Friday, July 11, 2008

Todd Jones Has Become An Issue

Todd Jones has his backers, as he should. Only 14 pitchers in baseball history have saved more games. Nobody has saved more games for the Tigers. He did do a respectable job as closer in 2006 when the Tigers won the pennant.
That, however, shouldn’t distract from has become an alarming issue for the Tigers. Jones has pitched poorly lately. Period. It’s gotten to the point where he can no longer be trusted.
His time as Tigers closer seems to be borrowed. All the signs are there that the wheels are coming off, including a dismal blown save opportunity Thursday against the Twins.
Jones has an ERA over 5.00. He has walked more hitters than he has stuck out. He has allowed far more hits than innings pitched.
I think it will be a long time before Tigers manager Jim Leyland turns to Joel Zumaya as the Tigers closer, but it may be inevitable at some point of this season.

Random Thoughts

- There is only one truly threatening power hitter remaining in the Twins lineup - Justin Morneau. Why aren’t the Tigers pitching around him? Other teams certainly are.

- I’m glad they are saving the flag pole from Tiger Stadium. It was distinctive and unique and symbolic of the ball park. Can’t help but feel bad Tiger Stadium is coming down.

-The Lions have to sign another running back before the start of training camp, don’t they? LaMont Jordan would be a good fit.


Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat: I do agree, Tigers are very very lucky that Jones has done so well. Hats off to Mr.Jones. But when you have a WHIP 1.58 and low K ratio what do you expect. They should treat Jones like Pudge, do not over use the guy. This is perfect for a guy like Zumaya to step in now and then. If the Tigers fall back much further Zumaya should be the Tigers full time closer to see how he does. I like the Tigers draft this year with so many relief pitchers. The best plan around is to the shorten the game. The 06 Tigers did it, 08 Sox are doing it and 07 Indians had a good bullpen. The best part is bullpen do not cost that much money in comparison to #5 starter or any other spot in the line-up. I bet the Mariners are thrill to paying Siliva all that money.

3:15 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

My worry at the start of this season was that this potent lineup would score so many runs only to have the bull pen squander them away until our offense became so discouraged that they stopped hitting by the all-star break (see March 14 comments).

That hasn’t been the case – at least not as much as we may think. In fact this line up has just recently figured out to produce in volume consistently – at home anyway.

That being said – I think Mr. Jones has reached the point where the fans are fed up beyond repair.

I am one of those fans.

The sinking feeling I get when he comes on the mound is greater than the sigh of relief when (if) he pulls out the save. It’s not fun.

It’s miserable.

His save count may be high – but as you pointed out – so is his ERA – and we need a rock in that position.

I personally would be much happier seeing Zumaya take the closer role – Jones take the golden handshake – and let Joel learn how to close ‘on the job’ while Voo-do Child is a-blarin’ over the PA .

But that’s just me.

At the same time, the loss yesterday to Minnesota was bad – but that is baseball. You come back from down by six to win some, the next game another team pulls it on you. It’s not the end of everything the boys have accomplished so far.

But it should be the last straw for Mr. Jones.

As for Tiger Stadium - I think that we might be surprised by what Tiger Stadium turns into. I think if it can stay as a field with portions of the stands between first and third - that would be an amazing monument and site for all kinds of events. It might just happen.

4:32 PM 
Blogger Unknown said...

Perhaps I'm just a Jonesy apologist, but it's real hard for me to blame him for his latest blown save, much less for the loss the Tigers ended up suffering. It comes down to poor execution by Joyce which scored a run and put a runner on third. It's darn near impossible to hold a runner on third with 0 outs. In my mind Todd saves that game if the ball doesn't scoot by Joyce. Despite his struggles he is still 16/18 in Saves and 4-0 on the year.

10:43 PM 
Blogger Unknown said...

How about that save #17 today? Joyce trying to make up for the other day for that third out.

3:39 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Jones did get a save Sunday. He has shown the ability to turn it around when he appears about done. The Tigers can't afford to cut him too much slack, though. The season could get away from them in a hurry.

10:08 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Seems like all of Southeast Michigan gets that sinking feeling when Jones comes in. It has been worse than usual lately. I'd like Tiger Stadium to be remembered some way. I get the feeling, though, it isn't going to happen. Detroit is just too much of a mess to get this done properly.

10:10 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Andrew w. Fanco,
I understand the importance of Joyce's error, but who gave up two hits to start the inning? He is always on the brink of disaster this season. I don't think it's a coincidence it has started to catch up to him.

10:12 AM 

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