Friday, March 31, 2006

Tiger Surprises

OK, now it's your turn. Every year, there is a player or two who exceeds the expectations of most fans. Two years ago, it was Guillen. Last year it was Polanco and Shelton. Who will it be this year? Will Verlander or Granderson have a big break out season? Will Rodriguez make a big comeback? Maybe you think an obscure player like Grilli will shock us. Tell use your biggest Tiger surprise of 2006. Post your thoughts in the comment section below.

Tigers Make Final Cut

According to Danny Knobler, the Tigers have placed Franklin German on the waiver list. Any team that claims him has to place him on their 25 man roster. If he goes unclaimed, the Tigers can then send him to Toledo. The Tigers 25 man roster is now set including the 7 man bullpen: Todd Jones, Fernando Rodney, Jamie Walker, Chris Spurling, Joel Zumaya, Jason Grilli and Bobby Seay.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Predicted Batting Leaders

Today, I’ll present another non-Tiger (except for one guy) forecast. Here are my predicted American League batting leaders for 2006:

Player

Team

BA

Suzuki

Sea

.330

Guerrero

LA

.320

Young

Tex

.316

Hafner

Cle

.313

Castillo

Min

.312

Polanco

Det

.309

Mauer

Min

.308

Teixeira

Tex

.307

Crisp

Bos

.306

Loretta

Bos

.306


Player

Team

HR

Rodriguez

NY

45

Ortiz

Bos

43

Teixeira

Tex

42

Ramirez

Bos

40

Sexson

Sea

37

Hafner

Cle

34

Glaus

Tor

33

Morneau

Min

32

Konerko

Chi

32

Beltre

Sea

31


Player

Team

OBP

Hafner

Cle

.417

Giambi

NY

.410

Ortiz

Bos

.397

Guerrero

LA

.395

Rodriguez

NY

.392

Ramirez

Bos

.390

Castillo

Min

.388

Teixeira

Tex

.387

Suzuki

Sea

.380

Young

Tex

.378


Player

Team

SLG

Ortiz

Bos

.600

Hafner

Cle

.595

Teixeira

Tex

.590

Rodriguez

NY

.586

Guerrero

LA

.570

Ramirez

Bos

.566

Sexson

Sea

.542

Glaus

Tor

.534

Morneau

Min

.526

Tejada

Bal

.517

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

And One More Cut

In addition to the six cuts announced this morning, the Tigers also optioned Roman Colon to Toledo. This likely leaves Jason Grilli, Bobby Seay and Franklin German as three candidates for two spots. There has been some talk that Chris Spurling might not be a lock yet but I think he's pretty safe.

In another move, the Tigers claimed catcher Rob Bowen off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. The 25 year old Bowen is a marginal prospect but has a reputation as a good defender with a little power. He batted .267/.366/.401 in 262 at bats for AAA Rochester last year. If the Tigers can get him through waivers, he will likely start the season in Toledo. He might be a candidate to replace Vance Wilson if Wilson struggles again offensively this year. Bowen is a switch hitter.

Six More Cuts by Tigers

The Tigers cut six more players this morning which means they now have 29 players left in camp.
The latest round of cuts includes: Nook Logan, Alexis Gomez, Mike Hessman, Donald Kelly, Mark Woodyard and Hector Mercado. With Craig Dingman and Troy Percival headed for the 6o day disabled list shortly, this leaves two more cuts to be made by opening day and both will be pitchers.

The bench is now set: Vance Wilson, Omar Infante, Ramon Santiago and Marcus Thames. The bullpen is still unsettled. If we assume that Todd Jones, Fernando Rodney, Jamie Walker, Chris Spurling and Joel Zumaya are locks, that leaves Roman Colon, Jason Grilli, Bobby Seay and Franklin German to fight for the last two slots. There has also been some talk that Franklin may be traded before the season starts.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Forecasting the Final Standings

Today, I’ll predict the final standings in all the divisions:


American League

EAST

W

L

PCT

GB

Boston

93

69

0.574

---

New York

91

71

0.562

2

Toronto

85

77

0.525

8

Tampa Bay

73

89

0.451

20

Baltimore

71

91

0.438

22


CENTRAL

W

L

PCT

GB

Chicago

90

72

0.556

---

Cleveland

89

73

0.549

1

Minnesota

85

77

0.525

5

Detroit

81

81

0.500

9

Kansas City

62

100

0.383

28


WEST

W

L

PCT

GB

Oakland

90

72

0.556

---

Los Angeles

86

76

0.531

4

Texas

79

83

0.488

11

Seattle

78

84

0.481

12


National League

EAST

W

L

PCT

GB

Atlanta

89

73

0.549

---

New York

88

74

0.543

1

Philadelphia

85

77

0.525

4

Washington

73

89

0.451

16

Florida

70

92

0.432

19


CENTRAL

W

L

PCT

GB

St. Louis

93

69

0.574

---

Houston

84

78

0.519

9

Milwaukee

83

79

0.512

10

Chicago

78

84

0.481

15

Pittsburgh

76

86

0.469

17

Cincinnati

70

92

0.432

23


WEST

W

L

PCT

GB

San Francisco

84

78

0.519

---

Los Angeles

81

81

0.500

3

San Diego

78

84

0.481

6

Arizona

76

86

0.469

8

Colorado

69

93

0.426

15


Notes

AL East: The Blue Jays will make a run but the Red Sox and Yankees will finish on top again. The Red Sox will edge the Yankees with superior pitching.

AL Central: There won’t be a 99 win team in the division this year. The White Sox will not win as many close games and the Indians will not lead the league in pitching again. The Tigers will finish fourth again but will be much closer to the top than last year.

AL West: The young Athletics’ staff will beat out the Angels. The loss of Paul Byrd and Jarrod Washburn will hurt the Angels.

NL East: I’ll keep picking the Braves for first until they don’t finish first. The Mets and Phillies will give them a run for the money though.

NL Central: The Cardinals line-up is getting more vulnerable but Pujols and pitching will win it for them. Nobody else in the division is ready to challenge yet.

NL West: This will be the weakest division in baseball again this year. It’s also one of the most difficult to forecast because so much depends on Barry Bonds. If Bonds gets enough plate appearances, the Giants will win. If not, then the division is up for grabs.


Playoffs

Oakland beats New York
Boston beats Chicago
St. Louis beats New York
Atlanta beats San Francisco

Oakland beats Boston
St. Lous beats Atlanta

St. Louis beats Oakland

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