Thursday, July 28, 2011

On Lions signing Durant, Tigers Avila's slump and why history is with the Vikings McNabb

Justin Durant is an excellent tackler and can play outside or inside linebacker. He does fill the Lions needs at one linebacker, but there is a downside. It's injuries. He missed nearly a full season (14) games with various injuries during his four years with Jacksonville.
This will be an excellent signing for the Lions - about as good as they are going to do at this position - if he can stay healthy.
And they need one more starting caliber player linebacker. I have to admit Nick Barnett is interesting. Some have viewed him as an underachiever in his career. I haven't. He's been a terrific player. But I do wonder how much he has left in the tank at 30 after missing most of last season. Stephen Tulloch obviously would work, but is in demand.

- Alex Avila has slumped mightily in July. He is hitting .175 with just three extra base hits, all doubles, in 57 at bats. He hasn't driven in a run since June 30.
Avila has made some great adjustments from last season when he struggled, especially taking outside pitches to the opposite field. Obviously, he catches a lot of games and it can wear down a player, especially given the unusually hot weather this month. I also feel there is a leveling off process. Avila isn't as good a hitter as his numbers in April, May and June suggested. It isn't his spot in the batting order. He drove in 46 runs in those three months hitting in the bottom third of the order.
But I do think he is a better hitter than he displayed last season after making the necessary adjustments. As the season moves on, it's likely he will find a middle ground.

- We've seen a lot of quarterbacks go to Minnesota and resurrect their careers. Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham, Jeff George, Brett Favre. Can't help but think Donovan McNabb will be next.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cappy glad to see you are doing well. I should have known all those sports debates at MSU would lead to something more than painting.

I am in the Baltimore / DC area if you ever get down this way. Contact me on facebook. Love to speak with you. Your Phi big bro.

7:38 AM 
Anonymous woody said...

tough stretch ahead for the Tigers. 7 at home against 2 playoff caliber teams. 4 of those games pitched by Penny and Porcello. time to see who can perform under pressure.

Tigers have been trying all season to fill that 5th starter spot with a lefty. unfortunately just not many veteran lefties out there now. a guy like Ted Lilly would seem to be a good fit but he just signed a big contract this offseason, and the financial commitment is probably too big to acquire. Bedard in Seattle could help, but he's had injury issues and could disappear like Washburn did a few years ago. Rich Harden isn't a lefty but he fits the profile of type of pitcher Tigers management likes. If they do pickup a #5 type starter, that guy would be in the bullpen during the postseason, so you'd like someone whose stuff could succeed in the role too.

11:46 AM 

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