Friday, July 31, 2009

Tigers opt for pitching

As much as I thought the Tigers should have added hitting, adding Jarrod Washburn is a decent move. Of course you worry about the two pitchers they gave up becoming stars, but that doesn't happen that often. If they want to win this year, Washburn was one of the best pitchers available and didn't break the bank.

He has some of the most average career numbers imaginable: 106-106, 4.02 ERA

But, his 2009 season has been very good: 8-6, 2.64 ERA. (His ERA is 5th best in baseball among starters and 1st among left-handed starters).

They had to give up Luke French, a young left-handed starter, and Mauricio Robles. French performed well with the Tigers and Robles is supposed to be good too. Washburn will be a free-agent at the end of the season.

Any time the Detroit Tigers trade a young pitcher for a veteran pitcher to help them in a playoff run, everyone immediately thinks of John Smoltz and how they traded him to the Braves for Doyle Alexander in 1987. Alexander went 9-0 for the Tigers down the stretch and helped them win the division. Smoltz went to the Braves and won 210 games, saved 154 games and went 15-4 in the postseason on his probable way to Cooperstown.

If that happens again, it will hant them for a long time. Still, they can't make decisions based on what happened more than 20 years ago. They have a good shot at making the playoffs, but it will be tough. They're not going to score a lot of runs, but they can win with good pitching and decent offense. For this plan to work, Polanco and Guillen need to hit well for the rest of the season.

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