The Rays take on the Tigers next, after Draft Day 1 is complete, and last I checked that team is pretty much unrecognizable, so I did a quick Q&A with my Deputy Site Manager Ashley, who got her start at SB Nation with our Tigers sister site, where she is still an editor and contributing writer.
1. What’s the deal with Miguel Cabrera. Is he good this year?
He was showing signs of diminished power, so he wasn’t the home run machine he was back in the Triple Crown era, but he was making adjustments and hitting really well, getting on base, and had a solid average. Unfortunately he recently experienced a knee injury, and is seeking a second opinion on the diagnosis, which is never a good sign.
2. What’s the deal with Nick Castellanos? Are you expecting he’ll be traded for a prospect haul?
He will almost certainly be moved by the trade deadline, but I don’t have high hopes for a good haul. If teams weren’t offering up good pieces over the offseason, I’m not sure there’s going to be much demand for a not-great outfielder with reduced run production. Last year he was a 130 wRC+ and currently he’s just average, at 100. I think he still has a lot of value, but I’m not sure there’s going to be the same clamor for him that there was for someone like J.D. Martinez.
3. Do you think the Tigers should be trading Matthew Boyd or Daniel Norris at this point?
I think Boyd will be on the trade block, depending on the offered return. Norris is unlikely to capture enough back to make a trade worthwhile. For Boyd, a lot will depend on when the Tigers feel like they’re going to be competitive again. If that isn’t until 2024, they need to move Boyd now and bolster the farm a little.
4. Hey that bullpen has been looking good! Who should we be afraid of there?
Shane Greene is a monster, he’s been so good in the closer role this season. Blaine Hardy has some elevated numbers, but is solid in long relief, so if any of the Tigers starters fail to go deep into a game, expect to see him.
5. Which of the lesser known players in Detroit do you think have a chance to stick for the long haul (looking at JaCoby Jones over here)?
Jones has been pretty hot and cold, especially at the plate. He’s too aggressive with his swing and really needs to work on his discipline if he’s going to make the long haul. Christian Stewart will be around for awhile, and I suspect if Jeimer Candelario can rebuild his confidence we’ll see him as the Tigers third baseman for a good long time.
6. I thought y’all signed Matt Moore, where did he go?
60-day IL presently, which is just a polite way of saying his 2019 season is done. He had knee surgery and unfortunately the damage was more considerable that he or the Tigers had hoped.
7. Detroit seems like a pleasant city for an off-day, what do you think players are up to today?
They might be hanging out in the newly rejuvenated downtown area, or heading over to John King books to check out their used books. If they’re feeling especially Instagramy, they might go to Rose’s Fine Food for a doughnut and adorable cup of tea.
8. What am I not asking about? What makes this team special right now?
I think there is a lot of negativity about the Tigers right now, as they struggle to find success this season, but there are some positives. In the minors we have Casey Mize, Matt Manning, and Alex Faedo just dominating. Catcher Jake Rogers is almost major league ready. The youth movement on this team has me very hopeful for the near future.