Friday, March 06, 2009

On Jeff Larish, TO, Rodney Stuckey And NHL Trade Deadline

Jeff Larish has had a good spring for the Tigers. He had a pretty good season in the Arizona Fall League. There were times last season in the minor leagues that he showed promise.
He is a left-handed hitter, which the Tigers badly need in a lineup that tends to be balanced too much toward the right side.
Having said that, I’m not sure if Larish is the answer to any of the Tigers’ needs. First of all, he lacks a position. He is a first baseman. Miguel Cabrera will be there every day. Larish did play some third base in Arizona, and has played the outfield, but putting him in either of those positions is like fitting a square peg into a round hole.
Also, his swing is long. It’s why he may show promise at lower levels, but not be able to perform nearly as well in the major leagues. When he got a shot in the major leagues last year, he showed little power nor patience at the plate - and he struck out a lot.
Larish is not a young prospect, either. He is 26 - and will turn 27 in the fall. He will likely get an opportunity this season, but must make the most of it. And it has be hitting extraordinarily well. Larish can’t marginal hitter because of the position issue. But if he hits - really hits - they’ll find a way to get him in the lineup.

Random Thoughts

- Terrell Owens will get signed by some team, somewhere. He will immediately make that team better. He will then falter and throw the quarterback under the bus and depart with hurt feelings. It is his modus operandi. But forget about Owens’ age. It is non-factor. He can still play.

- Ask yourself this question? In three years will Rodney Stuckey be a perennial All Star? Two months ago, I would have definitely said yes. Right now, I’m not so sure.

- To me, Calgary was the big winner at the NHL trade deadline. Olli Jokiken should obviously be motivated come playoff time. Don’t be surprised if what transpired in his first game with the Flames carries on. He is a world-class player, who has been buried on non-playoff teams. Jordan Leopold is one of the best pointmen on the power play in the game. In an ideal world, the Red Wings would want to avoid the Flames in the playoffs until the conference finals. Or don’t play them at all. The Flames seem more threatening than the Sharks because Miikka Kiprusoff is a better money goalie than Evgeni Nabokov.



Anonymous Marty said...


I could see Larrish being a first baseman on a Major League team. He has a long swing, so will never hit for average, but has shown patience in the minors (takes a lot of walks) and quite a bit of power. Plus, I have read more than a few reports about him being a gold glove type defender at first base. The problem here is that the Tigers don't have room for him there.

I don't think he will ever be a star, but I don't see why he couldn't play on a team in the Majors. Of course the position he plays doesn't put much importance on defense, which is his best trait, so maybe he won't make some team. His other tools are adequate though (left handed power, and good OPS.)


3:44 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

I think Jeff Larish has been solid and could be that LH hitter that we need. HE definately has some pop. Question I have is how strong is he defensively? Mainly at the hot corner and lf.
I tell you certain guys Rincon and Williamson are making strong cases for the bullpen as well. both have been pretty solid.

Rodney Stuckey I tell you what I would not have said at the beginning of this season he would be a future All Star. I just thought you know he looks like he could be good. I think next year we will get a better feel. I really think he could use a more inside threat to help him when he drives. ITs hard when everyone other then McDyess is standing arond the 3 point line. The pistons can really open things up. SO if we got a Boozer or someone who isn't clueless like Kwame down low I think he would be even stronger.

THe NHL trade deadline I think the wings were smart not to move anyone. I think we have a lot of debth. I think we are even stronger wth the youngerguys like Helm, Verino, ERrikson. Looking great especially with the wings wanting to attempt to sign Hossa and the Mule.

3:45 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

I agree Pat, if he still has an option left he should play AAA to start the season anyway. His long swing does stick out but maybe he can make an adjustment. I want to see if he can hit higher than 250 like he did in AAA last year before they give him the job. With Gary coming off the books next year it will be interesting who takes his place. Will 1B or LF open up?

4:37 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I tend to think he won't be a major league regular for a long period, if ever. But it could happen. Players with a lesser track reoord in the minors have made it.

1:03 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Great point about Stuckey. He is really good at getting into the lane. It's what he does best. He would benefit greatly from a bonafide post threat.

1:05 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

If Larish is going to make it with the Tigers, it will be as a DH. That much seems certain.

1:05 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Sorry for the late comment book.

I think if we see Larish up with the club in 2009 it means something bad happened:

* Cabrera got injured
* Sheffeild got Injured and Cabrera is DHing
* Larish is DHing for an injured Sheff
* Inge got hurt (or traded to the Yankees?????) and Larish is filling in at the hot corner.

On that note - if Marty is correct about Larish's defensive skill, how would you see Larish comparing to Inge? His bat is certainly better.

Just a thought.

12:51 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Defensively, Larish is not even close to Inge at third. He is far below average major league-calber third base. His only real position is first.

1:55 PM 

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