Monday, August 11, 2014
The Detroit Tigers front office drops the ball
There is a lot of blame that can be spread around given the debacle not only yesterday in Toronto, but really the entire weekend north of the border for the Detroit Tigers. I want to focus in on how the front office really dropped the ball this past weekend and left Manager Brad Ausmus down for yesterday's 19 inning marathon and how that slip could possible effect the team in the coming weeks as the Tigers division lead has shrunk to just a half game over the Kansas City Royals.
Saturday it was announced that Anibal Sanchez and Joakim Soira would be placed on the disabled list. This left two free spots on the active roster. Since another starting pitcher was not needed till Wednesday, a fill in for Sanchez, the Tigers could have called up two relief pitchers for Sunday's contest.
Now injuries happen, and unforeseen circumstances happen, but I put forth the notion that a team in win now mode should be more on top of this. Toledo is not that far away from Toronto so I do not accept Ausmus' assertion that he was not sure if they could have gotten players to the show in time for Sunday's game. Being somewhat familiar with minor league baseball players I think any number of Mudhens would have jumped at the chance to get in their cars and drive the 5-6 hours to Toronto. Mike Illitch certainly has the resources available to him to insure that his baseball team had a full complement of 25 player ready to go for Sundays game. The only real question is the status of these players being available to gt over an international border...in fact that is the only excuse that can explain away the mistake of not calling up someone from Toledo to fill out the roster for yesterday's game.
I will even allow the possibility that some unknown deadline regarding the league and how these moves are processed that the Tigers could not make all these moves Saturday night or Sunday morning. I do not think that is likely but I do not know the ins and outs of how the league deals with these matters. In fact Soira was placed on the DL today and the Tigers have yet to place Sanchez has yet to be put on the DL. That seems curious to me as it is rather obvious that both of these players were gonna miss time why not make the moves ASAP and promote arms or position players to fill out the roster.
The failure to do so leaves the Tigers short on arms heading into a series against a less than healthy Pittsburgh Pirates club where the team is no in a position where it needs to 3 of the 4 games. The problem there becomes does the fact Rick Porcello threw 36 pitches Sunday evening mess him up for his next scheduled start Tuesday. On top of that there is inclement weather in the area of Pittsburgh that could play more havoc on the Tigers depleted pitching staff.
The absolute best scenario now is for today's game to be postponed till tomorrow giving everyone another day of rest. The absolute worst thing that could happen is the game goes a few innings and then is delayed for weather wiping out a chance for a Justin Verlander, and his amazing inter league record, quality start.
Fresh arms are on their way to Pittsburgh. The Tigers announced today that Kevin Whelan, Ian Krol and Justin Miller will join the strained bullpen for tonight's game. The club had to release Casey Crosby to make room on the 40 man roster for Whelan. It is also being reported that Blaine Hardy and Patrick McCoy, who both pitched 3 innings in the marathon Sunday, are being sent to Toledo to make room for Krol and Miller. An additional move will be required to add Robbie Ray to the active roster and that is likely the assignment of Sanchez to the DL.
Sure those moves are necessary after the debacle yesterday, but I submit to all of you that those moves were necessary Sunday morning, and a front office in win now mode should have been more on top of personnel moves like this. I mention all of that before I go one to mention that this front office failed to address the concerns in the bullpen at the trade deadline.