Have Hope, Tigers Fans

Don’t stop believin’
Hold on to that feeling.
— Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’

As we speak, the Detroit Tigers — yes, those Detroit Tigers — are in contention for the eighth and final American League wild card spot. Yes, we know what you’re saying. The Tigers don’t have a chance. It’s just a pipe dream. The odds are against them. There are too many better teams ahead of them. They’ll never make it in so why bother.

Jeimer is leading the way. (photo by Alexandra Simon)

These are all justifiable positions one could take on the current state of the Detroit Tigers’ postseason hopes. Detroit Tigers fans are used to having their hopes and dreams stomped on and spit upon by the Detroit Tigers.

The sharp sting of our postseason disappointments are still fresh and painful. The fanbase is reluctant to be hopeful in a season, a year, where Murphy’s Law reins supreme. The Tigers don’t have a chance so why should I get my hopes up? Why are you enjoying this? They’ll just blow it in the end. Don’t you remember 2006-2011-2012-2013-2014-2016, etc.

Why get our hopes up? Well, why not.

Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal are headlining the youth movement in the Tigers’ rotation. Isaac Paredes, Willi Castro, Daz Cameron, and other prized position prospects are emerging from the haze of the alternate training site. The bullpen is finally — FINALLY — somewhat competent! For the first time in four years the Tigers are dancing around the edges of the wild card hunt! The Tigers’ farm system is among the top ranked systems in baseball after years of being maligned for the lack of depth. And there are even more exciting prospects on the verge.

Why shouldn’t we enjoy the ride? Who knows when the next playoff race will find its way back to Detroit? The Tigers went nearly twenty years between postseason appearances not so long ago. Are we all so jaded that a close wild card race isn’t enough to shake us from our perpetually negative, fatalistic mindset?

It’s okay to embrace things that are fun, and have hope that good things will come. Wild card races, regardless of the likely result, are fun and good. Let yourself enjoy it. Sometimes the ending point isn’t what truly matters, it’s the journey taken, the memories made along the way, and the promise of a better future just on the horizon.

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.

Detroit Tigers Draft Roundup: The First Ten Picks, Reviewed

With the first ten rounds of the 2019 MLB Entry Draft in the books, the Tigers have bucked their trend of pursuing hard throwing SEC pitchers in favor of bats. Given that this class, shallower than most, was deep in good college bats, that was probably a wise decision. Combined with the Tigers’ weak pool of position player prospects, the emphasis on offense and power made total sense. But what about the individual players themselves? How did the Tigers do overall? Let’s take a look at each of the ten picks Detroit made in the draft this year, and look at their overall strengths and weaknesses.

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Tigers Select Nick Quintana #47 Overall in the 2019 MLB Draft

With the 47th overall pick in the 2019 MLB draft, the Detroit Tigers selected third baseman Nick Quintana, a right-handed hitter out of Arizona State. Quintana is an elite college bat with plus power and plus defense at third base. He does have some issues with making contact, but he’s a high-upside player who has a real chance to start.

Of note, Quintana helps fill a major gap in the system, which is currently weak on corner infield bats and power.

 

Tigers Select Riley Greene #5 Overall in the 2019 MLB Entry Draft

Breaking a trend of selecting hard-throwing pitchers, the Tigers have selected prep outfielder Riley Greene at #5 overall in the MLB draft.

Greene, a left-handed hitter, is the impact bat Tigers fans have been craving. At 18 years old, he’ll take a little more time to develop than one of the college bats might have. Currently, he has elite contact skills and possesses an advanced approach at the plate, with plate discipline beyond his years. Greene projects to hit for power to all fields, though he still has to grow a bit more into his frame, as he’s more a line drive hitter right now.

Greene’s biggest weakness is on defense, where his athleticism and weak arm project him to either left field or first base. Granted, if he hits his ceiling with regard to power and patience, his defensive home won’t matter so much, but don’t expect Greene to be a wizard in the field.

As a high-school hitter, Greene will take some time to reach Detroit, but if all breaks right, expect an elite power threat who can hit in the center of the lineup for years to come.

More at MLB.com

Scouting Report at Bless You Boys

June Schedule Wallpapers and A Thing of Note

This was originally scheduled for June 1st, but since it’s an offday I decided to release it into the wilds a little early.

Your friends at Glass Half Fulmer decided it was time high time to bring back the GHF schedule wallpapers. After making these, I have a new appreciation for old friend MonkeyWrench32 and his graphic skillz.

Get yer wallpapers here! We have a couple different sizes to choose from:

1920×1080
1280×720
1024×576

And a Thing of note:

Your Glass Half Fulmer team is welcoming on longtime friend of the blog, tokarzontigers, as a contributor. Let’s give Tokarz a friendly welcome and don’t forget to check out his piece on Niko Goodrum here!

Niko Goodrum is Better Than He Looks

The Tigers’ offense has been abysmal this year. Detroit ranks 29th in fWAR and wRC+, and 28th in wOBA, all metrics used to roughly evaluate raw offensive output. Offensive black holes like Josh Harrison and Grayson Greiner litter the diamond, and with Miguel Cabrera showing his age and Nicholas Castellanos not flashing any power, the position players look anemic at the plate. But there has been one bright spot in Niko Goodrum.

Goodrum, of course, doesn’t look like he’s done particularly well, hitting .213/.311/.341 in 190 plate appearances. He’s defensively useful, since he can play both outfield corners as well as either first or second base, but a cursory look at his 0.1 fWAR makes Goodrum look like yet another scrub in a bad lineup.

So why is the young utility player a bright spot? A deeper examination of Goodrum’s hitting stats shows that he’s been very unlucky, and that he’s not only due for a rebound, but hitting the ball better than last year. Let’s dive into some numbers and see why.

More after the cut

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ICYMI: Ace

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