Jim Johnson called up; Melvin Mercedes sent down

Although Mercedes had a great MLB debut, it will only last one game for his first stint as Jim Johnson was called up. Johnson, despite a lovely career, and stellar last 2 years has been awful this year with a 7.1 era, being released by Oakland. In Toledo, he had a 3.86 ERA, but Toledo manager Larry Parrish says he looks better than his numbers. Johnson will try his luck once again In Detroit. With Johnson, Soria, and Nathan, the Tigers have 3 of the best closers in the last decade on their roster. But the fact that 2 of them are struggling majorly and the other is injured, the Tigers bullpen continues to be the worst (second worst. Sorry Astros …) in the MLB.

Melvin Mercedes called up

Melvin was recently called up from triple-A. He is a bullpen pitcher who at triple-A threw a pedestrian 4.33 ERA. Mercedes is a young bullpen prospect, with a triple digit fastball and a nice slider to fool hitters with. He lacks control however which is why he can’t find success at triple-A. Melvin will add right handed pitching depth to the back of the bullpen. The Tigers love hard throwing relievers. However this is probably another case of a reliever being rushed to the MLB. Like Bruce Rondon last year. Melvin has a nice future, if he’s not plagued by Tommy John surgery. On the bright side, Melvin may strike extra adrenaline upon the excitement of being called up and start to control the baseball more. But the chances of this are eclipsed by the chances that Jim Johnson is called up to replace him. Meanwhile Buck Farmer was sent to triple-A. You may see him again filling in for Verlander or Anibal (pending on Rays status).

Buck Who?

  • Buck Farmer is his name and as stated in our last post he made his major league debut yesterday. We thought it was weird considering he had only had two starts.... In double-A. In 18 Starts in Single-A this year he did very well with a 10-5 record and only a 2.60 ERA. His two double-A starts he went 1-0 giving up 2 runs in each game. We really didn't know what to expect from Buck, but he did very well considering he's never pitched above Double-A. He went 5 innings giving up 4 runs (all earned) on 6 hits with a walk and 4 K's. He got the no decision because of some 2 out heroics in the bottom of the 5th by Victor Martinez. Buck has done very well in the minors since being drafted by the Tigers in the 5th round in 2013. The future is bright for Mr. Farmer and maybe in a few seasons he'll be back in the Majors for good.

Tigers push Porcello back, Buck Farmer to make spot start tomorrow

After Porcello pitched in the 19 inning game, His start will move to Friday, and Buck Farmer will make a spot start tomorrow. This is an interesting one, considering Farmer has only pitched in low-A (2.60 ERA) and double-A (3.00). This is odd because spot starters are only used from triple-A usually, and Buck Farmer despite some success in double-A lacks experience there, let alone being MLB ready. It seems that Dombrowski’s oddest moves seem to be most successful. But the only chances of success are because scouting reports on double-A pitchers are invisible, therefore, hitters have no idea what’s coming. However, that fact Doesn’t matter if you’re a terrible pitcher, which double-A pitchers are (but let’s not forget that Farmer is inexperienced In double-A. His career has been 80% LOW-A a level In which nobody at no time is MLB ready). So the low chance Buck Farmer succeeds is only superseded by the low chance the front office gets out of this unscathed. Although the front office mayn’t need to worry about the criticism, considering Ausmus put Cabrera in the 4th spot today.

Tigers lose lead, DL woes

Anibal Sanchez was put on the DL, And will be out for a month. Robbie Ray, despite a less than stellar recent performance In triple-A was awarded the call-up, and will offer very inconsistent pitching for the Tigers, anywhere from a shutout to a blowout. This is a downgrade from Sanchez, and this will also flatten the lineup given Sanchez’s presence in the clubhouse, and the adrenaline produced by his strikeout ability. Soria was also injured. He won’t be a hit for the clubhouse but the bullpen. Kevin Whelan was the call-up, a 30 year old who has been phenomenal in AAA, with a 1.85 ERA and he hasn’t yielded a run for a month. He was their 9th inning guy too, doing well in saves too. His debut yesterday however made it appear he wasn’t MLB ready. The red hot Royals have overtaken the Tigers, and if that’s not scary Enough, Cabrera and JD’s average are on track to fall below .300. They’re at .304 right now. The lineup—everyone but Victor—is slumping or underperforming. The Pitchers are doing well, but are plagued by lack of run support and bullpen help. Ausmus himself is making mistakes these last 10 days. The Tigers have pulled out of slumps before, and the Royals have froze after hot streaks before. If they can’t this time however, this could be the end of the season, and the end of Ausmus’s career.

Dirks experiences another setback, Tigers increase interest in international free agents

Dirks strained his hamstring again, and is, yet again, going to be pulled from his rehab assignment. There will be no timetable for his return as of now, and a return by October is a flying down a wishing well at this point. This has increased interest in Cuban FA outfielders Rusney Castillo and Yasmani Tomas. Both players are able to sign at any point now and both are receiving attention from Tigers scouts. Castillo, the more notable one in terms of chances of signing with the tigers, won’t likely provide an instant impact but rather one next year, as Dombrowski is intent on Davis in center field while featuring Carrera at least for this season. Castillo’s been scouted by 28/30 MLB teams In his most recent Miami showcase. His stock is high considering the love scouts have for his all around ability (most notably speed and contact) as well as the successes of other Cuban defectors such as Puig, Cespedes, and Abreu.

Tigers get even better

This morning, the A’s got even better by trading Yoenis Cespedes, a fan favorite, for Jonny Gomes and Jon Lester. Their rotation now includes Lester, Samardzija, Kazmir, Gray, and Chavez. All of them having fascinating years. They became the best team in baseball by far this morning. Then, 6 minutes before the deadline at 4 o’clock, news broke out that David Price had been acquired by the Tigers, and Austin Jackson had to leave in the middle of an inning because he was traded to Seattle. The trade details are all below as well as Tigers 18 year old inf prospect Willy Adames sent to TB. Now, the Tigers have a rotation with talent very comparable to Oakland. Price has been outstanding in the last 2 months. This recent success mainly due to his xFIP (expected fielding independent pitching) stat, an advanced stat that measures How a pitcher will do in terms of skill only, not the fielding or ballpark behind him. Considering Price now inherits a better defense and a huge ballpark, his tenure with the Tigers should be outstanding. It cost the Tigers Drew Smyly, a pitcher who the Tigers loved but he was taking on a large workload this year, and most likely would’ve had to have his innings limited, lest he get seriously injured. Doing so would’ve been a huge inconvenience and even so, Price was a huge upgrade. Austin Jackson was traded to Seattle, as well. Jackson was beginning to either get it together or flash in the pan, but either way, He still has been garbage in the playoffs, which is a problem for a serious world series bound team. The Tigers also gave up Willy Adames, an 18 year old prospect. He was in competition with another very young shortstop prospect. Overall, the Tigers got a steal. Price will replace Scherzer when he leaves. The Tigers and the Athletics are gonna have one interesting ALCS. Before this trade, it was uncertain that the Tigers would do well in the playoffs. Now, they show that they can. Trades can still happen now but they have to pass thru waivers, so backups and bullpen pitchers are the only ones traded during this period, so this doesn’t count out the possibility of acquiring Antonio Bastardo In August. In other moves, Ian Krol will be sent to triple-A in an effort to get him back on track. Pat McCoy will be reinstated from the DL to take his place in the bullpen. That leaves one more roster spot that will be taken by the call-up of Ezekiel Carerra, who’s batted over .300 the entire year in Toledo. The benefits of Carerra include great defense, many stolen bases, and a Left handed bat that’s been very consistently great in triple-A. He will share reps with Rajai Davis in center field.

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Tigers make trade

For Joakim Soria. Soria is 17/19 In save opportunities with a very impressive 2.70 ERA. It’s not clear whether he will immediately be inserted in the closer role (most likely not) but it is almost certain he will be eventually. Joe Nathan is way too inconsistent. The Rangers got Cory Knebel and Jake Thompson—a minor league RHP. Although Thompson is rather irrelevant, and will grow up to be an average bullpen pitcher, Knebel on the other hand could grow up to be a ligit closer or setup man. He struggled because he was rushed to the majors. He won’t reach his potential for a number of years. If Nathan gets his act together like he slowly is (I believe it’s just inconsistency. He’s not improving, just on and off sometimes) that means the Tigers have him, Chamberlain, and Soria for the 7, 8, 9 innings, hoping the starter lasts thru 6 (they usually do). This definitely secures them a playoff spot, but a lack of left handed hitting and a still rather weak bullpen do not constitute a deep playoff run. The trading deadline, however, is not yet upon us.

Tigers inquire about acquiring Chad Qualls from Astros

Chad Qualls is a veteran reliever who is doing well closing for the Astros. A trade with the Astros could also mean the possibility of getting Jose Altuve in the deal. Jose loves almost all the Tigers hitters, talks to them all the time, and took a lot of pictures with them at the ASG. lots of relievers are in possibility to come to the Tigers. When one happens, well have all the news along with opinion.

Yankees and Padres make trade

Yankees trade away 3B Yangervis Solarte and P Rafael De Paula for Chase Headley and $1 Million. Chase Headley has been a solid .270 hitter with power throughout his career, but he’s only hitting .220 this year. The Yankees are known for reviving 30+ year old players however. Yangervis Solarte is a 26 year old infielder who started the season batting .340 but has dropped to .255. A change of scenery could refresh his mind and he may be able to get back to his April form. Even so, he has a career ahead of him.

Tigers express interest in multiple relief pitchers

Including Joaquin Benoit, but those rumors have been going on for too long. Joakim Soria has been having a stellar season for the Rangers, but the Rangers have been unable to find themselves in save situations being the worst team in baseball. Brad Ziegler of the Diamondbacks has also been targeted, however; the Diamondbacks have said they have no interest in parting ways with the 2.50 ERA pitcher this year and 2.22 last year. He also racks up a fair amount of K’s. The most intriguing expression by the Tigers was a report by Fox sports saying the Tigers were after Philadelphia closer RHP Jonathan Papelbon and setup man LHP Antonio Bastardo. Papelbon has expressed distaste for the city of Philadelphia and is also overpaid and nearing the end of his contract-all big ingredients for a trade. Papelbon has an astonishing 1.17 ERA and 23 saves this year, a planet better than Nathan. Solid LHP Bastardo is also In the mix. Bastardo is about to reach the prime of his career and has been majorly consistent his career. This year He has an ERA of 3.38, but an amazing K/IP of 51/42. I’m a fan of his work. He’s aggressive, and would be to the bullpen what Smyly was last year. Seeing as multiple teams scouts watched Cliff Lee pitch today (He is #1 on trading block right now), a major multi-team trade should happen soon—a trade which should include Detroit. When it happens, come here first!

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