Thursday, February 5, 2015

And NOW what?? (with solutions to the potential First Base dilemma)

Victor Martinez

With the news that Victor Martinez will require surgery next week, to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, and Miguel Cabrera questionable to be ready to play on Opening Day, 2015 as he returns from his ankle surgery. The Detroit Tigers are left with a fairly simple what?

Miguel Cabrera
Martinez and his 198 games and 1,500+  innings at first base, and Cabrera and his 724 games and 6,000+ innings may both not be ready, Martinez almost certainly won't be.

Alex Avila
The Tigers are left with exactly 1 inning played at First Base on their 40-man roster- and that single, solitary inning belongs to catcher Alex Avila.

On the 2014 roster, Brad Ausmus had options with Cabrera, Martinez, Don Kelly, and even Don Werth. Werth and Kelly are now gone, and with Martinez and Cabrera very questionable for the start of the season, Ausmus now faces a dilemma.
Jordan Lennerton

Ausmus has stated, that he's confident that the Tigers have options regarding 1B and DH, already in place.  Avila could start, occasionally at first, along with Romine, and minor leaguers Jordan Lennerton and Aaron Westlake also being options.

Aaron Westlake
A solution that makes sense to me is not to give playing time at first to Avila, but instead, to move Nick Castellanos across the diamond to first and start Jose Iglesias at third, with Andrew Romine taking the field at shortstop.

Iglesias, early in his career with the Boston Red Sox, the 2010 Baseball America Prospect Handbook stated about Iglesias: " When he had to play some third base in the AFL, he handled hot smashes so easily he looked like he had been at the hot corner for years." 
Jose Iglesias at 3rd vs Boston in 2013

So moving Iglesias to 3B, keeping Romine at short, and giving Castellanos time at first base is a logical step to keep an improved Tigers infield defense in tact for the start of 2015.

Victor Martinez to miss 6-8 weeks with knee Injury

Victor Martinez at bat during the 2014 playoffs
According to numerous reports, Detroit Tigers DH/1B Victor Martinez tore the medial meniscus in his left knee last week.

Martinez is supposed to undergo surgery next Tuesday by Dr. James Andrews, and at this point there is no time-table for his return, according to Dave Dombrowski.

This is the 2nd time in the past 4 seasons, that Martinez has suffered a relatively significant injury during offseason workouts.

While Pitchers and Catchers are supposed to report on Feb 19, 2015, the rest of the position players, including Martinez, were not supposed to be in Lakeland, Florida  for full-squad workouts until February 24.

Recovery from a surgery like this usually takes 6-8 weeks, but as Dombrowski indicated, the Tigers have no idea when Martinez will be fully recovered.

UPDATE:  Dave Dombrowski, when asked about the injury by The Free Press's
Anthony Fenech said the Tigers will "remain optimistic"

Monday, February 2, 2015

Dave Bergman of the 1984 World Series Champion Detroit Tigers has passed away.

Dave Bergman 
Sad news to pass along. Dave Bergman has passed away at the age of 61. A member of the 1984 World Series winning Tigers team, Bergman played 9 seasons and 871 games in the Old English D. Condolences go out to his family, friends, and teammates.