Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jackson Trade Hinges On His Ability To Throw Strikes

If the Tigers were going to move Matt Joyce in a trade, they needed to at least get a power arm in return.
And that's exactly what they accomplished by trading Joyce to Tampa Bay for right-hander Edwin Jackson.
Jackson is still in his middle 20s. He does throw his fastball consistently in the mid-90s. He did make 30-plus starts for Tampa Bay the last two seasons. He was available because the Rays needed left-handed hitting, wanted to save a bit of money (Jackson is salary arbitration eligible) and they needed to make room for phenom David Price in the starting rotation.
I believe Joyce has good upside (read original post below), but so does Jackson.
The concern with Jackson is his control. When he throws strikes, he is as tough as they come. When he doesn't - which is often - he gets in trouble. It's one of the reasons he hasn't approached the 200-inning mark yet. His pitch count get high. Even when he is not walking hitters, he often falls behind in the count.
There isn't an injury issue to be concerned about - like with Jeremy Bonderman. He hasn't totally lost his ability to throw from Point A to Point B accurately - like Dontrelle Willis. He has not lost zip on his fastball - like Nate Robertson. Yet make no mistake: Jackson is one of those pitchers who go either way for the Tigers in 2009.
They need him to throw strikes. They need him to be better than in the past.

Posted before trade for Jackson...

Whether acquiring J.J. Putz in a trade with Seattle is ideal for the Tigers depends on how two of their younger players - left-handed hitters Jeff Larish and Matt Joyce - are viewed.
Of the prospects the Tigers were forced to bring to the major leagues last season because of injuries, I thought Joyce showed the most promise. He made some blunders in the field, but he does seem to have the makings of at least an average corner outfielder defensively.
What is best about Joyce is that he has a fairly compact hitting stroke and turns well on a good major league fastball.
I see him as being a better player in the future than Larish, who has a longer batting stroke and is limited defensively. I know the Tigers played Larish at third base last season, and he did get a lot of time there in the Arizona Fall League, where he excelled with the bat, but I don’t see where his career is necessarily going to take off. He appears to be below-average defensively for a third baseman. The Tigers are, obviously, set at first base - his primary position - with Miguel Cabrera, and it doesn’t seem like Larish will hit enough to be full-time DH once Gary Sheffield departs.
I know this: The Tigers desperately need left-handed hitting. I wouldn’t trade both of them for Putz. But if one or the other must go, I think the Tigers should keep Joyce, who is also two years younger than Larish.
Joyce had 31 extra base hits in 242 major league at bats last season and walked considerably more than Larish, who displayed far less power in the major leagues than he had for Triple-A Toledo.

Random Thoughts

- Shaking up their starting lineup didn’t do the Pistons much good at Washington Tuesday, but in fairness to the Pistons, the Wizards did get more than double the free throw attempts. Doesn’t excuse blowing a 15-point first quarter lead, though.

- Should Jim Rice be in the Hall of Fame? This is his final year on the ballot and he came close last year. Yes. He is on my ballot.

- Jimmy Howard has a below .500 record and a save percentage under 90 percent for Grand Rapids. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland knew what he was doing when he signed Ty Conklin during the off season.


Blogger maddog52 said...

Book for me I wish we could get rid of sheffield and move guillen to DH. Dombrowski keeps talking about they want to win now. So I think us as Tiger fans just need to be paitent. I haven't sceen enough of Larish to decide yet, but if I had to choose today I'd keep joyce. To me joyce earned a spot on the team for next year. You have to admit other then Miguel despite the numbers the offense was very sluggish through out the most of the year. Joyce was one of the bright spots in the lineup. I am more concerned at the pitching. I don't care about F-Rod, actually I am glad we didn't gamble with Kerry Wood. I still think we need another stud starter and a couple of relivers. This may sound crazy, but hell why not get a biemel and maybe another top reliver. What about Nate at closer. I think he could be solid. He has the bull dog like mentality it takes to be a solid closer.

As far as Dom Raiola. You are on a 20 out of 21 team right now. You are apart of a team that has given up close to the most sacks in the league over the past 8 years. You are right Dom you are part of the freaking problem. Take your finger and stick it where it hurts. You don't want to be the doormat you are tired of being the doormat well stop loosing LOL>>>> We flip you off cause as lions fans we do care. We have never turned our backs on this team. That has been the problem...

As far as the Pistons. First Ijust think Curry looks lost and he was hired one year 2 soon. I think another year on the bench with an experienced coache would have served him better for being a head coach. a guy I'd would have look at would have been Avery Johnson. but that was me. I am very curious to see how Joe responds. He said he felt this team had one more year in them. Well I am not sure. Amir Johnson hasn't stepped up like we'd hope. I don't know. With the emergance of Stuckey and the improved play of Afflalo. And with Toronto having major questions. TO bad we couldn't package AI and maybe Amir to Toronto for Bosh... Know what I mean. I think that would be solid. Hell we are thinking of signing him anyways.

2:46 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat: If the Tigers have the money to spend I would spend it on Fuentes and Cruz. They could really shorten the game with Fuentes, Cruz and Zumaya/Rodney/Fien working the last three innings. Would that cost them more then their second round draft pick next year? My reason is we have a Putz, name Ryan Perry. That said, Putz would be a great addition if healthy. I would still make a trade to remove the logjam in the mirrors at ss, outfield, and 1B and the AAAA players. Players like Rameriz, Wells, Scram, Dlugach, Holliman and Robertson need to play AAA next year not AA. Players like Strieby and Boesch need to move up to AA.

4:44 PM 
Blogger Jim15032 said...

Why either? Gary Sheffield is an albatross around the Tigers' neck. So is Leyland, who won't admit he was making a mistake by continuing to put him in the lineup day after hitless day.

But if one is to go, and he will get it done, Joyce, and not Larish, should stay with the Tigers. He can hit and run and field. Another first baseman is something the Tigers do not need.

6:34 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I'm not sure how I feel about Sheffield. He may not be the same he used to be, but I do wonder how he will perform if he isn't coming off surgery - like last year, That's what they are hanging their hat. Now, if somebody picks up all his salary, it might be a different situation.

7:28 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

They need somebody to close. Don't see Cruz doing that. Fuenetes had decent numbers last year, but I have talked to people in Colorado who say when it gets really tight in a pennant race, he isn't at his best. Remember, it was Corpes who closed for the Rockies in 2007.

7:29 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I have a feeling Sheffield will be around. An educated guess: Other teams ask about Joyce before they ask about Larish.

7:31 PM 
Anonymous Chief said...


What do you think of the Joyce/Jackson Trade?

I don't have a strong feeling either way.

12:28 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joyce will probably blossom with Tampa Bay (25+ home runs). He will have a chance for more playing time sooner there than here. Jackson makes the staff a bit less uncertain. I hope they have some luck in getting an upgrade to Rodney as closer. A repeat of last year would be hard to stomach.

3:09 AM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

I would agree with your choice of Matt Joyce, Pat. But I appreciate what both did last year pretty equally.

Hot-damn - only 3 months!

Finally got an HDTV - watched the Wings 3rd quarter and OT against Calgary last night. You are right. It changes the experience of watching hockey more than any other sport. That and it was an excellent game!

Do they win every game coming from behind in OT on HD TV?

6:35 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the 3 moves the Tigers have this off-season. They have added 3 major league ball players for a low cost. Joyce and the 2 minor-league pitchers were not going to make or break the Tigers. Laird, Everett and Jackson are solid - not great, wich is ok. I think low-profile moves like these are sometimes better than high profile moves. The Yankees and Mets make big splashes every year but they do not always payoff. I do believe Dombrowski will make moves to solidify the bullpen next.


9:24 AM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

See book I like the Edwin Jackson Move. I mean the Mets for JJ Putz is mind boggling. You get K-Rod and now Putz. All one can do in an offseason for any sport is sit and watch it unfold.. With Edwin Jackson. That obviously leaves nate out and in the Bull Pen witch I like. Personally I'd keep Miner in the rotation as he has proven to be much more effective then in the pen. At the same time the note as if the season were to start today Fernando Rodney would be the closer. Yes that is true, but dombrowski can't allow that to happen.

So far to this offseason you have to admit you can't really be extatic....

9:52 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I liked it. A starting pitcher is more valuable than a corner outfielder. Jackson has some way to go, but is still more proven than Joyce.

12:53 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Obviously, the Tigers still need to address the closer situation. It is getting more difficult to envision how with some closers going off the market. It will make Fuentes, for example, cost more than he worth.

12:55 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Sports in HD - especially hockey - are, in my opinion, a gift from high above.

12:56 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I agree the Tigers roster is starting to take shape. They need to find a closer and augment their bullpen beyond that and add another catcher.

12:57 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

The Mets and Yankees are the only real buyers out there because of the economy. They both have to try to outdo each other because they are opening new stadiums after coming off disappointing seasons. Putz would have been perfect for the Tigers.

12:59 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, I think I am thumbs up with the trade, pitching trumps left handed bateven in Detroit. This guy does have an arm. I do not think Joyce will ever make an all-star team. I hope the trades keep on coming.

2:27 PM 
Blogger Suthrnmtrs said...

Hey Pat, I really like the moves Dombrowski has made this off-season. They are not moves that make headlines but I definitely think the Tigers are a better team today. This game is all about pitching so if they can get some bullpen help and can get Verlander and Bonderman to bounce back they will be in the thick of the Central. I also would not underestimate the effect of the improved defense behind this staff. They kicked it around a lot last season which did not help the pitchers. My biggest worry is Guillen in left field??? I just don't get that! They need to try to dump Sheffield and move Guillen to DH.

5:31 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Yeah, the one thing is they haven't been "cheap" like some people are saying. Jackson and Laird are both arbitration-eligible players who will get significant raises from what they made last year. Getting them raised the Tigers payroll probably $6 million. It will be a lot like it was last season.

5:48 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I, too, think it was a good trade.

5:49 PM 

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