By Greg Bowman
Should the Detroit Tigers make another trade? Or do you think the deal to get Pitcher Anibal Sanchez and 2nd baseman Omar Infante was enough to push the team into the postseason? I like the trade, even if the Tigers had to give up their top pitching prospect Jacob Turner. Who knows, maybe Turner will turn out to be another John Smoltz. But how many “can’t miss” prospects really become Hall of Fame type players? Or even make it to the Majors?
The bottom line is, The Tigers got two established Major Leaguers for a pitcher who has won a total of one game in the majors and other prospects who haven’t even made it to the majors yet. And the move filled a couple of major needs for the team, another quality arm and a legitimate second baseman. But for some reason that defies all logic, Ryan Rayburn is still on the roster. I wouldn’t mind another trade, especially for a right-handed bat who could come off the bench, or another starter. But only if they don’t have to give up too much for him.
Of course, it’s too bad that the Tigers had to trade to get back Infante, a player they should never have gotten rid off, in a horrible trade for Jacques Jones, who did nothing for the Tigers. Infante and Sanchez are off to a slow start in their first few games for the Tigers, but the move should pay off over the next two months as the Tigers eye the playoffs and the ultimate prize, the World Series.
The Tigers continue to frustrate fans, and no doubt, Manager Jim Leyland. After playing their best baseball of the season during the first part of July, and climbing back into first place in the AL Central, the Tigers are falling back into their bad habits,and leaving too many stranded on base. Even in Sunday’s win over Toronto, the Tigers managed to win, despite being outhit, thanks to Jhonny Peralta’s two home runs and the great pitching of Doug Fister. That’s the drawback of an offense that relies on big home runs to win. It’s feast or famine. If the homers don’t come, the result is often a Tiger loss.
There are some encouraging signs: Delmon Young is actually letting a few pitches go by before swinging, resulting in a few rare walks. And with players like Quintin Berry and Omar Infante, the Tigers finally have some guys who can help manufacture runs without waiting for the long ball. It would be nice to see the Tigers actually try a suicide squeeze play for once, instead of having the other team win by pulling one off against us.