The Detroit Tigers are finally starting to play good baseball. Still, at only three games over the .500 mark and with a team that was supposed to run away with the division– the Tigers still need a few pieces if they plan to make a playoff push.
There are three positions the Tigers should look to upgrade at the deadline.
Second Base: Second base has been an Achilles Heel of the Tigers since Placido Polanco left in 2009. The Tigers are ranked dead last in the major leagues in second base production. Jim Leyland has run Ryan Raburn and Ramon Santiago out at second this year, and hoped between the two platooning the Tigers could manage to get by.
That has not been the case. Raburn — who is notorious for being a terrible first half hitter– has been so bad (.171/.226/254) that he was sent down to the minors. Since Raburn’s comeback to the majors, he has yet to find consistency. Ramon Santiago has not been much better (.221/.304/.304).
The Tigers have been rumored that they have been looking at Marco Scutro, Darwin Barney, and Kelly Johnson as all potential trade candidates.
Starting Pitcher: After Justin Verlander, the Tigers’ rotation is very shaky. Doug Fister was looked upon as the guy who was going to be the number two and back up Verlander; after going 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA down the stretch last year. Max Scherzer has been hit or miss, Rick Porcello still cannot find consistency, and after a stellar start – Drew Smyly has not been able to be consistent since. Jacob Turner was called up to replace Smyly after being placed on the disabled list — and was destroyed by the Los Angeles Angels. Maybe showing that relying on someone from down on the farm may not be the best idea.
There are some big names on the trade market right now. Some of the biggest are: Cole Hammels, Zach Grienke, Matt Garza, and Ryan Dempster. All of those pitchers have been linked to potential pitchers the Tigers may trade for.
If the Tigers could add another arm at the top of the rotation to help out Verlander, it would be a monumental help for an inconsistent rotation.
Outfielder: Brennan Boesch and Delmon Young have been extremely inconsistent. Leyland occasionally will put Raburn out in the outfield as well. Boesch has showed some signs of coming around, as well as Young. But Boesch has already done this once this season. Have a few good games then fall off.
The Tigers defense is bad. Do you want to see Young trying to track down fly balls in left field? Raburn’s offensive struggles have already been noted.
This is the lesser of the three biggest needs, but if the Tigers could add another outfield bat that can provide some consistent offense at decent trade price — why not do it?
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