Good Monday morning, friends. It’s yet another off day, and we find ourselves with the opportunity to reflect on the state of the Detroit Tigers organization. Detroit is coming off a homestand where they dropped three games to the lowly Chicago White Sox after taking the Friday night opener of the four-game stretch.
Despite a loss where the team was dominated by rookie Michael Kopech en route to his first career win, Sunday remained a day of general happiness. Choosing not to dwell on the mediocrity of the present, the fans and the team alike reveled in the excellence of the past as a great crowd turned out for the retirement of Alan Trammell’s number. We’ll talk about that and other hopefully more promising looks toward the future with today’s links.
In a ceremony that brought out a wide variety of Tigers greats, other notable players, and personnel from his time in Detroit — and Brandon Inge — the Tigers retired Alan Trammell’s number on Sunday. It was a well done ceremony, and if you missed it you can catch it in it’s entirety here.
It was a day about Trammell, but just as you couldn’t turn two without Sweet Lou Whitaker, you couldn’t cover the retirement of Trammell’s number without Whitaker being a big part of the day. Both Trammell and Whitaker had ample opportunity to discuss the likelihood of Whitaker being inducted into the Hall of Fame, and having his number join those that adorn the wall in Comerica Park. Trammell, for his part, remains optimistic, and Whitaker remains humble.
If you’re wondering if he thinks he has a chance the next time he’s up for the hall in 2019…
Lou Whitaker left the media session “I’ll see you all in about two years”
— Jeff Riger (@riger1984) August 26, 2018
Reyes making strides
The hardest thing about starting a blog is telling you parents that you will be moving into their basement. That didn’t seem to deter Tigers broadcaster Mario Impemba when he started Pro Baseball Detroit earlier this year. If you aren’t reading it, you should. The latest piece is a look at the Tiger’s oft-derided Rule 5 pick, Victor Reyes. Impemba profiles a young player who has gone from a tentative member of the team who knows he should be playing in the minors to a a player who feels more comfortable. That comfort may be showing in some of the more recent success Reyes is having. Room for improvement remains, and the power is still a big question, but as Reyes has the opportunity to return to the minors next year to develop as he should, Impemba, and others in the organization see him as a guy to keep an eye on.
Norris’ rehab continues
Pitcher Daniel Norris was scheduled to throw about 80 pitches in a rehab start for the Toledo Mud Hens on Sunday. Norris went four innings, gave up one earned run, walked one, and struck out four. Manager Ron Gardenhire reports that if Norris is throwing well, we could see him in Detroit at some point before season’s end, albeit probably in a bullpen role.
Nicholas Castellanos is still playing right field
For every great play Nicholas Castellanos makes in right field, it seems we get to watch him blow one or two. As Chris McCosky of The Detroit News writes, Castellanos has a bat that is going to allow him a little leeway for bad defensive play. We saw plenty of that at third base. The question is, will he be a better right fielder than he was a third baseman? If he doesn’t it won’t be for a lack of trying. In his first full season at the position, he is making plenty of mistakes, but the coaching staff is happy with his effort and continues to have faith that this version of Nick Castellanos as a right fielder isn’t the best on fans are going to see.
A friendly rivalry
If you’re looking for an indication that the team is keeping their spirits up despite the down season, look no further than the senseless rivalry between Ron Gardenhire, proud University of Texas alum, and Texas A&M graduate Alex Wilson. Wilson took the opportunity to adorn Gardenhire’s office with all the finest Texas A&M gear ahead of this year’s college football season. Rivalries are great, even if they’re meaningless ones between two middle-of-the-pack schools in the SEC and Big 12.