MLB Suspends Operations, Pushes Back Start of Season

You’ve probably heard the news by now and if you haven’t, well, you’re hearing it now! Due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, MLB has suspended spring training and will push back the start of the regular season by at least two weeks.

Get those DVRs and MLB.tv accounts fired up. We could be looking at a lengthy hiatus. In the meantime, follow us at @glasshalffulmer for the usual inanity.

Take care, everyone.

How much better will the Tigers be in 2020?

On Tuesday, USA Today released their annual win predictions for the 2020 Major League Baseball season, and somewhat predictably, the Tigers were projected to be the worst team in baseball with a 54-108 record. After losing 114 games in 2019, largely thanks to one of the worst offenses in the history of baseball, the idea that Detroit will be awful is a pretty safe take.

A bright spot (Photo by Alexandra Simon)

However, historically bad teams are hard to actually build. Last year was largely the result of a perfect storm of horrible: regression by Miguel Cabrera, Josh Harrison, and Jeimer Candelario; injury issues on the part of Jordy Mercer, JaCoby Jones, Tyson Ross, Matt Moore, and Michael Fulmer; and historically bad performances by rookies like Grayson Greiner and Christin Stewart.

Two good things happened to the Tigers at the major league level last year, and their names were Matthew Boyd and Niko Goodrum.

More after this!

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The Rule 5 Draft or: How I Learned to Stop Caring and Love Corndogs

It’s that time of year again, the offseason, a time where we all go crazy and get mad at the Tigers for not doing what we all think is the best move, particularly pertaining to the Rule 5 draft. Happens every year, we see former top prospects that pop up as eligible and we immediately clamor for them with partial belief that while they’ve lost some sheen, the majority of what made them top prospects remain. Riley Ferrell did it to me last year and the Tigers took Reed Garrett. I was a giant fan of Ferrell out of college. Big, tall righty with a high 90’s fastball and plus hammer. Turns out, Riley and the strikezone were mortal enemies and that trend continued with the Marlins as their R5 pick until they returned him back to Houston.

Point being, corndogs. Corndogs before, corndogs now, corndogs forever.

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Diamonds in the Rough: Highlights from a rough season on the diamond

I won’t sugarcoat it. Baseball wasn’t much fun for the Tigers or their fans in 2019. This season featured one of Detroit’s worst teams in the history of the franchise, and easily the worst team since the dreaded 2003 season. It was ugly, frustrating and seemed at times the end was nowhere in sight. Thankfully, it’s finally over. Fans can enjoy the postseason with no additional stress. Finishing with the worst record in baseball at 47-114, the Tigers secured the #1 overall pick for the second time in three years and are poised to significantly upgrade an already rising farm system. Competitive baseball is likely a few years away, but that doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom. Let’s dive into what the Tigers can look forward to in 2020 and beyond.

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Spend Money

At some point, someone here at Glass Half Fulmer will pen an elegy for the 2019 season. I’m pretty sure readers can predict the major beats of that story: the farm got better, the major league club was abysmal, the future will probably be better. You’re going to read that piece in varying degrees a lot this offseason.

I’m not here to write that piece. I’m here to focus on something that Tigers fans seem to know but also tend to overlook in favor of focusing on the farm system and player development.

It’s time for Chris Ililch to spend money. Continue reading

Valuing the Tigers Trade Chips at the Deadline

One of the side effects of spending way too much time on Twitter is that you find some interesting questions about baseball to write about. Today’s comes from Jerry Mackinnem, who asked a good question about valuing trade chips at the deadline. Normally for big trades, good analysis would use future projections of WAR/$ (essentially, valuing players at the going rate of $9 million per WAR they expect to put up) and compare that to prospect valuations to try to work out fair trade value. The wrinkle that Jerry adds is an interesting one: how do you value a low WAR player at the trade deadline? Obviously someone like Shane Greene isn’t going to post gigantic WAR totals, but he’s a coveted trade chip. Can we do the math to figure out what he’s actually worth?

More after the cut

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The Detroit Tigers dropped a 6-3 decision to the Cleveland Indians on Thursday, continuing Cleveland’s run of dominance with another sweep.

  • Matthew Boyd was good, mostly, but a fastball that leaked over the plate resulted in a two-run home run for Jose Ramirez. He’s been having very bad luck with home runs lately, which is probably coming at the wrong time for his trade value.
  • As an aside, the rest of the AL Central, particularly the Minnesota Twins, can thank the Tigers for waking Jose Ramirez up. You’re welcome.
  • Another defensive miscommunication resulted in a dropped popup in the ninth and the sixth Cleveland run. This team should thoroughly eviscerate Ron Gardenhire’s reputation as a manager of fundamentally sound teams.
  • Harold Castro had a nice little series, hitting a two-run homer that briefly looked like it would be decisive.
  • There’s not a lot to say at this point other than Cleveland is a substantially more talented team that play better on the field and make fewer mental mistakes. The Tigers are going to be at a talent disadvantage against the majority of teams they face. They do not have to be at a mental disadvantage, but they often are anyway. It’s the worst combination to watch.

The Tigers are on pace to lose 111 games. They will play again Friday night as they return to Detroit to open a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays, with Jordan Zimmermann on the mound.