on his track history, it is expected that he should continue his iron-man type legacy for at least half of his contract…maybe more. Until proven otherwise, Prince is reliable and comes to the park to play everyday. There is value in durability, especially in a slugger of this magnitude.
2) The Power Bat: As shown earlier, the numbers are there. Averaging close to 40 home runs per year for his first six seasons. With more to come. Looking at his home/road splits over the years, he varied year to year. I am not sold that Prince was entirely dependant on Miller Park, as he hit well most years away from home. While Comerica is a less hitter friendly park, it surely will not hold Prince back much. Playing in front of the home town crowd, Prince should thrive in Detroit as well. Prince could very well hit 400+ home runs over the next 9-years. Time will tell. But from what he has shown so far, there is no slowing down. Heck, even Cecil hit 17 home runs in his last season at the age of 35. Clearly it can be done.
3) Age: Prince will be 28 in May 2012. For a power hitter of his stature, we should still see 5-6 prime years from him, with the potential to put up strong numbers right up until the end of the contract. While many stars still sign big contracts well into their 30′s, Prince is still in the prime of his life. Compared to Albert Pujols (even without the age uncertainty), Prince is a young slugger playing in his key years. Perfect for a team that plans to make a playoff runs for the next few years.
4) Consistency: Look at Prince’s numbers every year since he started to play full-time in the majors. The numbers speak for themselves, he has been as consistent as they come with no signs of slowing down.
5) Legacy: Many felt Prince would not sign with the Tigers, with the rationale that he wanted nothing to do with his father and to as separated from him as possible. My theory is that Prince actually craves the notion of going onto his father’s turf and breaking all of his records. To become the #1 Fielder in Tigers’ history. The Fielder name on the back of a Tigers jersey is legendary. To have Prince in Detroit now, he will be cementing his place in major league history. Success in Detroit will lead to endorsements beyond Prince’s wild imagination and a greater chance at the hall of fame. Not many people would have remembered Washington once Prince retired, had he played there. But after his career is done in Detroit, few will likely remember him as a Brewer. That is how powerful the Detroit and Fielder connection is.
6) Father and Son: If you haven’t done it already, check out the video at the top of this article to view the full press conference. Notice something interesting? Prince has his son with him the whole time. Remind you of anyone? That’s right. Prince and Cecil. The two were inseparable. I like this signing on a personal level for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it allows Prince to come home and play for the team and city that he spent much of his childhood with. Prince will be able to share the same experiences with his own son that he got to experience as a youngster. But mostly, I can only see this move as a strong indication of the progress and repair to the relationship between Prince and his own father. Considering that his dad raised him, taught him the game and made him into the player and man that he is today, in a perfect world it would have been a beautiful moment to see Prince and Cecil together at the Tigers’ press conference. While that may not have happened, I expect to see the day when the two will be hanging out together at Comerica Park. Three generations of Fielders in Detroit. The way it was meant to be.
7) Miguel Cabrera: Probably the only person happier about this signing besides Prince, Scott Boras and Cecil, would be Miguel Cabrera. While he did enjoy good protection in the lineup from Martinez last year and Ordonez in previous years, having Prince hit behind him will take Miggy to another level. Miggy’s walks have been jumping like mad in the last couple years, given that he has been the Tigers main offensive threat and fave choice of pitchers to pitch around. With Fielder in Detroit, Miggy has the potential to put up even greater numbers if that is possible. Look at what Prince did for Braun. With Miggy and Prince batting 3-4, teams will definitely have difficult choices to make.
8) V-Mart and Alex Avila: Avila, who will turn 25 tomorrow (happy birthday Alex!) had a season for the ages in 2011. The Tigers pitchers were on fire and loved how he called games. Blocked pitches. Threw out runners. Then there was the offense. .389 OBP. .506 SLG. 19 home runs. 82 RBIs. If he wasn’t the best catcher in baseball, he was at the very least top three. This was all done for the most part batting near the bottom of the Tigers lineup. Now imagine him batting 2nd next year. Batting in front of Miggy and Prince, Avila could have a .450 OBP or higher. Avila, like much of the Tigers hitters will greatly improve by having Prince in the lineup. Then come 2013, when V-Mart is in the lineup, the Tigers lineup will become nearly unstoppable. Miggy, Prince, Avila and V-Mart…all in the same lineup? I am practically drooling.
9) The Price is Right: Once upon a time, Vernon Wells signed a 7-year $126 million contract. Approximately $18 million per season. Jayson Werth with nearly the same deal. Pujols signed for 10 years $240 million. Pujols is also 32 (in Dominican years). Even if he is only 32, when Pujols turns 36 he will only be 5 years into his deal. At age 36, Prince will be done his. Werth will be 38 when his deal is done. Wells will be 36. The point is that there are many worse contracts out there. Compared to Wells and Werth, Prince is younger and far more consistent and productive. While Pujols is Pujols, you have to feel a bit edgy about his chances of completing his monster deal. Prince is a slugger and still has many more key years left. Considering what some of the other top contracts looked like, Prince money is not far off to what the elite are supposed to receive. At least in the case of Prince, compared to Werth and Wells, he had the track record to earn what he received. Relatively to the other “stars” I mean.
10) World Series: The Detroit Tigers of 2006 and 2011 really stick out in my mind. Two ballclubs that really needed an injection of runs to get over the hump. Especially last year’s edition. The squad had Verlander and Fister to start, with Valverde and the bullpen to keep the team close in games. But the team needed far more pop, other than Cabrera, Avila and V-Mart. Now with Prince, the team has the potential to challenge for baseball supremacy for the next 5+ years. Few players are difference makers. Prince is one of those players. Look at the Giants with Barry Bonds in the lineup. They always a had a chance. That is the biggest reason I saw the Giants being the team to grab Prince. I got the orange color right, but not the league. With such a high payroll and great band of stars and supporting players, the Tigers were seemingly one piece away from going to the World Series last year. Now hopefully, Prince is that missing piece to complete the Tigers playoff puzzle.
Without a doubt, some people have concerns about this signing. Most of the criticism falls around the dollars involved, length of contract, Prince’s weight and defensive questions. Let me answer those questions quickly. Firstly, the pay is the pay. The going rate for an elite superstar hitter is $20+ million per season. The number is still rising believe it or not. Remember, Prince will be only 28 this season. If he became a free agent in say 3 years, what would the market price be then? The dollars per year is market rate, whether we like it or not. As far as length of contract, by year 6- Prince will still be 33. Still very young in baseball terms. So the question for me is not the total length of contract, but the production the Tigers will receive in years 7-9. But even in the worst case and the Tigers get superstar numbers for approximately 6 years and decent numbers for the last 3, the contract will still make sense. If the Tigers win it all in any of those years, then nobody will even remember the contract. All they will remember is the ring and trophy.
As far as Prince’s weight and defense, I will say this. I have already shown in this article Prince’s durability. Not one issue was made of Prince’s weight in the press conference or by the team. Prince is a big man, no doubt. But he is a good athlete who is in much better shape than he is given credited for. As long as he is not missing games and his production is of an elite level, people should not be concerned. We are not trying to sell jeans people…we are trying to win ballgames. Lastly, I think Prince gets an unfair label from a defensive standpoint. While he may never win a gold glove and has the occasional lapse, for the most part he does the job. He works hard on the defensive aspect of his game. Moving Miggy to 3B or the OF is not a reflection on Miggy being an inferior 1B candidate. Rather, Miggy has experience at other positions and is still young enough to conquer them again. Prince did not sign this deal to be a DH. Yes, it will be an advantage to have him DH in back-to-back night/day games and for occasional breathers. But Prince is still young and capable. Like most young players, you don’t want them to strictly DH, since it takes them off the field and out of the game in many cases (see Adam Dunn). Prince will get the job done and having him at his natural position will make him most comfortable and likely productive. That is a good thing for the Tigers. At the end of the day, I have one last message for any last doubters left. Mike Ilitch just spent $214 million of his money, without hurting his ballclub. It’s his money and he can afford it. At the end of the day, this is not my money or yours. It’s the Tigers cash. If they want to spend it on Prince, all the power to them. This article addresses why the signing will work and makes sense. But ultimately, the Tigers wanted Prince from the time he was 12 and now he is home. Welcome back to Detroit Prince. Enjoy him Tigers fans…you are getting a bona fide superstar coming to your town.
Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports: You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)
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