A few assorted thoughts after the Detroit Tigers edged the Minnesota Twins 2-1 on Tuesday at Comerica Park:
- I maintain that Matt(hew?) Boyd is a fifth starter. That’s not meant as a slur. Fifth starters are major leaguers too, and they’re inevitably going to be inconsistent and up and down. Tuesday was an up, and a welcome one. Boyd gave up one hit in his six innings of work, walking two and striking out six. Considering how well Minnesota has been playing of late, that’s not nothing. It’s completely unrealistic to expect him to pitch like this regularly, but if Boyd can eat some innings while putting up half-decent performances with the occasional stinker (last Thursday) and gem (today) mixed in, he’ll be good enough.
- Shane Greene seems to have all the things you look for in a solid reliever, but the inconsistency is limiting his potential. He throws hard with movement, but his command was bad and he quickly found himself in trouble that Kyle Ryan had to bail him out of. I’ve long been a believer in Greene the reliever and still am, but outings like this make it hard to offer him the really high-leverage spots.
- No, those should go to Justin Wilson, who seems to know what he’s doing now. He’s always had the stuff — almost 10 Ks per 9 and barely over 2.5 BB/9 look like a tantalizingly talented reliever, and his ERA was worse than his FIP by nearly a full run — but he seems to be mixing his pitches better now and being smarter with his breaking ball usage. As far as I’m concerned, he’s your primary setup man until further notice.
- Ah, K-Rod. The nickname is a misnomer now. You can still see glimpses of what makes the guy effective still — some of the swings in the 9th today bordered on silliness — and the base hit he allowed to Joe Mauer was a complete fluke. However, Rodriguez’s game is more mental than anything else at this point. He doesn’t have the pure stuff to overpower guys anymore, so it’s a chess match of outwitting his opponents and disrupting their timing. If he fails to do that or misses with his location, bad things can happen. More often than not, he’ll succeed. Such is life.
- James McCann’s OPS is about 700 points higher than Miguel Cabrera’s.
- The offense really hasn’t gotten going yet, which is good and bad. It’s good because Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and Justin Upton have done absolutely nothing of note, and J.D. Martinez has yet to play in a game, and yet they’re still 5-2. Of course, the concern is that this is what they are. I don’t think that’s the case, but it’s something to watch, because the likes of McCann will inevitably regress.
- How is Nick Castellanos only hitting .259? It feels like everything he’s swung at has been hit hard somewhere.
- The Twins will win plenty of games if they pitch like that consistently. Problem is, I’m not all that sold on the notion that they will.
Next: Minnesota (Gibson) at Detroit (Fulmer), Wednesday, 1:10 PM ET