Replacing a catcher is different from making a staff change at another position. That’s because a catcher works as an extension of a pitcher. It is the biggest reason why Avila’s bosses, so far, have refrained from sending him to Triple A Toledo.
Count a certain white-haired scribe among those who sometimes fail to acknowledge Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander is one of us. Because he spins no-hitters and wins Cy Young and MVP awards, the baseball world tends to expect infallibility each time he pitches.
If he doesn’t pull out of this spiral, and in a hurry, the Tigers will be left with no practical choice but to return Avila, 26, to Triple A Toledo for a head-clearing stint that might put him back on track.
Porcello has had one bad start in 2013. He has four consecutive quality starts (six innings or more, three or fewer earned runs allowed) after winning Friday night’s pitching fest that saw the Tigers tip the Rangers, 2-1.
College pitchers, ideally, are on the Tigers’ menu since they could be staring at a rotation hole if Max Scherzer follows the customary advice of agent Scott Boras and tries out free agency following the 2014 season.
The reason Tiger Stadium had succeeded in becoming a baseball treasure was because, in the manner of the game’s hoary venues, it was built in a certain spirit. It was intimate. Not that it was meant to be a hitter’s playpen. It wasn’t.
Hunter turns 38 in July and is not as fleet as he was in his Twins heyday. But the lost step is not why he sticks in right field as the Tigers deal with Jackson’s bad hamstring.
Dirks is a Exhibit A of how Tigers drafts have changed during the past 10 years. He was a no-frills, eighth-round pick in 2008. But inside of two years, he was competing for a starting job in the majors. The Tigers will look for similar value in this year's draft, next month.
And so the ever-asked question was asked again today: What kind of guys are the Tigers? And this observer will respond, albeit briefly, on each of the active roster’s 25 gents.
Understanding the word “potential” must be included in any discussion, the Tigers have one of those delightful we’ll-live-with-it challenges brewing in the minors and at Comerica Park.
Lynn Henning joined The Detroit News sports staff in 1979 after 3˝ years as a sports writer and columnist for the Lansing State Journal. A lifelong Michigan native (St. Johns) and a 1974 journalism graduate from Michigan State, Henning has specialized through the years in covering baseball, as well as Michigan and Michigan State, Lions and Red Wings, and in writing about the outdoors. Henning spent seven years during the 1990s as editor of PGA Magazine and as a writer for the national weekly, Golfweek.
- Lynn can be reached at email@example.com.
Lynn Henning's favorites:Favorite movie: Fargo
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