Posted on: December 14, 2011 10:38 am
Edited on: December 15, 2011 7:15 pm
By Matt Snyder
What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.
For today's installment of the Homegrown series, I can't stop thinking about a certain trade. Earlier this week, I was reminded of the deal anyway. In a pretty minor move, the Rays traded for relief pitcher Burke Badenhop. That's worth discussing here because he was the last standing of six players Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski sent to the Marlins for Miguel Cabrera (and Dontrelle Willis, for that matter). To acquire one of the biggest superstars in baseball -- and a now-washed up pitcher -- Dombrowski dealt Badenhop, Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, Eulogio De La Cruz, Dallas Trahern and Mike Rabelo. Upon Badenhop being dealt, the Marlins now have nothing left to show for the 28-year-old Cabrera. Trahern is stuck in Double-A and appears unlikely to help the big-league club, either.
So, yeah, this homegrown club is missing a huge bat in the middle of the order. But this is also an opportunity to praise Dombrowski for one hell of a trade.
1. Omar Infante, SS
2. Matt Joyce, RF
3. Curtis Granderson, CF
4. Brennan Boesch, 1B
5. Alex Avila, C
6. Cody Ross, DH
7. Jack Hannahan, 3B
8. Cameron Maybin, LF
9. Ramon Santiago, 2B
1. Justin Verlander
2. Jair Jurrjens
3. Rick Porcello
4. Guillermo Moscoso
5. Charlie Furbush
Closer - Francisco Cordero
Set up - Fernando Rodney, Joel Zumaya, Jason Frasor, Burke Badenhop, Ryan Perry
Long - Andrew Miller
Notable Bench Players
Will Rhymes, Ryan Raburn, Scott Sizemore, Danny Worth, Brandon Inge, Andy Dirks, Don Kelly, Casper Wells, Andres Torres
That guy sitting atop the starting rotation is pretty decent, no? Getting 34 or so starts out of Justin Verlander gives this ballclub a great chance to win plenty of low-scoring games. Jurrjens is a fine number two as well. I love Avila behind the plate and Maybin in left field would be a defensive force -- most metrics showed Maybin as a far superior defender in center to Granderson this past season, but I went with the logic that Granderson would stay in center as the star of the team. If he wanted to pull a Cal Ripken and move, OK, the defense gets even better. Finally, the bench depth is pretty good, as there are several guys capable of providing good spot starts.
While it's definitely not awful, that batting order leaves a lot to be desired. Joyce is really good and Granderson is great. Otherwise? I'll channel my inner Larry David and just say "eh." There would be an awful lot of pressure on Boesch and Avila in those run producing spots, that's for sure. Also, while it's not horrible, that bullpen bridge to Cordero isn't exactly one that eases the mind. Can you imagine how many cigarettes Jim Leyland would have to choke down to stomach a night with Badenhop, Frasor and Rodney tasked with putting up zeroes? They can do it, but they'll just about give you a heart attack in the process.
Comparison to real 2011
I'll go out on a limb here (please note sarcasm) and say winning 95 games and cruising to the AL Central title is about as realistic with this group as this exercise. A winning record might be possible, as this team feels just mediocre. The likes of Verlander, Granderson, Avila, Joyce and Jurrjens keep them away from "suck" territory. I'd go high-70s in wins with a ceiling of 83 victories.
Next: Houston Astros
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Tags: AL Central, Alex Avila, Andres Torres, Andrew Miller, Andy Dirks, Brandon Inge, Brennan Boesch, Burke Badenhop, Cameron Maybin, Casper Wells, Charlie Furbush, Cody Ross, Curtis Granderson, Danny Worth, Dave Dombrowski, Don Kelly, Fernando Rodney, Francisco Cordero, Guillermo Moscoso, Homegrown, Jack Hannahan, Jair Jurrjens, Jason Frasor, Joel Zumaya, Justin Verlander, Matt Joyce, Matt Snyder, Miguel Cabrera, Omar Infante, Ramon Santiago, Rick Porcello, Ryan Perry, Ryan Raburn, Scott Sizemore, Tigers, Will Rhymes
Posted on: September 22, 2010 12:07 am
Edited on: September 22, 2010 10:23 am
Theoretically, the Tigers could have seven of eight position players on the diamond (excluding pitcher) be rookies from the 2010 season.
That won't happen, but it does underline how much of a transitional season 2010 was for the Tigers and how much young talent the team has in the fold.
Now it's about figuring out which ones start.
"You don't want to downplay what these kids are doing, but you don't want to get carried away, either," manager Jim Leyland told MLive.com .
"If you remember right, four months ago, people were talking about Boesch as Babe Ruth," Leyland added. "All of a sudden, that's gone away and they're talking about Will Rhymes and Casper Wells. You've got to be careful with all that.
"You've got to make sound judgments as an organization."
The seven rookies are:
"I think there are some ingredients here that are pretty young that can handle the job at this level, for sure," Jim Leyland noted. "But if you think you can just take all young guys and go walk through a division, that's not going to happen. You're going to get your [butt] beat."
If the Tigers run out all seven rookies in that lineup around Miguel Cabrera, then the club would certainly get their
-- Evan Brunell
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