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Tag:Will Rhymes
Posted on: December 14, 2011 10:38 am
Edited on: December 15, 2011 7:15 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Detroit Tigers



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What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional?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.

Lineup

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

Starting Rotation

1. Justin Verlander
2. Jair Jurrjens
3. Rick Porcello
4. Guillermo Moscoso
5. Charlie Furbush

Bullpen

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

What's Good?

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.

What's Not?

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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Posted on: May 3, 2011 12:03 am
 

Tigers hope Sizemore provides spark

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Scott SizemoreThe ice-cold Detroit Tigers are hoping for a shot of energy from red-hot second baseman Scott Sizemore, calling him up from Triple-A and sending down Will Rhymes after Monday's loss to the Yankees.

Sizemore was pulled from the lineup for Monday's game for Toledo in anticipation of this move. He entered the game hitting .408/.495/.605 with two homers in 92 plate appearances.

Sizemore played in 48 games last season for the Tigers, hitting .224/.296/.336 with three homers in 163 plate appearances.

Rhymes was hitting .221/.321/.235 in 81 plate appearances this season.

Detroit has lost seven straight games, its longest losing streak of the season.

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Posted on: January 19, 2011 9:19 pm
 

Tigers' Guillen might not be ready

Carlos Guillen
The Tigers have the potential for a big year, but one of the keys is a healthy Carlos Guillen -- something they haven't had for a full season since 2007. Manager Jim Leyland said hopes for a full season this year could be dashed right off the top, as he's planning to start the season without his second baseman.

"I don't think he's going to be ready to start," Leyland said Wednesday, according to the Detroit News. "I mean the season -- but I don't want to put the cart before the horse, because I don't know for sure. We're hoping he's going to be part of the mix at second base, but he won't be until he's ready to play."

Guillen has had myriad injuries the past two seasons, in which he's been limited to 149 games, and the one at issue now is apparently a knee injury he suffered in an on-field collision in August. He had microfracture surgery in September.

Counting on a 35-year-old middle infielder with a history of injuries isn't an ideal situation, but the potential good news is that we could get a good look at Will Rhymes. The 27-year-old made a splash in a 54-game big-league debut last season, batting .304/.350/.414 after batting .305 at Triple-A.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb   on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Category: MLB
Posted on: October 17, 2010 9:36 pm
 

R.I.P. Tigers: Injuries play spoiler


As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions in October. Today: our penultimate entry, the Detroit Tigers.

It was a tale of two seasons in the Motor City in 2010: a first half that was better than expected, and a second half that was worse.

Attrition had a lot to do with it, as injuries thinned the ranks and left Triple Crown candidate Miguel Cabrera exposed in the lineup. But the Tigers had a lot of young talent step up, and ended up feeling about as good as you can feel when you lead the division midway through the season and end up in third place with a .500 record.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Injuries. Bad ones, to important players, at critical times.

Brandon Inge broke his hand, Joel Zumaya his elbow and, most damaging, Magglio Ordonez broke his ankle on a slide into home plate on July 24 and never returned. Plus you had Carlos Guillen straining something twice a month and playing just 68 games. The injuries had a domino effect on the team, as roles changed and opponents started being able to pitch around Cabrera.

The offense and bullpen numbers were middle-of-the-pack, but the starting pitching was subpar, 11th in the AL in ERA.

Miguel Cabrera And this should probably more properly fall under what went right, but Armando Galarraga’s “perfect game that wasn’t” on June 2 ended up as more of a gut punch than a highlight. It was a good symbol of the Tigers’ season: No matter what they did, the breaks seemed to be against them.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Cabrera was tremendous, putting up a .328/.420/.622 line with 38 homers and 126 RBIs. His RBI  total, on-base percentage and  OPS+ of 179 were tops in the AL. If it were possible to do it all yourself, he certainly gave it a try. Ordonez, too, was having a big season, batting .303 before his injury.

Young hitting was in abundance, with two outfielders in the rookie of the year conversation. Austin Jackson batted .293, scored 103 runs, hit 34 doubles and play exciting defense. Brennan Boesch looked a heck of a lot better in the first half (.342 average) than the second (.163), but showed he’s got potential.

On the pitching side, Justin Verlander was an 18-game winner and an All-Star, Max Scherzer went 12-11 with a 3.50 ERA after arriving last winter from Arizona, and 22-year-old Rick Porcello weathered some growing pains and a trip to the minors and won five of his last six decisions.
 
HELP ON THE WAY

The Tigers farm system is considered thin at the top, but some very good signs arrived from Triple-A Toledo. Will Rhymes (pictured, below right) put himself in the picture for the starting job at second base by batting .304 in 54 games, and outfielder Casper Wells was tremendous 9.323/.364/.538) in a 36-game audition.

EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

The Tigers have some good core pieces and a lot of payroll flexibility, and a big part of what went wrong this year can be attributed to injuries. For those reasons, the Tigers are in a good position for 2011.

Will Rhymes SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

The Tigers have anywhere from $50 million to $70-plus million coming off the books, depending on how you do the accounting, so they’re in good position to address their needs.

The question is, how do they spend that money? They declined Ordonez’s pricey option, but could re-sign him for less. That would be a good start, but they could really use another middle-of-the-order threat.

As for the top free-agent bats, they’ve got room in the outfield for Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth, but no place for Adrian Beltre now that they’ve made a multi-year offer to Inge (and Beltre is not likely to become a DH). Detroit could be an attractive option for Adam Dunn if he softens on his demand not to DH.

The Tigers are happy with the trio of Verlander, Scherzer and Porcello at the top of the rotation, and have said they want to convert Phil Coke to starting because they need a left-hander. But a veteran guy like Aaron Harang would fit nicely.

2011 PREDICTION

Look for the Tigers to be contenders next year, making for what should be an entertaining three-way battle with the Twins and White Sox in the Central.
Check out the other R.I.P. reports here.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: September 5, 2010 4:01 pm
 

Rookies celebrate first hits

Max St. Pierre After Tigers call-up Max St. Pierre got his first hit in Saturday's game, Johnny Damon pulled the ol' fake toss into the stands trick.

I saw that last night and my first thought was, "nobody buys that anymore, do they?"

The cousin of St. Pierre's wife, Jerome Gabaldon, not only bought it, but it cost him $20.

"My cousin-in-law ran down and bought the ball from the guy for 20 bucks," St. Piere told Steve Kornacki of MLive.com . "He thought it was the ball from my first hit. And when I told him it wasn't, he said, 'how can you be sure which ball he threw?' So, I guess I've got both of them. I gave the ball from the hit to my wife. It's pretty special."

St. Pierre noted he didn't fall for the trick from Damon.

It was a special night for the 30-year old St. Pierre, who was called up for the first time after 14 years in the minor leagues. St. Pierre was called up Friday and in the starting lineup on Saturday.

St. Pierre received a standing ovation after his first hit from the fans in Kansas City. St. Pierre before being lifted for a pinch runner. His hit started the team's winning rally.

His teammates were just as excited as St. Pierre.

"It's genuine," the Tigers' Will Rhymes told the Detroit News . "We've really been rooting for him to get a chance."

Rhymes was asked if it was just because he's a good guy?

"That, but also because we've seen guys who've played a long time and for whatever reason never got a chance," Rhymes said. "Guys who were good players but never saw what Max saw today [his name in the lineup].

"We couldn't be happier for him."

Yonder Alonso In a much different situation, Reds rookie Yonder Alonso also picked up his first hit of his career. Alonso was a first-round pick and signed a major-league contract after he was picked in 2008. He got had a ground-rule double Saturday as a pinch-hitter in St. Louis.

The Cardinals got the ball back, but Alonso told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon he wasn't going to take any chance in losing it.

"I told [Cardinals second baseman] Aaron Miles, 'Hey, somebody better get that thing. if not, I'll go get it myself.' But I saw them try and go get it," Alonso said.

Alonso gave the ball to his father, Luis, who was a professional baseball player in Cuba and defected to the United States when Alonso was 10.

"He's just done so much for me and has always been there for me," Alonso said. "I came to the States because of him. He left his dream of playing baseball for me. I'm playing for him now. It's pretty emotional."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com