Tag:Clete Thomas
Posted on: June 7, 2008 2:59 pm

It Came From the Game Notes (06/06/08)

"I wish my lawn was emo so it would cut itself." Truer words were never written on the interblags. On to the Game Notes!

"Detroit put SS Ramon Santiago (shoulder) and OF Clete Thomas (ankle) on the disabled list and RHP Aquilino Lopez went onto the bereavement list. To replace them, the Tigers activated RHP Denny Bautista from the DL and recalled SS Michael Hollimon and OF Brent Clevlen from Triple-A Toledo." I only mention these transactions because so many players are involved. These players are like rest of the 2008 Tigers - worthless.

Non-game note but Tiger related, Jeremy Bonderman is likely out for the season after a procedure was done to relieve a blood clot in his arm. Like the rest of the Tigers rotation, Bondo hadn't been setting the world on fire, but he was serviceable. His departure is a blow to an already struggling club. I would assume that Armando Galarraga and Dontrelle Willis will no longer share starts.

"Red Sox OF Jacoby Ellsbury, who left Thursday's game with a strained right wrist, had an MRI and the results came back "very clean," according to manager Terry Francona. Ellsbury is day-to-day." Great news for Ellsbury and his owners. The kid has been a great find for fantasy owners leading the league in SB. He should be good to go for Week 11.

"Pirates C Ryan Doumit played for the first time since breaking his left thumb May 14, and went 0-for-4." Doumit's scuffling at the plate is to be expected. Catching with a broken thumb requires a guts, painkillers, ice, and nice chunk of insanity. I would keep him reserved for a few more games.

Week 5's favorite pick up "Marlins LF Josh Willingham (back) is scheduled to take batting practice Saturday. There's no timetable for his return to the lineup." Willingham was all kinds of goodness at the end of April. This herniated disk has kept him sidelined. I have no idea why 37% of owners still have him on the roster.

"Blue Jays 2B Aaron Hill (concussion) missed his seventh straight game. Hill collided with Eckstein on May 29 in Oakland and is still suffering lightheadedness and headaches. Hill, who was checked by a doctor in Toronto on Friday, will likely land on the disabled list if he is unable to return soon." Apart from a mention when this happened, I haven't paid much attention to Hill. After more than a week out it seems like this is more than a matter of Hill's bell getting rung. Hill only had 2 HR and a .264 BA prior to the injury. If you are one of the 24% of owners still starting Hill, its time to look for an alternative.

"Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins, who was benched Thursday for failing to hustle on a pop fly, was back in the lineup." I'm a Rollins owner and a believer in his talent. That said, I L-O-V-E Charlie Manuel sitting his butt down for not going 100%. By sitting his MVP SS, he sends a message to the entire team about excellence and how he thinks the game should be played. Bravo, Skipper!

"Until Ian Kinsler's drive, Scott Kazmir hadn't given up a home run since Sept. 4, a stretch of 68 innings." I am still amazed at the play of the Rays and especially Kazmir. 6-1, 44 K to 13 BB, ERA of 1.40 and a WHIP of less than 1. (0.91 to be exact.) It only took owners 6 weeks to become believers. I hope their fans start believing as well and fill Tropicana Field.

"RHP Sidney Ponson was designated for assignment by the Rangers in a surprise move before the game. General manager Jon Daniels was vague about the reasons for the decision, saying Ponson had been dumped "for disrespecting teammates and club personnel." Ponson was a nice addition to the Rangers in a time when they needed some pitching consistency. You have to know there was some pretty serious douchebaggery on Ponson's part to get released.

"Texas' Gerald Laird, normally a catcher, made his first career start at 3B. Laird had no trouble with the first two grounders hit his way, then bobbled the third on what was ruled an infield single." In some leagues, Laird is now eligible to play 3B. For most leagues, he'll require a few more starts to get the permanent designation. Still, its nice to have the flexibility on your roster. Laird still has Salty splitting time behind the plate. This just makes Laird an option in deep AL-only leagues.

"Giants OF Aaron Rowand left the game in the seventh inning with an injury to his right quadriceps muscle. He'll be re-examined on Saturday. Washington RHP Tim Redding pinch-hit for Bergmann in the third inning. He struck out." I've seen this injury characterized as a right hip flexor as well. Either way, its not good news for Rowand owners. He's been having a nice season for the Giants. Rowand is listed as day to day.

"New York lost for just the second time in Johan Santana's last 10 starts." Santana has been solid since joining the Mets. 6 INN, 1 ER, 5 K, 1 BB, and a 3.08 ERA yesterday. I'm looking for even better things after the All Star break from Santana.

Streakers! "Jose Lopez extended his hitting streak to five games. He is 9-for-23 over that stretch...David DeJesus extended his season-best hitting streak to 10 games."
Posted on: May 22, 2008 5:00 pm

Sheff, Its Time to Retire

I was not one of those fans who cheered when Gary Sheffield came to the Tigers.  I didn't understand why Dave Dombrowski and Jim Leyland brought Sheff over to the Tigers from the Yankees.  Sheff was coming off an injury and at 36 it sounded like a risky proposition to me.  But the Tigers management gets paid to do their jobs. I just babble inanely.

Sheffield's appearance with the Tigers started well enough.  He seemed to gel with the roster, offering another veteran presence to a team who had achieved so much in the year before. Gary produced.  In 133 games Sheff  was 9th in the American League with 107 runs scored, 10th with 84 walks, and for the 14th time in his career hit more than 20 HR (25).

Sheff did all this with a sore shoulder during the last 10 weeks of the season.  Perhaps the Tigers would have made the playoffs had he been playing at full strength.   Its is this supposition that leads me to my issue with this veteran.

I think Sheff is hurting his team more than he is helping.

Sheff had surgery immediately following the 2007 season on that bad shoulder.  The surgery was a success, but the scar tissue has been slow to heal.  Sheff has been forced to take Cortisone shots to deal with the pain here in late spring.  His swing is no longer what it once was.

There was a time where an opposing pitcher would never dare to pitch Gary Sheffield an inside fastball.  Slowed by age and surgery, the inside heat has become an out pitch for Sheffield.  It needs to be said that a lack of strikeouts was a point of pride for Gary Sheffield.  He's had more BB than K in 17 of his 21 seasons.  This year, he already has 26 K in 115 AB.

Worst of all, Sheff is hitting .183 with only 2 HR and 8 RBI.   On an under-performing team where run production has been at a premium, they cannot afford to have a weak arm in left or a cold bat in the DH.

The Tigers have 4 other players who can play LF or DH who can perform better than Sheffield.  Brandon Inge and Marcus Thames are both hitting for power and average better than Sheff.  Even Rookies Clete Thomas and Ryan Rayburn are hitting for average better.

Put him on the DL.  Let that shoulder heal.  In the meantime, Brandon Inge would get some valuable playing time or the team would be developing some young talent.  The Tigers cannot do any worse with the position than they are now.

I don't know who approaches Sheffield - Leyland or Dombrowski - or if this is a decision that Sheffield needs to reach himself, but its time.  Hang up the cleats, Sheff.
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