Meet The New Guys

As the wild week of Winter Meetings madness was drawing to a close,
baseball fans (especially in Detroit) were still coming to grips over
the three-team trade that sent the beloved Curtis Granderson to the New
York Yankees. Everyone seemed to have something to say –  no surprise,
most of  it wasn’t good. I won’t dismiss those thoughts, nor can they
be swept under a dug-out bench. The feelings are genuine no matter
which side of the fence you sit on.

Immediately after their loss to Minnesota,  I wrote of my profound disappointment in the 2009 Detroit Tigers. From Skip On Second:

Detroit Tigers were, in many ways, fortunate to be in first place. But,
in spite of the issues that plagued them, I truly thought that they
would find something (anything) within their collective baseball soul
that would propel them to win the division.

They didn’t.

This team let me down. Period.

I also predicted:

But, as we all know, there is no crying in baseball, and now is the time to look ahead to 2010. That team will be different. In which ways, I don’t know. They WILL
be different though. They have to be. There will be some aspects that
we will recognize, some that we won’t. The changes may make them better
– or not.

Changes were inevitable if the Detroit Tigers were going to move
forward and become contenders within the next decade. No one said we
were going be ecstatic about those changes.

Four new faces will don the Old English D in April. Three of them, Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, and Phil Coke
have been in the big leagues for only a short time, yet have the kind
of stuff that the Tigers can count on to help them win ball games. Each
pitcher joins the 25-man roster.

From Wikipedia:

Dave Dombrowski feels that Coke could assume a spot in the rotation,

a chance, by all means. Our people liked him in the minors as a
starter, and he had good numbers. Those will be some discussions that
we have. I’m not making any declaration, because we haven’t made any
decision. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had the opportunity to be one
of our starters.”

On the other hand, outfielder Austin Jackson has never appeared in a
major league game. Don’t let that cloud your opinion of him. His last
season numbers out of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre are comparable to Curtis
Granderson’s last year (2005) in Toledo.

Granderson / Jackson

At-bats  445  / 504

Average  .290 / .300

OBP       .359 / .354

2B          29 / 23

HR        15 / 4

RBI’s    65 / 65

SB          22 / 24

Statistically, we may have Granderson-The Sequel
Although Austin Jackson is the leading candidate to start in center
next season, the biggest unknown is his ability to cover the large
expanse of center field at Comerica Park. According to Dombrowski:

“He will have to earn that spot in spring training, but we made the deal with him being the centerfielder.”

Jackson appears ready to tackle the task of auditioning for the role.

“It’s exciting. You’re getting a chance to get your foot in the door and get your career started at the major league level.”

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