The ace was suspicious on this day, and rightfully so. (Photo by yours truly)

If you’ve moved on to the “acceptance” stage in the Five Stages of Verlander Trade Grief, you might be interested in heading on over to Hardball Times to read one of your bloggers’ takes on some memorable but perhaps overlooked moments in Verlander’s storied career.

Read it: here

Tigers Release K-Rod into the Wild, Recall Rondón

A day after another forgettable outing in a long string of forgettable outings, the Tigers decided they had finally seen enough of their erstwhile closer, Francisco Rodriguez. K-Rod, if you missed it, was called upon to keep the Tigers close in a 5-3 game, but quickly loaded and unloaded the bases, giving up a grand slam to Robinson Canó. Afterwards, he declined to speak to the media. One suspected it might not be long until the other shoe dropped.

And indeed it did.

Today, the Tigers finally severed ties with K-Rod, ending a (recently) fraught relationship full of role shuffling, blown saves, homerun balls, and accusations of miscommunication:

The Tigers recalled the hard throwing Bruce Rondón to replace K-Rod. Rondón, who’s been something of an enigma during his Tigers tenure, was shuttled to Toledo after several rocky appearances out of the bullpen in April. He’s come up with mixed results in Toledo, which include a robust 11.1 K/9 and an equally robust 6.1 BB/9, but he’s been much better lately.

In his last ten appearances, Rondón has thrown 10 innings, allowed 2 runs, struck out 12, and walked only 3. It’s imperative—for both the Tigers and Rondón—that the right hander has a strong return.

As for K-Rod, the veteran closer departs as the fourth all-time saves leader (h/t Chris McCosky), and may very well be destined for Cooperstown. It’s sad K-Rod’s ending in Detroit couldn’t be more of the storybook variety, but age catches up to us all one way or another.

Guest Post: Andrew Welch Sells the Farm

Editor’s note: At the time of the writing of this article, Shane Greene was indeed pitching badly. However, it took your friends at Glass Half Fulmer so long to review it that Shane Greene is now pitching very well and we’ve made Andrew kind of look like a jackass in the process. Either way, Andrew, longtime friend of the blog, is staunchly not on Team Firesale, and he would like to share his reasoning.
You can find Andrew on twitter at @Grape_Juice13.
    Seriously, this is probably the Tigers last year at contending for a title. It’s not so much that the two players that carry the team are old, even though age regression has yet to set in, it’s that they have key players up for free agency and the front office and ownership have shown a willingness to slash salary and rebuild as they attempted in the offseason. This is why I’m advocating for the Tigers to sell the entire farm system and to make one last run at the playoffs. The team has relatively few holes and the holes they do have are easily acquired or the hole honestly doesn’t matter a whole hell of a lot. They have decent enough talent in the minors, albeit without a marquee name, to make trades for good players or a great player like they did in 2014.
    The Tigers bullpen remains an area of concern for this. Bruce Rondon doesn’t have it all after being lights out for August and September last year striking out 26 in 21 innings with an ERA under 2. K Rod is lost somewhere in the void and teams seemed to have figured out just to not swing at anything that’s remotely low in the zone.
More after this!

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Game 60: Tigers (29-30) @ Red Sox (32-27)


SP: Jordan Zimmermann (R)

2B: Ian Kinsler (R)
3B: Nicholas Castellanos (R)
1B: Miguel Cabrera (R)
DH: Víctor Martínez (S)
RF: J.D. Martinez (R)
LF: Justin Upton (R)
C: James McCann (R)
CF: Mikie Mahtook (R)
SS: José Iglesias (R)

Red Sox

SP: Brian Johnson (L)

RF: Mookie Betts (R)
2B: Dustin Pedroia (R)
SS: Xander Bogaerts (R)
1B: Mitch Moreland (L)
LF: Andrew Benintendi (L)
DH: Hanley Ramírez (R)
CF: Jackie Bradley Jr. (L)
C: Sandy León (S)
3B: Pablo Sandoval (S)

Things of Import: James McCann has been activated off the 10-day DL and the Tigers have optioned John Hicks back to Toledo to make room. Justin Verlander will also be able to make his next scheduled start tomorrow, as planned.