Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sorry, Tiger Injuries Will Have An Impact

I have never been fond of teams using injuries as a crutch. Maybe that’s because I grew tired of hearing it from the Lions for so many years.
But I do believe a rash of injuries present an ominous sign that things are not going as expected for a team. It’s why I don’t dismiss the run of injuries the Tigers have had.
Joel Zumaya, Fernando Rodney and Curtis Granderson were as key as any other parts for the Tigers during 2006 when they reached the World Series. All will open the 2008 season on the disabled list.
Last season, when Kenny Rogers came up hurt at the end of spring training, and Zumaya got hurt early in the season, it had a devastating bearing on the Tigers. While they played well for an extended period, they weren’t able to sustain it.
Does that mean this season is over before it even starts? Hardly. But there is no sense getting around it. These injuries aren’t good. And they will hurt the Tigers. The question is, to what degree?

Note: I will be making an appearance at The Overtyme Grill and Tap Room in Waterford Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Check it out. I'll be talking to people about the NCAA Tournament, the Tigers or whatever is on their mind.

Random Thoughts

- North Carolina is the best team in the country right now. I know some people don’t think much of NC’s interior defense, but ultimately that is going to be moot point. North Carolina will beat UCLA if they meet.

- I don’t see how the New York Mets will get over last season’s collapse. Things like that tend to linger for years. But honestly, I don’t see a better team than the Mets in the National League, either. I just can’t see the Rockies repeating. Hope I’m wrong, though. I kind of like that team.


Anonymous Andrew Winkle said...

Pat the Book,

Granderson's injury is huge. Thank goodness Inge is still on the roster. Is Jacque Jones capable of playing centerfield? How about Ryan Rayburn?

Bazardo's outing yesterday was encouraging. Hopefully he will have another good couple of innings later in the week. I like how Leyland is willing to make allowances for Bazardo's poor spring due to his father's passing and the infected tooth he had removed.

My brother-in-law Fred, a long time Tiger fan, confided in me yesterday his troubled deduction for the Tigers having a successful season. He told me in all ernestness that it probably comes down to one person in the bullpen. He looked me straight in the eye and said, "Jason Grilli".

After taking a moment to ponder this possibility, I think I agree. Grilli does have the tools and his role is to bridge the pitching gap between the starter and the closer. If he can pitch like he did in '06 and do the job asked of him, then the Tigers chances of raising a pennant are excellent.

If Grilli pitches like he did at Comerica last season, then he and either Thames or Inge will probably be traded for a reliabe middle reliever.

1:14 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Book, I did see a highlight clip of Inge making one hell of a catch in center, but had no idea Granderson was injured until I just now read your post.

I gotta get out more.

That catch by Inge showed extra-effort and now I realize he may be trying to earn the open starting spot. How does that sit?

I'm not expecting the boys to kick off to a strong first two months this year. Who knows. Could be our cup is really half full, and this generation of Tigers may have a stronger second half for once.

So lets see, we need a back up catcher, a new outfield strategy, an entire bullpen, and I would assume a bulk discount deal on a shipment of Marlboros for the skip.

But I do expect a bunch of pissing and moaning up to the 2nd week of June.

That being said we'll be fine. I checked my Ouija board. Oh yeah, and my dead uncle Hal says hello.

2:13 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, losing Granderson is not that good. Tigers needed his left handed bat and speed. Look like Inge gets CF, can Jones still play cf effectively? Timo is still interesting as he is still hitting the ball pretty good. He might be a good lf platoon with Thames in the short term and Jones platoons with Inge. Nice to have at least three left-handed bats in the line-up against the righties. The Tigers would have some interesting roster moves to make if they bring a new reliever in and Rodney and Zumaya come back this year.

2:16 PM 
Anonymous Bryan152 said...

I really wonder if North Carolina's success in these two games (relative to the other No. 1 seeds, that is) might be a product of the sub-par opponents and the virtual home-court advantage. Imagine if MSU's road to the Final Four went through the Palace.

Speaking of State, I feel like we really saw a budding collegiate superstar in Kalin Lucas on saturday vs. Pitt. I don't know if this is the year for MSU (I have them losing to Texas on Sunday) but it is refreshing to see them bounce back at the right time after a disappointing season. Even with the departure of Neitzel, I feel like this team will be just as good, if not better with Lucas leading the way next year.

1:51 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Andrew Winkle,
Raburn would be a better option in center than Jones. Raburn was an centerfielder at Florida before transferring in college. Grilli is fine as long as they don;t put him in setup situations.

7:11 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Glass half full or empty, I am not sure. I know this is a very good team regardless, but being competititive isn't enough. They need to get into the postseason at the minimum. Of that, I am not sure the Tigers are good enough.

7:13 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I wouldn't mess with the left field platoon. It is too perfect. I'd live with Inge and Raburn in center field. It won't be that long before Granderson is back.

7:15 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

You make a great point about NC. I would just love to see them leave their home state now and then. The Spartans have been terrific in the tournament so far - especially Lucas. Izzo is a great coach.

7:17 PM 

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