Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My thoughts on Justin Verlander's outing - and James McCann

There are two ways of looking at Justin Verlander's outing tonight. One is that he used to deal like Gerrit Cole is for the Pirates tonight, and doesn't anymore. The other, is Verlander did make progress. He adjusted well after a bad start and kept the Tigers in the game. I think he is going to contribute significantly to the Tigers as the season moves on. He did hit 96 mph and started to show better command. Ultimately, Verlander's outing tonight was much more good than bad.
- I've viewed James McCann as similar to his manager, Brad Ausmus, as an MLB catcher. He is fundamentally sound, smart and athletic with some, but not a lot, of pop in his bat. But there are signs he may be better than that if hits his upside. His throws tonight have brilliant. He's started to show some power. And he is starting rake against right-handers, not just lefties.

My column. Detroit Pistons risked Darko 2.0 by drafting Stanley Johnson instead of Justise Winslow: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20150628/pat-caputo-detroit-pistons-risked-darko-20-by-drafting-stanley-johnson-instead-of-justise-winslow

My column. Jordan Spieth proof nice guys finish first, not last: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20150627/pat-caputo-jordan-spieth-proof-nice-guys-ultimately-finish-first-not-last

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How the Tigers at 70 games stack up to notable teams from their past

Are the Tigers contenders or pretenders this season? This is how the current edition of the Tigers stacks up against their recent teams, and some of their most notable teams of the past:
2015 - 36-34, 5 1-2 games out AL Central
2014 - 38-32, half-game up AL Central (lost ALDS to Baltimore).
2013 - 39-31, 3.5 games up AL Central (won ALDS over Oakland, lost ALCS to Boston).
2012 - 34-36, 3.5 games out AL Central (won ALDS over Oakland, won ALCS over Yankees, lost World Series to San Francisco).
2011 - 38-32, tied for AL Central lead (won ALDS over Yankees, lost ALCS to Texas)
2010 - 38-32, 1.5 games out AL Central (didn't make the playoffs)
2009 - 39-31, 1 game up AL Central (lost one-game playoff for division to Minnesota)
2008 - 32-38, 6 games out AL Central (didn't make the playoffs)
2007 -  41-29, tied for AL Central lead (didn't make the playoffs)
2006 -  46-24, 1.5 games up AL Central (as wild card won ALDS over Yankees, won ALCS over Oakland, lost World Series to St. Louis).
2003 - 18-52, 20 games out AL Central (119 losses most in Tigers' history).
1987 - 38-32, 6 games out AL East (lost ALCS to Minnesota).
1984 - 52-18, 8.5 up AL East (won ALCS over Kansas City, won World Series over San Diego).
1972 - 38-32, 2 games down AL East (lost ALCS to Oakland).
1968 - 43-26, 6 1-2 games up AL (won World Series over St. Louis)

My column. Disappointing Tigers fortunate they still have something to play for in 2015: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20150622/pat-caputo-disappointing-detroit-tigers-fortunate-they-still-have-something-to-play-for-in-2015

My Column. If necessary, Detroit Pistons should trade up for Mario Hezonja: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20150620/pat-caputo-if-necessary-detroit-pistons-should-trade-up-to-draft-mario-hezonja

Monday, June 22, 2015

The bad part of the Tigers' 7-5 win over Cleveland Wednesday

Monday, June 08, 2015

My thoughts on Detroit Tigers first two draft picks

Kyle Funkhouser
The Tigers' 2015 MLB Draft is going to be defined by two factors. They stretched a bit, in my opinion, by taking Beau Burrows, a high school pitcher from Texas, a shorter (6-0) right-hander, who throws hard (mid 90s) at 22nd overall. With the next pick, Nick Plummer, the outfielder from Birmingham Brother Rice High School, was chosen by St. Louis. He was expected to go within the top dozen selections. If  the rare, these days, first-round worthy local product takes off, and Burrows doesn't, it will come back to haunt the Tigers badly.
There was a time when organizations were hesitant to take short right-handers in the first round, but it's changed because of the success Greg Kimbrel and Greg Holland, hard-throwing right-handers who aren't tall, are having as closers, It's why you hearing about Burrows being projected as a reliever.
I followed the progress of Kyle Funkhouser, a right-hander from Louisville, closely this spring. I can't believe he lasted until 35th overall, taken by the Dodgers, one pick after the Tigers selected Tennessee outfielder Christin Stewart, who was a very good college player, but is lacking one standout tool, at least according to the draft experts. Stewart was projected as a late second- or third-round pick. The Tigers weren't the only organization to move Funkhouser down their board (I thought he'd go in the top dozen picks). But it was also two premier organizations that snapped up Plummer and Funkhouser, a pick after the Tigers each time. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

My column. Timing may not be right for Jim Harbaugh to have immediate success at Michigan: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20150606/pat-caputo-timing-may-not-be-right-for-jim-harbaugh-to-have-immediate-impact-at-Michigan

My column. Stanley Cup, NBA finals examples of what should be for the Red Wings and Pistons: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20150607/pat-caputo-stanley-cup-nba-finals-reminder-of-what-should-be-for-detroit-red-wings-and-pistons